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.



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


Exits since 2010

$4 BN

See all our newsworthy stories


Evonetix Raises $12.3 Million USD (£9 Million GBP) to Advance Development of Its Highly Novel Gene Synthesis Platform

Posted by Isabella Cookson, 30 Jan 2018

Series A round co-led by Silicon Valley investor DCVC and London-based Draper Esprit

CAMBRIDGE, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)–EVONETIX LTD (‘Evonetix’), the Cambridge-based company pioneering an innovative approach to enable scalable and high-fidelity gene synthesis, announced today that it has completed a $12.3 million (£9 million) financing to advance the development of its technology.

The financing was co-led by DCVC (Data Collective) of Palo Alto, CA and European-based Draper Esprit, and included the Morningside group, alongside existing investors Providence Investment Company (Jersey), Cambridge Consultants Ltd (Cambridge, UK), Rising Tide Fund (San Francisco, CA) and Civilization Ventures (San Francisco, CA).

Evonetix was founded in 2016 to develop technology that enables the parallel synthesis of DNA on silicon arrays, to facilitate the fast-emerging field of synthetic biology, where there is increasing demand for high-throughput and highly accurate DNA synthesis. The company’s platform uses an addressable silicon array to direct the synthesis of DNA at many sites in parallel, followed by an error-detection process to allow the assembly of high-fidelity DNA at scale.

Matt Ocko, Managing Partner of DCVC, said: ‘This is a truly novel approach to gene synthesis that can deliver massive parallelisation with an extremely low error-rate for high-complexity RNA and DNA constructs.’ He continued, ‘We are excited to back a team and technology that can materially reduce costs and improve innovation in our own portfolio companies and multiple global industries.’

Vishal Gulati, Venture Partner at Draper Esprit, added: ‘Evonetix’s platform offers the prospect of synthesising DNA sequences accurately without limitation of size. This is the superpower that could transform the world of synthetic biology and allow us to engineer next-generation medicines and better versions of products we use every day’.

Hermann Hauser, the Cambridge-based scientist and entrepreneur, commented: ‘Synthetic biology will unquestionably be the next frontier in the life sciences and provides the opportunity to fundamentally change the way in which our planet’s resources are managed, but this brings a requirement for very large amounts of DNA synthesised with high accuracy. Evonetix is developing a solution to this problem through its highly parallel and high-fidelity approach to synthesis’.

Tim Brears, Evonetix CEO, said: ‘We are delighted to be supported by such high-quality investors who have a deep understanding of the requirements of synthetic biology and are committed to this important, emerging area of science, and we look forward to working with them through the next stage of the company’s development’.

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Draper Esprit leads USD 75 million round in Ledger, the cryptoassets security company

Posted by Isabella Cookson, 18 Jan 2018

Draper Esprit leads an oversubscribed Series B round, with Draper Venture Network funds, FirstMark Capital, Cathay Innovation, Korelya Capital, and existing investors.

Paris,18-Jan-2018 – Cryptocurrency and blockchain security company, Ledger, today announces a USD 75 million (EUR 61 million) Series B round, led by Draper Esprit. The investment will enable the company to significantly scale up its operations as demand for their products increases at pace.

The USD 75 million round was led by Draper Esprit, with additional funding from Draper Venture Network funds, including Draper Associates, Draper Dragon and Boost VC, as well as FirstMark Capital, Cathay Innovation, and Korelya Capital. The round is one of the largest traditional series B investment into blockchain and cryptocurrency related technologies to date (excluding ICOs). Existing investors, CapHorn Invest, GDTRE and Digital Currency Group, also participated in the round. Seed and Series A investor Xange remains at the capital.

As cryptocurrency participation has increased, so have associated security challenges. Cryptocurrency investors face a nascent landscape of exchanges, brokers and wallet providers. In this context, there are substantial opportunities to improve security and trust for participants.

Ledger was founded in 2014 by an ambitious team of eight entrepreneurs who saw the potential of blockchain technology to advance the way we live and that security would be the cornerstone of its long term success. The company has been growing at a fast pace since then and now employ 82 people in San Francisco, Paris and Vierzon.

The company, which is already profitable, has sold over a million cryptocurrency hardware wallets across 165 countries. They are also launching a new solution for financial institutions, the Ledger Vault, enabling banks, hedge funds and family offices to manage their crypto assets.

All these products are underpinned by a unique technology: an Operating System (OS) specifically designed to run on any secure hardware and to support any cryptocurrency. This technology enables security for blockchain applications and will eventually accelerate advancement in a wide variety of industries, from the internet of things to driverless cars, where security prevents widespread adoption.

Eric Larchevêque, CEO at Ledger, explained: “We initially designed our Ledger hardware wallet as an enabler for the blockchain revolution. Three years later and with this Series B, we are reaching a significant milestone in our path to build a technological giant in the promising space of cryptocurrencies. These funds will be used to keep investing significantly in R&D while scaling our operations and deploying our teams globally. I am delighted to bring on board Draper Esprit and a truly global group of investors who will support the company as it grows rapidly.”

Pascal Gauthier, President at Ledger and former COO at Criteo, added: “It has been a pleasure working with Ledger, initially as seed investor and now as President. The size of the opportunity in a growing, fascinating market and the team of truly extraordinary individuals persuaded me to leave life as an investor and to re-join the corporate world. Growing this team with additional talents will be one of our main goals in the next few years.”

