ABOUT US

 

Draper Esprit was founded in 2006 with a mission to back Europe's most ambitious entrepreneurs.
We invest into visionary and growing companies and also have the ability to do direct secondary deals into late stage tech companies as well as buying entire venture capital portfolios. We raise funds from a variety sources and always are able to source capital for the best opportunities through our partnerships.

Leading institutional LPs have committed more than $1 billion to our funds historically, and we are one of the largest and most active VC firms in Europe. In 2016 we moved our Primary funds into a listed PLC model to allow us to take a longer term, multi-stage, patient capital approach. Please see our Investors section for more information.

In 2012, we launched our first angel EIS co-investment fund to enable founders, tech executives and HNW’s to invest alongside us to help build bigger networks for our portfolio companies. Through our angel EIS co-investment funds, we have successfully deployed capital on behalf of over a hundred personal investors into some of Europe’s fastest growing companies alongside our leading institutional investors. For more information contact Richard Marsh.

Draper Esprit has also been the most active secondary tech investor in Europe having acquired ten VC portfolios to date as well as direct stakes into later stage companies. Our total capital commitments for secondary transactions is over $400m and if you’d like to speak about a secondary opportunity please contact Jonathan Sibilia.

DRAPER ESPRIT FACTS

 
 

Funds raised to date

$1.15 BN

No. of investments made since foundation

+

Currently investing from

Our permanent capital PLC balance sheet, our annual EIS funds and deal-by-deal secondary funds
 
 

No. of countries with a Draper Esprit portfolio company

22

Exits since 2010

$4 BN

NEWS FEED
See all our newsworthy stories

 

Follow on investment in Graphcore’s $30 million series B funding

Posted by Isabella Cookson, 20 Jul 2017

Graphcore IPU products will lower the cost of accelerating AI applications, increase the performance of both training and inference by 10x to 100x compared to the fastest systems today and enable recent success in deep learning to evolve rapidly towards useful, general artificial intelligence.

19 July 2017, Bristol. Machine intelligence company, Graphcore, has today announced a $30 million Series B funding round, led by Atomico. The new funding comes as the company prepares to ship its first Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) hardware to customers later this year, with scale-up production for enterprise datacentres and cloud environments in 2018.

The Series B round is dedicated to accelerating roadmap development and building a community of developers and partners around its PoplarÔ graph framework software, establishing Graphcore as the leader in the market for machine intelligence processors.

Nigel Toon, CEO at Graphcore said: “Atomico has a genuinely deep understanding of the machine intelligence market and how it will evolve over the coming years. They also share our vision for building a major new company that can stand at the forefront of what we call ‘Compute 2.0’ – this new age of machine intelligence computing. Many of the leading innovators that we have been working with over the last three years will be early access customers and we will have an exciting time over the next few months.”

Siraj Khaliq, the Atomico Partner who will join the Graphcore board of directors, said: “It’s clear that machine intelligence will sit at the heart of the technological leaps we’ll see in this coming chapter of human history – a process already well underway. Graphcore’s first IPU delivers one to two orders of magnitude more performance over the latest industry offerings, making it possible to develop new models with far less time waiting around for algorithms to finish running. In that sense, the IPU doesn’t just accelerate code, it should help developers accelerate the pace of innovation itself.”

Alongside Atomico as lead investor, the round has full support and follow-on funding from existing investors: Amadeus Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, C4

Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Draper Esprit, Foundation Capital, Pitango and Samsung Catalyst Fund.

AI pioneers Demis Hassabis (DeepMind), Greg Brockman (OpenAI), Ilya Sutskever (OpenAI), Pieter Abbeel (UC Berkeley/OpenAI), Scott Gray (OpenAI) and Zoubin Ghahramani (University of Cambridge, Chief Scientist at Uber) have also joined the round as angel investors. This gives Graphcore a direct line to top machine learning thought leaders, maximising its impact on the machine intelligence ecosystem.

