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Investing in ambition – Scotland’s Risk Capital Market: Benchmark Analysis 2023


The purpose of this report is to provide a detailed analysis of the risk capital market in Scotland for the calendar year 2023. The report is the latest in a series that tracks the flow of equity investment into Scottish headquartered companies, setting Scotland’s performance alongside the other nations and regions of the UK. This evidence base is used to inform Scottish Enterprise’s interventions to support ambitious early-stage high growth companies, which in turn, supports the continued growth of the Scottish equity risk capital market. 


The analysis is based on Beauhurst data and deals tracked via their platform. The data covers announced and unannounced equity investment rounds into high-growth, private UK companies of any size, between 2013 and 2023. Totals reported in earlier years will change as deals not previously disclosed are added to the Beauhurst database. 


Scotland’s risk capital market has seen strong growth in recent years, peaking at a record high of £980 million in 2022. However, a change in market sentiment occurred in the second half of the year, which continued into 2023. While this has resulted in a decline in deals and investment, the Scottish market showed resilience, raising an annual total of £575 million over 354 deals. This returns investment value to around 2019 levels. 

The change in risk appetite of many equity investors undoubtedly impacted the market, however, with the proportion of investment and deals going into the earliest stage of the market, where higher risk deals take place, continuing to be an area of concern.

At the same time, market challenges have also seen investors move away from large deals, in the UK and indeed globally. In line with this trend, the Scottish market above £10 million saw large decreases in both deal numbers and value. Despite these challenges, the underlying market (deals below £10 million) remained robust in Scotland in 2023. The underlying market provides a strong indication of the overall strength of the pipeline of equity investment opportunities and the resilience of the Scottish market.



Author Scottish Enterprise
Published Year 2024
Report Type Research
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation, High growth entrepreneurship
  • Investment
    Equity investment