Simon Cook, CEO at Draper Esprit, commented: “Blockchain, as evidenced by crypto assets, is a truly revolutionary technology. Security will be paramount to its success and we believe that Ledger has built the world’s best security platform to manage private keys for all blockchain and crypto asset applications. This is a global company for a global industry and we have built an international syndicate through the Draper Network to support the team in their huge ambition. We look forward to partnering with Eric, Pascal and the talented team at Ledger.”

Tim Draper, Founder of DFJ, the Draper Network, and one the largest owner of Bitcoin, commented: “Ledger creates security for cryptocurrency far beyond what I get from my bank. This is where people store money now. Ledger lets me take control of my currency rather than having to ask my bank. We’re seeing digital currency blossom across every continent and so several of the Draper Network funds, from Silicon Valley, Europe and Asia have come together to fund Ledger and help them expand globally.”

The executive board is now composed of Simon Cook at Draper Esprit, Fleur Pellerin at Korelya Capital, Cyril Bertrand at Xange as well as Nicolas Bacca, Pascal Gauthier, and Eric Larchevêque, respectively CTO, President and CEO at Ledger. Matt Turck at FirstMark Capital and Ming-Po Cai at Cathay Innovation are also joining as board observers.

Matt Turck, Managing Director at FirstMark Capital, added: “While the price of individual digital currencies and tokens may be subject to volatility, the general crypto and blockchain space has emerged as a fundamental new paradigm that will only continue to increase in importance. Considering the massive amounts of money flowing into the ecosystem, there is no more pressing need at this stage than a bulletproof security infrastructure. Ledger has rapidly emerged as the global security leader in the crypto space for both individuals and now institutions, and has an enormous market opportunity to seize, as evidenced by its explosive growth over the last 12 months. We are thrilled to partner with such an incredible company and team.”

Ledger announced a few months ago technology partnerships with established technology leaders including Intel and Gemalto, aiming at delivering high-assurance security infrastructure for crypto assets applications.

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

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


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



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

Enterprise & Data

Bright Computing

Enterprise & Data Sector
The leading provider of cluster management software
Connect to company:

Health & Wellbeing


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

Enterprise & Data


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

Enterprise & Data


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

Enterprise & Data


Enterprise & Data Sector
Relationshiop intelligence software
Lead Partner: Brian Caulfield
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Systems & Semiconductors


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

Consumer & Commerce


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

Consumer & Commerce


Consumer & Commerce Sector
Personalized fashion marketplace
Connect to company:

Systems & Semiconductors


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


MTT – Mobile Travel Technologies

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

Systems & Semiconductors


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

Health & Wellbeing

Oxford Immunotec

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

Enterprise & Data


Enterprise & Data Sector
Digital employee engagement platform
Lead Partner: Simon Cook
Connect to company:

Systems & Semiconductors


Systems & Semiconductors Sector
Acquired by Maxim Integrated Products
Connect to company:

Consumer & Commerce


Consumer & Commerce Sector
Consumer rights and complaints resolution online platform
Lead Partner: Stuart Chapman
Connect to company:

Consumer & Commerce


Consumer & Commerce Sector
Ecommerce sports website
Connect to company:

Consumer & Commerce


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



Mobile Sector
Mobile social and media tech company
Connect to company:

Enterprise & Data


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

Systems & Semiconductors


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

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 PLC, which IPO’d on the London and Irish stock exchanges in 2016. Simon has been involved with the European VC industry since 1995 and co-founded Draper Esprit in 2005. He 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). He currently works with Trustpilot, Graze, Crowdcube, Perkbox and Podpoint. Previously Simon was a partner with Cazenove Private Equity, which Draper Esprit acquired in 2006; a partner at Elderstreet Investments, which Draper Esprit acquired in 2016; and an Investment Director of 3i Technology Europe, which Draper Esprit acquired in 2009. He was a computer games developer early in his career and is a Computer Science graduate of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST).

Portfolio Companies

Current: Graze, Crowdcube, Podpoint, Perkbox, Trustpilot

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

Ben Tompkins


Ben has been working with technology entrepreneurs and their investors in Europe and the US all his career. Prior to joining Draper Esprit, Ben was Managing Partner at Eden Ventures, a European early stage VC investor where he was responsible for investments in Green Man Gaming, Borro, Huddle, Zemanta and Reevoo, amongst others. Prior to Eden, Ben was a tech investment banker at Broadview/Jefferies where he was co-head of the Global Software, Services & Media practice and advised on deals including Blizzard Studios/World of Warcraft, Iris Software (LSE), Kelkoo, Seloger, Musiwave, Loot, Promethean, ICV and uDate. Ben also sat on the Board of Seedcamp. He is a Business Law graduate from Huddersfield University and a Barrister from Lincolns Inn.

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: M-FIles, RavenPack

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.

Portfolio Companies

Current: Lyst, Verve

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 Krantz

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 and 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


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


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.


London Dublin Cambridge


London | HQ
20 Garrick Street
London, WC2E 9BT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7931 8800

8th Floor
O'Connell Bridge House (OCBH)
D'Olier Street
Dublin D02 RR99

Tel: +353 (0)1 881 8792

Building 1010
Cambourne Business Park
Cambridge, CB23 6DP

Tel: +44 (0)1223 307 770