Demis Hassabis, said: “Building systems capable of general artificial intelligence means developing algorithms that can learn from raw data and generalize this learning across a wide range of tasks. This requires a lot of processing power, and the innovative architecture underpinning Graphcore’s processors holds a huge amount of promise.”

Greg Brockman, said: “Training machine intelligence models in minutes rather than days or weeks will profoundly transform how developers work, how they experiment and the results they will see. Being able to experiment across a much broader front, at a much faster pace will create new breakthroughs and will allow us to combine many machine intelligence techniques to jumpstart progress.”

Zoubin Ghahramani, commented: “Deep neural networks have allowed us to make massive progress over the last few years, but there are also many other machine learning approaches that could help us achieve radical leaps forward in machine intelligence. Current hardware is holding us back from exploring these different approaches. A new type of hardware that can support and combine alternative techniques, together with deep neural networks, will have a massive impact.”

The company is building a community of developers around its Poplar™ graph-framework software, which provides a seamless interface to multiple machine learning frameworks, including Tensorflow, MxNet, Caffe2 and PyTorch.

Poplar is a C++ framework, not a new programming language, which abstracts the graph-based machine learning development process from the underlying graph processing IPU hardware. Poplar includes a comprehensive, open source set of graph libraries for machine learning, which means existing user applications written in standard machine learning frameworks, like Tensorflow and MXNet, will work out of the box on an IPU. It will also be a natural basis for future machine intelligence programming paradigms which extend beyond tensor-centric deep learning. Machine learning innovators who want to be first to find out more can register their interest here.

About Graphcore

Graphcore’s Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) products let innovators create next generation machine intelligence. The IPU is the first processor to be designed specifically for machine intelligence and will deliver between 10x to 100x acceleration compared to today’s hardware. Graphcore is backed by leading venture capital and strategic investors including Amadeus Capital Partners, Atomico, C4 Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Draper Esprit, Foundation Capital, Pitango Venture Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital and Samsung Catalyst Fund, and is headquartered in Bristol UK. More information can be found at https://www.graphcore.ai

Read more

Perkbox raise a further $8.6 million from Draper Esprit

Posted by Isabella Cookson, 17 Jul 2017

Draper Esprit (AIM: GROW, ESM: GRW), the leading public European venture capital firm, today announces that it has significantly increased its equity stake in Perkbox, investing a further $8.6 million.

Draper Esprit first invested in Perkbox in 2016 alongside the equity crowdfunding platform, Seedrs, and, including the follow-on investment, has now invested over $12.0 million. 

Founded in 2015, Perkbox is the digital employee engagement platform that launched in 2015. They have also developed a “Perkbox for customers”, a white-label platform which helps businesses acquire, connect with and retain loyal businesses. Forbes recently ranked Perkbox as one of Britain’s top 5 startups while they were ranked no.3 in the startups 100 index of the most innovative and fastest growing startups in the UK. The startup has doubled year on year and now has over 165 employees, having opened a new office in Sheffield last February.

The investment in Perkbox will enable the company to access untapped demand in the market as it supports a growing number of diverse clients from SMEs to large corporates. As the battle to access and retain employees and customers gets ever harder, Perkbox empower companies (small and large) to retain and motivate employees. The company has grown significantly and counts Holland and Barrett, AXA, Le Pain Quotidien, Deliveroo, Worldpay, BlaBlaCar among many of its customers and is now looking to expand internationally.

Simon Cook, CEO Draper Esprit commented: “Perkbox has shown further hyper growth since we invested last year and we believe the team are well on the way to becoming the market leader with both amazing product innovation and huge customer engagement. Our model is predicated on following our capital to work over the long term and to actively support our leading companies. Employee engagement is increasingly essential and Perkbox’s platform provides an innovative solution to increase workplace happiness and improve productivity.”

Saurav Chopra, CEO and co-Founder of Perkbox, said: “We are exceptionally happy to have Draper Esprit as a significant investor in Perkbox. We believe they understand and agree with our mission to create a better society through building stronger relationships with employees and customers, and we continuously benefit from their insight and assistance in building a global scalable business in our defined end user markets.”

