Investment in fast-growth Scottish businesses slowed in the first quarter of 2021, research by KPMG has found.
There were 21 venture capital investment deals agreed in the first three months of the year, two fewer than the last quarter of 2020.
The combined value of the deals also fell from at least £97.6m to at least £64.3m, according to the accountancy firm’s research.
Seven of the deals this quarter were for Glasgow-based firms, followed by five in Edinburgh and three in Aberdeen.
The quarterly slump follows a year that saw the entrepreneurial “scale-up” sector witness record levels of investment and deals in Scotland last year.
Commenting on the latest data, Amy Burnett, KPMG senior private enterprise manager in Scotland, said: “The figures for Q1 are relatively subdued and disappointing, but it’s clear investors still have an appetite for Scottish scale-ups.
“To some extent, we bucked the global trend towards the end of 2020, with significant deal volume and value, and we’re now seeing that steady off and balance itself out.
“Once again, the data demonstrates that investors are keen on Scotland’s increasingly key sectors – low-carbon energy, pharma and tech.
“For entrepreneurial business leaders, that provides a golden opportunity to adapt and embrace future opportunities.
“The country’s economy may be easing its way out of the pandemic, but we’re about to witness some radical transformation away from high carbon and heavy manufacturing. It’s the perfect time for the Scottish scale-up community to shine on the global VC stage.”