Edinburgh-headquartered Par Equity expands into Yorkshire with new offices in Leeds and Sheffield

A Scottish venture capital firm has revealed it is opening offices in Leeds and Sheffield as it prepares to support fast growing companies in Yorkshire.

Edinburgh-headquartered Par Equity will use its new Yorkshire hub as a base to serve its investment activity across the North of the UK.

A spokesman said the strategic base has been set up following Par Equity’s recent investment across the North of England, backing fast growth businesses such as AEM, Fuuse, SamsonVT, Re:Course AI and Nova Pangaea Technologies.

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Launched in 2008 by Paul Munn, Robert Higginson, Paul Atkinson and Andrew Castell Par Equity has invested almost £160m into 77 early-stage technology companies to date.

Par Equity partner Robert Higginson (right) is pictured with Giles Moore. (Photo supplied by Par Equity)Par Equity partner Robert Higginson (right) is pictured with Giles Moore. (Photo supplied by Par Equity)
Par Equity partner Robert Higginson (right) is pictured with Giles Moore. (Photo supplied by Par Equity)

The spokesman added: “Par Equity has extensive knowledge of the Northern technology ecosystem, in Yorkshire and Humber and beyond. It will work with key stakeholders in the region including the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network and will continue its work with the National Centre for Child Health Technology (NCCHT), based at the Olympic Legacy Park in Sheffield.”

Sheffield-based serial entrepreneur Giles Moore, who has been hired as regional development manager, said Par Equity was already in talks with businesses based in Leeds, York and Doncaster.

He said: “Having been involved in Yorkshire startups and scaleups for over a decade, I have seen, first hand, all the challenges this region faces, in addition to the opportunities and developments that have arisen over that time.

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"In this region, we don’t shout about our successes and therefore can go unnoticed to the outside world. This, however, is a very exciting period for the region.

"It is still underserved from a funding perspective, which is where I believe Par Equity can make a big impact.”

The Par Equity team in Yorkshire will be based at city centre sites in Sheffield and Leeds. Initially around three people will be based in the county, athough this team is set to grow over the next few months.

Par Equity has been working with British Business Investments as part of its Regional Angels Programme, since 2020.

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In total, British Business Investments has awarded £23m of funding to Par Equity as part of this programme, which has been put to work alongside £60m of capital from Par Equity to support its successful investment model across the north of the UK.

Judith Hartley, CEO, British Business Investments, said: “Par Equity was one of the first delivery partners of the Regional Angels Programme.

"Their track record of delivering realised returns and their ability to source opportunities beyond Scotland has continued since then. We welcome Par’s expansion into Yorkshire, where we believe they will find an abundance of exciting new companies to invest into. It will also help raise the profile of angel investing in the region.“

Par Equity, a signatory of the Investing in Women Code, was recently presented the accolade of Angel Group of the Year at the UKBAA 2023 awards.