 

Read more

We support creative European founders in turning their products into global companies

STAGES OF FUNDING
Our strategy is to invest in companies that create new markets or disrupt old ones

We invest in every stage of building disruptive technology companies. This includes getting in early with seed and Series A deals, all the way up to growth opportunities. We also have the capabilities to invest into secondary transactions in later stage companies as well as buying entire funds from other tech investors. Check out our current portfolio to see the stage and sectors that we are most active in.

 
 

Systems & Semiconductors

Aveillant

Systems & Semiconductors Sector
3D holographic radar and radater data services
Lead Partner: Alan Duncan
Connect to company:
aveillant.com

Mobile

Bitbar

Mobile Sector
Automated mobile software build and testing solutions
Connect to company:
testdroid.com

Enterprise & Data

Bright Computing

Enterprise & Data Sector
The leading provider of cluster management software
Connect to company:
www.brightcomputing.com

Health & Wellbeing

Clue

Health & Wellbeing Sector
Period and Ovulation Tracker for iPhone and Android
Lead Partner: Vishal Gulati
Connect to company:
www.helloclue.com

Enterprise & Data

Conversocial

Enterprise & Data Sector
Cloud-based enterprise social customer service
Connect to company:
conversocial.com

Enterprise & Data

Crate

Enterprise & Data Sector
Open source data store
Connect to company:
crate.io

Enterprise & Data

Datahug

Enterprise & Data Sector
Relationshiop intelligence software
Lead Partner: Brian Caulfield
Connect to company:
datahug.com

Systems & Semiconductors

Displaydata

Systems & Semiconductors Sector
FKA as ZBD. Designs and manufactures low power LCD displays
Lead Partner: Richard Marsh
Connect to company:
www.displaydata.com

Health & Wellbeing

Doutissima

Health & Wellbeing Sector
Health and wellness platform in Brazil
Lead Partner: Stuart Chapman
Connect to company:
doutissima.com.br

Consumer & Commerce

Graze

Consumer & Commerce Sector
Nutritionally balanaced snack subscription service
Lead Partner: Simon Cook
Connect to company:
graze.com

Consumer & Commerce

Lyst

Consumer & Commerce Sector
Personalized fashion marketplace
Connect to company:
lyst.com

Systems & Semiconductors

Movidius

Systems & Semiconductors Sector
Vision processor technology for mobile and portable devices
Lead Partner: Brian Caulfield
Connect to company:
www.movidius.com

Mobile

MTT – Mobile Travel Technologies

Mobile Sector
Mobile commerce platform for the global travel industry
Lead Partner: Brian Caulfield
Connect to company:
mttnow.com

Systems & Semiconductors

Netronome

Systems & Semiconductors Sector
Highly programmable semiconductor products for intelligent flow processing in network and comms devices.
Connect to company:
www.netronome.com

Health & Wellbeing

Oxford Immunotec

Health & Wellbeing Sector
IPO on NASDAQ in 2013
Connect to company:
oxfordimmunotec.com

Enterprise & Data

Perkbox

Enterprise & Data Sector
Digital employee engagement platform
Lead Partner: Simon Cook
Connect to company:
www.perkbox.co.uk

Systems & Semiconductors

Phyworks

Systems & Semiconductors Sector
Acquired by Maxim Integrated Products
Connect to company:
www.maximintegrated.com

Consumer & Commerce

Resolver.co.uk

Consumer & Commerce Sector
Consumer rights and complaints resolution online platform
Lead Partner: Stuart Chapman
Connect to company:
www.resolver.co.uk/

Consumer & Commerce

SportsPursuit

Consumer & Commerce Sector
Ecommerce sports website
Connect to company:
www.sportpursuit.com

Consumer & Commerce

Tails.com

Consumer & Commerce Sector
Dog food tailor-made for your pet
Lead Partner: Simon Cook
Connect to company:
tails.com

