Draper Esprit raises £110m to invest in tech companies in just three days

Venture capital firm plans separate £309m fund to invest alongside main fund

Draper Esprit has raised £110m on the London and Dublin stock exchanges to invest in high-growth European technology companies.

The £110m will be invested across a combination of larger deal rounds, follow-on investments and new investments, typically at Series A stage and beyond, as well as investments in seed funds across Europe.

Martin Davis, chief executive of Draper Esprit, said the fundraise would enable the venture capital firm to participate in larger deals and for longer periods of time.

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This marks the fourth occasion in four years that Draper Esprit has raised over £100m on public markets.

The AIM-listed venture capital firm has invested £450m and realised £211m of investments since its initial public offering in 2016. Recent exits include the sale of its shares in Transferwise and Peak Games.

During the pandemic, it has continued to invest in digital businesses, including payment fraud solution Ravelin and, most recently, online used-car marketplace Cazoo, which announced its $311m (£240m) fundraise on Thursday.

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Now it is looking to raise more cash to increase the amount it invests to around £120m each year.

It also plans to launch a separate $400m (£309m) fund that would invest alongside Draper Esprit.

Draper Esprit’s portfolio of tech companies is currently valued at over £700m, and includes companies such as Aircall, Graphcore, Perkbox, Push Doctor, Revolut, Seedrs and Trustpilot.

Founded in 2006 as Esprit Capital, the company rebranded as Draper Esprit in 2015 after joining a network established by Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper.

The firm has offices in London, Dublin and Cambridge, and is part of Draper Venture Network, a global community of 24 independent funds.

Davis said that the company had been “greatly encouraged” by the increased pace of change driven by greater adoption of technology and the increased priority on digitisation “as the post Covid-19 world emerges”.

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