Accessing finance and attracting investment

Scottish Venture Fund

Scottish Venture Fund

Seeking funding to develop products and/or markets? This flexible equity gap fund invests alongside private sector investors, offering equity funding from £10,000 up to £2 million.

Gap funding

The Scottish Venture Fund invests in companies from startups, early-stage to expanding businesses seeking funding to develop products and/or markets.

This fund can invest alongside sophisticated private sector investors on equal terms, up to a maximum of 50% of the total funding package on a commercial basis.

Scottish Enterprise is a 'gap' funder, so you should seek to maximise private sector investment before approaching us. We can provide from £10,000 up to £2 million, as part of a total deal size typically ranging from £20,000 to £10 million.

The fund is primarily equity-based (Scottish Enterprise will subscribe for shares), however, we will consider other forms of investment.

We take a flexible approach, ensuring the most appropriate solution is provided for the companies’ circumstances, working alongside the private sector investor(s).

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for investment from the Scottish Venture Fund your company must:

  • Be a commercially-viable business
  • Have, or be in the process of developing a significant operational presence in Scotland which is proportionate to the levels of investment being sought
  • Demonstrate the economic benefits to Scotland that could result from the investment
  • Demonstrate which other funding sources have been explored
  • Fall within the EU definition of a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME)

To be considered for investment from the Scottish Co-investment Fund your company must:

  • Be a commercially-viable business
  • Have, or be in the process of developing, a significant operational presence in Scotland which is proportionate to the levels of investment being sought
  • Fall within the EU definition of a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME)

Restrictions

The fund is not sector-specific but certain sectors may be restricted.

This includes goods, services or activities in well-served markets — unless you have a disruptive business model, for example:

  • Banking, insurance, sub-prime lending or other activity where there is onward lending or credit risk including hire purchase and dealing in land, derivatives or commodities
  • Businesses whose trade is limited to a local area, and whose direct competitors are other local businesses, including shops and retail (sale of third-party goods)
  • Events, restaurants, hotels, pubs and clubs
  • Social and personal services
  • Professional services
  • Motor vehicles
  • Real estate and property development

Technology companies which innovate or create new markets, or market engagement, for these activities may be considered.

Any activity that could have a negative impact on our organisation's reputation or ethical standards is restricted. This includes the use of technology aimed at facilitating the following:

  • Activities with an adverse impact on human rights or the environment
  • Gambling
  • Tobacco
  • Adult entertainment
  • Weapons and ammunition

What's involved?

Firstly you’ll need to secure an offer of funding from a private sector investor before you can approach Scottish Enterprise to consider the gap in your investment package.

With an investor secured, you can approach us with detail of the deal. We will work with private sector investors both known and new to Scottish Enterprise.

The following information would be required:

  • Details of the private sector funding secured, sources and terms
  • The amount being sought from the Scottish Venture Fund
  • A detailed business plan provided to us including key financial information (at least three-year forecasts and historic information)
  • What the funding will be used for

We will then conduct a review of the potential economic benefits to Scotland and undertake a full appraisal of the investment opportunity. Terms of the investment will be proposed and due diligence undertaken.

Once investment is agreed, our portfolio management team will work alongside your management team on an ongoing basis to help shape your strategy and maximise the outcomes of the investment for the company, the investors and the Scottish economy.

How to apply

Got a question regarding the Scottish Venture Fund?

If you're looking for investment, you will need to secure funding from a sophisticated private investor first.

  • Do you already have a willing investor or consortium of investors (note that we don't match funds raised through crowd-funding platforms)?
  • Or, are you an investor considering an investment opportunity where there's a funding gap?

Whatever stage you're at, please get in touch with us to discuss your proposition further.

Contact our team to find out more

We're on hand to answer your questions and explain the support we can offer to help your business succeed.