Mobile

Taptu/Mediafed

Mobile Sector
Mobile social and media tech company
Connect to company:
www.taptu.com

Enterprise & Data

Trustpilot

Enterprise & Data Sector
World's largest consumer reviews platform
Connect to company:
trustpilot.com

Systems & Semiconductors

XMOS

Systems & Semiconductors Sector
XMOS is a leading provider of voice interface solutions.
Lead Partner: Alan Duncan
Connect to company:
www.xmos.com

Draper Venture Network

 

The Draper Venture Network is a self-governed organization of 16 independent venture funds operating on four continents that cooperate on market intelligence, corporate relationships, investment diligence and co-investments. The Draper Venture Network started in 1990. All members raise their own capital and manage their investment decisions independently.
Read more here...

 

OUR TEAM | Investing Partners

 
 

Simon Cook

Simon is the CEO of Draper Esprit and has been involved with the European VC industry since 1995. He co-founded Draper Esprit in 2005 and has been involved with a number of Europe’s most successful startups including Lovefilm (Amazon), Cambridge Silicon Radio (IPO), Virata (IPO), nCipher (IPO) and KVS (Symantec). Previously Simon was a partner with Elderstreet Investments and a Director at 3i. He was a computer games developer early in his career and is a graduate of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST).

Portfolio Companies

Current: Graze, Crowdcube

Stuart Chapman

Stuart is COO of Draper Esprit. Prior to co-founding Draper Esprit in 2005, Stuart was a partner of 3i Ventures where he was also a founding partner of their Menlo Park office.  Over his 13 years at 3i he was responsible for investments in Neutec Pharma (LSE), Network Technology (LSE), The Cloud, Searchspace and Magic 4.  Stuart served as a member of the BVCA Council and Chairman of the Venture Committee and before 3i he was involved in software and systems implementations in the Banking sector.  Stuart currently represents Draper Esprit on the Draper Venture Network Board.

He is a graduate of Loughborough University and serves as a Board Member of the Loughborough School of Business and Economics.

Portfolio Companies

Current: Kiadis, M-files, Netronome, Conversocial, Crate, Metalysis, Resolver and Real Eyes

Brian Caulfield

Brian is a serial entrepreneur turned VC. He previously founded software companies Exceptis Technologies which was acquired by Trintech Group and Similarity Systems that was acquired by Informatica. Prior to joining Draper Esprit, Brian was a partner at Trinity Venture Capital where he sat on the boards of or led investments in AePONA (Intel), ChangingWorlds (Amdocs), CR2, SteelTrace (Compuware) and APT (CSR). Brian currently sits on the board of The Irish Times, Ireland’s leading daily newspaper, in addition to his Draper Esprit portfolio companies. Brian is a Computer Engineering graduate of Trinity College Dublin.

Portfolio Companies

Current: Clavis Insight, Graphcore, GetBulb
Historical: Mobile Travel Technologies, Movidius, Datahug

Jonathan Sibilia

Jonathan joined Draper Esprit in 2009. Prior to joining the company he was a senior associate in the technology group at Jefferies International advising on high-profile cross-border M&A, debt & equity offerings. Previously he worked at Rothschild & CIE in Paris. He also worked at Apax Partners Corporate Finance in France. Jonathan holds a MA in Management from EM-Lyon and the University of St Gallen in Switzerland and a MA in Advanced Corporate Finance from the University of Paris IX Dauphine.

Portfolio Companies

Current: Mobile Commerce, Qosmos

Nicola McClafferty

Nicola joined Draper Esprit in 2017. Prior to joining the company Nicola was co-founder and CEO of online retailer, Covetique, sold to ASOS plc. Nicola spent 5 years as a venture capital investor with Balderton Capital and media-consultancy Ravensbeck, focussing on early stage technology and media investments. Nicola started her career as an investment banking analyst in the technology team of Jefferies International in London.

