£15 million investment fund plan unveiled with aim to unlock the door to tech innovation in Scotland

Helena Di Biase (Raising Partners) (Photo: Elaine Livingstone)

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A £15 MILLION venture capital fund is to launch in Scotland to focus on supporting tech innovation with the capability to change the world including climate action; health and wellbeing; and social mobility. 

Raising Partners Ventures (RPV) – led by investment expert Helena Di Biase – has been set up in response to a ‘chronic’ lack of early-stage investment opportunities outside of London, with 86% of UK VC funds based in the capital and south of England. 

The Glasgow-based fund – from the team behind investment advisory firm Raising Partners – will initially make investments of £300,000 in 24 pre-seed and seed stage companies, with at least 65% going to start-ups based in Scotland. It’s expected the fund will be ready to deploy its first capital in 2024. 

Almost half of the fund will also be reserved for follow-on investments to ensure companies remain sufficiently capitalised in the early stages. 

The RPV team will work collaboratively with the start-up and investment community in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and beyond to help grow Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

They will focus on sectors with the greatest potential to impact society in the next 10 years, including sustainable production and consumption; sustainable cities; climate action, health and wellbeing; social mobility; and the future of work.

The fund is also committed to improving opportunities for women in investment, with more than half the workforce female. RPV is also a signatory of the UK Government’s Investing in Women Code. 

Crucially for founders, RPV will operate a ‘no warm introduction required’ policy, breaking down a major barrier to securing early-stage investment for Scottish start-ups. 

Di Biase, who founded Raising Partners in 2016, said: “Scotland is one of the UK’s richest regions in terms of tech and innovation talent, yet just 7% of all equity investments in the UK in 2022 went to companies based in Scotland. This is something we desperately need to change if Scotland is to become a world leader in entrepreneurship and technology innovation. 

“Raising Partners Ventures is a natural extension of our advisory business and angel syndicate and we are already in conversation with lead institutional LP investors for our inaugural £15 million fund.

“The investment ecosystem is abundant in areas such as London and the South East with hundreds of investment firms and angel investors deploying capital into the market.

“Although there are vital players such as Par Equity, the Angel Syndicates, and Scottish Enterprise, our ecosystem is lacking a venture fund that delivers in the same way funds do in the south when it comes to cash, connections and portfolio support.

“There is a huge opportunity to invest in some of the world’s most cutting-edge businesses here in Scotland, particularly those in climate tech, health tech and sustainability and we’re excited to be able to go some way in addressing the funding imbalance that exists across the UK.

“This is Scotland’s seed fund, and we hope it will open the door to investment and opportunity for start-ups now, and in the future.” 

Raising Partners has raised more than £63 million to date, supporting close to 200 UK founders and entrepreneurs through services including financial models, investor decks, equity crowdfunding, investment strategy, and investor introductions. 

The fund’s team will lean on that experience to provide founders with actionable education including support in raising subsequent rounds of investment, marketing, sales, tech and more; as well as an emphasis on mental wellbeing including access to executive coaches and wellbeing resources for portfolio Founders as they scale their ventures.

The team will also leverage its vast network to encourage coinvestment into portfolio companies from investors spread across the UK as part of efforts to create a more joined-up investment ecosystem between Scotland and other parts of the country.

RPV is looking for investors to join them on their investment journey as an LP. For more information on Raising Partners Ventures visit raisingpartners.com.


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