Investing in early stage Scottish businesses

Investing in highly scalable software technology businesses

Investing in businesses with defensible IP

Investing in businesses with international aspirations

Investing in businesses with demonstrable leadership

Investing in businesses with a vision and a determination to succeed

The ESM investor group comprises entrepreneurs and former senior technology sector executives that have experienced success exits and who all want to work with high growth technology companies and their founders, to help them grow into outstanding businesses.
ESM has a geographically diverse investor base and we are looking for International investment opportunities. ESM co-invests with the Scottish Investment Bank and other syndicated investment groups where practical.

Million Invested (UK £)

Individual Investors Active

Companies Invested In to date

Number of investment rounds to date

Mobile Acuity met ESM in mid 2011. By this time we had developed our concept of Mobile Visual Search into a viable business with a product and a number of early customers including major UK retailers such as HMV and Tesco. We were looking to build on our initial progress and scale the business and by the end of the year had multiple investment offers including an offer from ESM.

The ESM offer was unique and exciting, bringing in a strategic US investor and opening up sales channels in the US and Asia. We accepted the ESM offer and they did a great job managing the process on behalf of the US investor and the ESM syndicate. A $1 million investment from ESM, the US investor and our existing investors was completed in December 2011.

This positive start was unfortunately in stark contrast to the following 12 months. Organisational changes initiated by the founders and fierce new competition killed our revenue growth in the first quarter. At the same time the new board had different opinions on the product, the customers and strategy leading to further unplanned change. The momentum that had been built was lost and the new sales channels in the US and Asia failed to materialize.

Recognising the critical problems we faced ESM did an excellent job getting the company back on track, working with me to radically re-assess our strengths and the strategy. Together we built a new plan with unanimous support from the board and investors with ESM successfully leading the effort to fund the new plan securing a strong future for the company. Anthony Ashbrook

Founder and CTO, Mobile Acuity

We wanted smart investors, people that know the sector we’re in, not just getting the cash in. This is what we get with the guys from ESM. Our experience is hands on when we want it but hands off when we need our space. We get a comfortable access and feel free to ask any questions, in particular when it comes to deals made internationally. There’s a real can-do attitude with ESM, we don’t see them as typical investors, more smart guys that bring a huge wealth of deal-making experience backed up with the money you need to grow your business. Andy Green

CEO, Distrify Media Ltd

In August 2014, Art Retail Network Ltd successfully secured a round of investment led by the ESM Investment syndicate.

In the six months which followed we were able to get closer to our customer than ever before, leading to a full product and service review, a rebuild of our core platform and a strategic pivot towards a more robust and scalable plan. In the same period we have also been able to develop a prototype of a new premium product and begin to open up opportunities in Hong Kong and the wider South East Asian market. All while setting up the business, installing the necessary process and infrastructure, recruiting a team and everything else that goes with turning a bedroom-based concept business into a real company.

Not only have ESM had the stomach for all this, the experience and support that they have brought to the table has matched their initial financial investment in equal measure.

Support began pre-investment when constructing the deal and post-investment has included: sourcing execs, staff and subcontractors, research opportunities overseas, international connections, facilitation of sharing challenges/ideas with their other investees and occasionally beer and wine.

Refreshingly, at no point have I as CEO felt that we are on the opposite side of the table from our investors and can confidently say that I now fully understand the meaning of the term “smart money”. Jamie McCallum

CEO, Art Retail Network Ltd