Nicola has been a start-up mentor on the Enterprise Ireland Retailer Ready programme. She graduated from University College Dublin with a BComm in International Business & French.

Richard Marsh

Richard is an experienced entrepreneur and venture capital investor. He founded and built Datanomic, a Cambridge-based software company which was a pioneer of Data Quality software and was acquired by Oracle. At Draper Esprit, in addition to investing and working as a Board member with portfolio companies, Richard manages the Draper Esprit EIS funds which have been the highest rated EIS (88/100) by the Tax Efficient Review for the past 4 years running. He is an Engineering graduate of Cambridge University where he also received his PhD. Richard holds an MBA from IMD, Lausanne, where he was a Sainsbury Management Fellow.

 

Portfolio Companies

Current: Bright Computing, Green Park Content, SportPursuit
Historical: Connectivity (sold to KCOM), DisplayData, Garlik (sold to Experian), GreenPeak Technologies (sold to Qorvo), Polatis (sold to Huber and Suhner), Psytechnics (sold to NetScout)

Vinoth Jayakumar

Vinoth joined Draper Esprit on the investment team in 2016. Prior to that he worked at a boutique management consulting firm in London for 6 years. He previously ran a micro-angel fund, investing in crowdfunded start-ups.

Vinoth is a Chartered Accountant (ACA, ICAEW) and has a degree in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics.

Philip O’Reilly

Philip joined Draper Esprit as a principal in 2017.  Philip previously worked as a lawyer, advising venture capital investors and early stage businesses on all aspects of financings.  Philip has also previously worked at Google and advised various startups, both in the UK and the US, in relation to corporate issues.

Philip holds a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania as well as degrees in law from Trinity College Dublin and the London School of Economics.

Diana Kranz

Diana joined Draper Esprit on the investment team in 2017. Prior to that, she worked for Techstars and Rocket Internet’s Somuchmore. She previously worked at a London-based hedge fund and for the Council of Europe Development Bank in Strasbourg.

Diana is from Sweden has a degree in Economics and Business from University College London.

Max Filippov

Max is a French and Russian national previously employed as an investment associate in a PE / growth fund focused on digital media, education and gaming. Prior to that he was a consultant working on various strategy, commercial due diligence and target identification assignments. Max holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a master’s in Technology Entrepreneurship from UCL

Eleonore Butler

Eleonore joined in 2017. Prior to that, she was working in another venture capital firm in London after some experience in financial advisory at Ondra Partners. Eleonore is from France and holds a Bachelor Degree in Politics from King’s College and a Masters in Management from London Business School.

OUR TEAM | Venture Partners

 
 

Vishal Gulati

Venture Partner

Dr. Vishal Gulati is one of the Europe’s leading digital healthcare investors. Vishal is a qualified physician and chairman of the Digital Health Forum. Over the last decade he has championed deals across areas including diagnostics, devices & biotech. He is currently on the boards of Horizon Discovery PLC and EcoEos. His investments include Napo Pharmaceuticals, Glenmark, Renovo, Phagenesis. He has also held board positions at Psynova Neurotech, Bioscale and Enigma Diagnostics. Previously, Vishal worked at Atlas Venture, The Wellcome Trust and Radiant Capital.

Portfolio Companies

Current: Horizon Discovery, Lifesum, Push Doctor

Alan Duncan

Venture Partner

Alan has been in the venture capital industry for more than twenty years, initially through establishing a corporate venturing fund for Ferranti and then with Foreign & Colonial Ventures, Newmarket Venture Capital and Prelude Ventures. He joined DFJ Esprit when it was formed in 2006.

Alan is responsible for a portfolio of Draper Esprit’s electronics investments including Phyworks, Lime Microsystems, SiConnect, XMOS and DisplayLink. His previous investments have included Alphamosaic (sold to Broadcom) and nCipher (IPO on LSE).

Alan has an electronic engineering background and gained his industrial experience in computer systems with Ferranti plc.

