KPMG: Investment in Scottish scale-up firms doubles

VENTURE capital investment in Scotland’s scale-up businesses more than doubled in 2021 as global investors looked beyond London for deal-making, according to the latest figures from KPMG.

Scotland’s new growing businesses finished the year with almost £100 million in VC investment in the final quarter, bringing the total raised last year to £626.9m, which marked a 136 per cent increase compared to 2020 when £265.6m was raised, the firm’s Venture Pulse Survey revealed.

In Scotland, there were 32 VC deals between October and December of last year, with a combined value of £97m, which showed a drop-off in activity compared with the third quarter, when 57 deals valued at £197m took place.


More than half of the fourth quarter deals involved businesses from the Scottish capital, which KPMG said underlined Edinburgh’s reputation as an entrepreneurial city with a burgeoning start-up and university spin-out reputation.

Glasgow was second with four investments, followed by Aberdeen and Dundee with three each.

Scotland’s biggest deals in the fourth quarter included agri-tech firm Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS), which raised £42.2m through Series B funding, and Edinburgh-based Macomics, a biotech company which raised £7m through a seed round involving investors Caribou Property, Epidarex Capital and Scottish Enterprise.

Scotland accounted for 2.5% of the UK’s record £26 billion VC investment last year.

Amy Burnett, senior manager with KPMG private enterprise in Scotland, said: “The gaze of investors has steadily been drawn north in recent years, and that’s been particularly true since the pandemic as homeworking has changed the dynamics of access to talent, the growth to scale ups, and of course deal making.

The news comes as the accountancy firm, which has offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow employing around 1,000, posted profit before tax increasing from £288m to £436m.

James Kergon, senior partner in Scotland, said: “Our business across Scotland grew in line with the wider UK firm, driven locally by our audit, deals and tax practices.”

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