Scottish business wire: SIS | Brewgooder | m3 Networks | Run4It

The main breaking business stories of the day plus recent investments and grants achieved by Scottish firms.

This feature is brought to you by The Scotsman and Young Company Finance.

Social lender SIS receives top marks for year-end stats

Social Investment Scotland (SIS), the lender to the third sector, has delivered another year of investment growth and financial progress, aided by its partnership with one of Britain’s biggest supermarket chains. End-of-year figures published this week will show that SIS invested more than £4.3 million in more than 50 organisations throughout Scotland. The figure includes £1.8m from SIS Community Finance in 24 projects, some £900,000 from the Social Growth Fund across three projects and a further £1.6m from other third-party funds managed by SIS.

Brewgooder craft beer earns backing of JW Filshill

Brewgooder, the craft beer brand that donates all of its profits to clean water projects, has secured the backing of one of Scotland’s biggest wholesale businesses. As part of the deal with Glasgow-based JW Filshill, the wholesaler’s managing director, Simon Hannah, and its group commercial director, Chris Miller, have joined the beer firm’s board. Brewgooder launched in March and is the brainchild of Alan Mahon and Josh Littlejohn, the friends and social entrepreneurs behind the Social Bite sandwich shop chain.

Perthshire IT support firm aims for top spot

A Perth-based IT support company has set an ambitious goal of becoming the biggest business of its type in Scotland over the next ten years. M3 Networks, based out of Inveralmond Business Centre, said it was currently supporting 89 businesses across 110 locations and was on track to support more than 1,000 individual PCs by the end of the year, leading to job creation and further expansion of its headquarters.

New funding helps Run4It race ahead with growth

Specialist sports retailer Run4It is getting into its stride with plans to invest in new stores and an upgraded online platform. Headquartered in Aberdeen, the firm now has eight stores across Scotland and has set its sights on expanding its high street footprint into the north of England. Having recently bought and fitted out two new stores in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the business is using fresh HSBC funding to invest in a new online sales system as annual revenues from internet sales approaches £1m.

Bill Jamieson: Injecting activism into passive investments

“For many investors the prospect of hours of work researching which shares, bonds and funds to select – and with a bewildering range from which to choose – can be a turn-off,” says Bill Jamieson. “Collective funds such as unit and investment trusts have already removed much of the hassle – and the paperwork – while providing professional fund management skills to run a portfolio of shares on your behalf. But fund management charges and broker fees can nibble away at returns.”

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Company: pureLiFI, Edinburgh

Industry: opto-electronics

Amount of investment: £5,054,000

Investors: Temasek, existing investors

Company: Nodthera, Edinburgh

Industry: drug discovery
Amount of investment: £2,000,000

Investors: Epidarex Capital

Company: TVSquared, Edinburgh

Industry: data analytics

Amount of investment: £2,012,000

Investors: West Coast Capital


Company: Ingenico (UK), Glasgow

Type of grant: reasearch and development

Grant awarded: £498,000

Company: ESS Technology, Glasgow
Type of grant: SE SMART Development (Scottish Enterprise)

Grant awarded: £600,000

Company: Farrpoint Assure, Edinburgh
Type of grant: SE Smart Feasability

Grant awarded: £100, 000

Getting to Equity – YCF Annual Conference 2016

Each year YCF’s annual conference takes a broad theme that gives a variety of speakers the opportunity to set out their own knowledge or experience in different ways. There will be talks by industry professionals –investors, analysts, business advisers – interspersed with presentations by entrepreneurs from early stage high growth companies.

Equity investment is not the best sort of funding for every company. However, for those which will need early stage equity to help grow their business – maybe to prove a concept, build a prototype, or carry out trials – there can be a‘catch-22’ to securing the first round of investment; equity investors often look for a level of product development or market traction which require funding to demonstrate.

This year’s conference will examine this conundrum, with speakers from organisations which provide funding by way of competitions and grants, from equity investors who understand the problem and can describe what they expect from applicants for finance, and from some young company entrepreneurs who have made their way through this difficulty in one way or another.

Industry speakers

Chair: Evelyn McDonald, CEO, Scottish EDGE

John Mathers, CEO, Design Council; Camille Moran, EU funding, Horizon 2020 SME Instrument; Isobel Brown, Head of Commercial Development Scotland, StartUp Loan Company; Mette Kirstine Agger, Managing Partner, Lundbeckfond Ventures

Entrepreneur presenters

David Bunton, Biopta; Trace Ward, Ergon Equine; Ed Molyneux, FreeAgent; Brian Butchart, Sirakoss

The conference will include four sessions, starting with registration at 9am and closing at approximately 4:30pm, with plenty of networking time at the breaks. If you are not a YCF subscriber but are thinking for coming to the conference, please contact for further details.