Alan is a past member of the European Venture Capital Association High Tech Committee and lecturer on the EVCA’s venture capital professional training courses.

Portfolio Companies

Current: Aveillant, Displaylink, Lime Microsystems, XMOS, Graphcore

Mikko Suonenlahti

Venture Partner

Mikko currently resides in Helsinki and is a venture partner with Draper Esprit. Mikko has over 30 years of experience in building businesses of which 20 of those years were as a venture capitalist in the US and Europe and 10 years of operations. He has personally led investments into Carbonite (CARB), Iobox (TEF), Pedestal Software (ATRS / SYMC), Sample Rate Systems (FLEX) SiGe Semiconductor (SWKS) and Tedasys (TLSYN) amongst others.

Portfolio Companies

Current: M-Files

David Cummings

Venture Partner

David is a venture partner responsible for the EIS co-investment funds at Draper Esprit. He is also an active angel investor in technology companies and a member of Cambridge Angels. Prior to Draper Esprit, David worked at Lazard where he was the Managing Director running the TMT group in London. He was also at KPMG and IMI. David is a graduate of Trinity Hall, Cambridge and LBS.

Portfolio Companies

Current: Unbound

OUR TEAM | Operations

 
 

Ben Wilkinson

CFO

Ben is an experienced leader of public company finance teams having served for five years as CFO of AIM listed President Energy PLC where he was responsible for all financial aspects of the group. During his time at President, Ben was a key part of the Board that undertook the investments into Argentina and Paraguay and raised $175 million across several equity issuances with shareholders such as IFC/World Bank and significant UK institutional investors.

Ben is a Chartered Accountant, FCA, with a background in M&A investment banking from ABN Amro/RBS where he was involved with multiple cross border transactions and corporate financings, both debt and equity.

Graham Redman

Group Finance Director

Graham joined the Draper Esprit team in 2006 and is responsible for the financial and IT systems of the firm.  He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers working in London, Norwich and Raleigh, primarily with SMEs before moving into industry.  After leaving PwC Graham became the Senior Accounting Manager for INC Research, a US Research Triangle based CRO before taking a Controllership position at Unitive Electronics, a venture-backed semi-conductor packaging company based in the US. Graham holds an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University where he studied at Sidney Sussex College.

Isabella Cookson

Head of Marketing and Research

Isabella joined Draper Esprit as Head of Marketing and Research in 2016. Previously, she worked in two startups, Qubit and Improbable, in roles across marketing, market research and strategy. She has a First Class degree in English Literature and a Masters in International Relations from Cambridge University.

Paula Darlison

Group Administration Manager

Paula is the Group Administration Manager and has been with Draper Esprit since its inception, having worked alongside the founding team since 2000.  Prior to Draper Esprit she has worked as an executive assistant and PA at Cazenove, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley throughout more than 25 years within the City of London.

Stephanie Edwards

Team Assistant

Steph is based in the London office of Draper Esprit and supports the investment team as an assistant where she administers deal-flow. Steph has experience working at other investment firms in London as a team PA and was most recently at Amadeus. Steph has an MA in Translation from London Metropolitan University & a BA in English from Oxford Brookes.

Daniel Pearce

Accountant

Daniel has been the Accountant of Draper Esprit since joining the firm in 2007 working directly with the CFO on the firm’s financial reporting and back office duties. Previously he spent time working as a management accountant in both the petroleum and manufacturing industries with a couple of years working in practice. Daniel is a qualified accounting technician with 11 year’s experience behind him. In his spare time Daniel coaches football to children as a FA qualified coach.

CONTACT US

London Dublin Cambridge

 
 
 
 

London | HQ
20 Garrick Street
London, WC2E 9BT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7931 8800

Dublin
5th Floor
O'Connell Bridge House (OCBH)
D'Olier Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel: +353 (0)1 645 2324

Cambridge
Building 1010
Cambourne Business Park
Cambourne
Cambridge, CB23 6DP

Tel: +44 (0)1223 307 770

 
 
BACK TO TOP