British Business Investments backs new £75m regional investment pot The cash will be delivered in partnership with Par Equity with a tech startup focus British Business Investments (BBI)- the commercial arm of the British Business Bank – is committing £15m in funding to Edinburgh based venture capital firm Par Equity as part of its Regional Angels Program. The BBI investment will go into a wider £75m fund designed for investment in promising young tech start-ups in Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Par Equity- a specialist in backing technology companies- will be drawing the rest of the capital from its Par ESI fund and Par Investor Network. The Par Investor Network consists of almost 200 specialist technology investors providing a pool of knowledge as well as capital for the fund to draw on. Fintech firms in the North will be hoping to catch their eye and attract some of the Pre Series A funding on offer. Andrew Noble Partner at Par Equity, told AltFi, that the firm has strong expertise in the fintech start-ups ”We have 10-20 people in our network that really know [the fintech] space,” Noble said. The Northern fintech scene has no shortage of young companies, he says “We regularly have fintech opportunities come across our bow”. He said that this new fund expands its scope for investing in the sector. Mark Barry, Senior Investment Manager, British Business Investments, said: “This £15m commitment…will enable Par Equity to increase its support for smaller businesses in the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland at a time when the business know-how and financial support that angel investors can deliver is needed more than ever.” The Regional Angels Program is part of the BBI’s aim to improve access to capital and accelerate the scaling up of regional business. It was launched in 2018 after the Government’s Patient Capital Review. The program works by providing funds for investment alongside other early stage investors and business angels, boosting financial firepower in regions where capital is not always forthcoming. The Par Equity commitment is the second from the Regional Angels scheme, after it backed DSW Angels with £10m in September last year as part of a £100m fund for investment in early stage Northern businesses. Although the BBI is stepping up where the market is not quite up to supporting regional business, it is expecting a return on its investment. This further commitment to businesses outside the South East, points to an underlying belief that there is untapped growth in the UK’s regions. Fintech leaders outside London will be hoping they can be part of turning this newfound faith into growth and profit.



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