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 Olav Ostin.

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

 

Movidius – a Story of Vision and Resilience

Posted by Paula Darlison, 09 Sep 2016

Blog post by Brian Caulfield, Draper Esprit plc

On Tuesday we announced that our Draper Esprit portfolio company, Movidius, is to be sold to Intel. The dust has settled and now we can tell the story of Movidius. Sometimes when you read a VC’s valedictory blog post about a deal like this you might be forgiven for thinking that it’s all about the VCs. It isn’t and it shouldn’t be. It’s about the entrepreneurs. That’s the story that I want to tell.

And what a group of entrepreneurs we were lucky enough to invest in at Movidius. They had many characteristics that make great entrepreneurs but I want to concentrate on just two – vision and resilience.

Movidius was founded almost 11 years ago, with the initial “design” being sketched on the menu in a Dublin craft beer pub. In the semiconductor business designing a chip, successfully taping out, testing and qualifying your device, achieving a “design win”, getting it designed in to a new end-user device and ultimately launched in the market can take many, many years. So your vision has to be many years ahead of the market. I won’t pretend that when Sean Mitchell, David Moloney and Val Muresan were starting the company they said to themselves “One day, our chip will give visual collision avoidance capabilities to low-cost consumer drones”. Remember, the iPhone did not exist when they started Movidius.

However, they did realise that there were many imaging and vision related tasks where the amount of data that needed to be processed was so large that it would not be possible to transfer that data over wireless networks to the cloud and that, even if you could, for many applications the time delay involved in doing so would be unacceptable. They understood that doing this processing in the datacentre was enormously more costly in energy terms than doing it at the edge of the network (it’s up to 100-fold more expensive). They also realised that the data itself and the operations that needed to be performed on it were not well suited to existing processing platforms.

So, there was an emerging need for a specialised processor that was physically tiny, delivered enormous amounts of compute capability and used almost no power. Easy, right?

When I think about the resilience of the team, I remember vividly Gerry Maguire of Atlantic Bridge Ventures, Hongquan Jiang of Robert Bosch Venture Capital and I meeting Sean Mitchell at Mobile World Congress in February 2013. We were leading a new funding round for the company. Movidius was virtually bankrupt. Sean, David and John Bourke (the CFO), together with some early angel investors, were keeping the company afloat with money from their own pockets. Some of the company’s existing investors, who couldn’t or wouldn’t continue to support the company, were making it very difficult to close out the round. The strain was etched on Sean’s face and his voice cracked as he spoke. And we were adding to that stress by telling him that we thought the company needed to hire a new CEO. I’ve known Sean for quite a while but I remember thinking “this guy is close to cracking”. But they didn’t crack. They kept going. Eventually, we got the round closed and, soon afterwards, Remi El-Ouazzane joined as CEO. Then Farshid Sabet joined to run sales and business development.

It didn’t get a whole lot easier after that either. There were huge challenges to deliver a working product under such strict power and size constraints and the company was probably still a couple of years ahead of the market. It seemed like every few months Movidius needed more money. But then, eventually, the deals and opportunities started to flow…collision avoidance and GPS denied hovering for drones, intelligent security cameras, untethering AR/VR devices, with so much more to come.

The reward for that vision, resilience and persistence is that Sean, David, Val, John, Remi and Farshid have created what is, in my view, probably one of the most important technology companies ever to come out of Ireland. Movidius technology will drive the development of the next major compute platform (AR/VR) and will be a key enabler of vision and intelligence in machines at the edge of the network. It’s also the largest ever venture-backed technology trade sale in Ireland.

You can all be very proud.

Finally, I wanted to mention that Movidius is one of the companies that drove our thinking about the patient capital model at Draper Esprit. It took 11 years to get to a tremendous outcome. The company had a couple of near death experiences along the way. It’s difficult for a 5+5 year venture capital fund to support a company through that journey. It will either run out of money or time…or both. We look forward to finding the next Movidius.

Movidius CEO, Remi El-Ouazzane has also written the deal here as has Josh Walden, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s New Technology Group here.

Read more

Sale of Movidius Ltd Increases Draper Esprit Net Asset Value

Posted by Paula Darlison, 06 Sep 2016

Draper Esprit (AIM: GROW, ESM: GRW), one of the leading venture capital investors involved in the creation, funding and development of high-growth digital technology businesses in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Europe, announces that it has accepted, along with other investors, a conditional offer for Dublin based portfolio company Movidius Ltd (“Movidius”) from Intel Corporation (“Intel”) for an undisclosed sum.

Movidius is a leader in high performance, ultra-low power computer vision technology for connected devices. By combining sophisticated software algorithms with a powerful, purpose-built Vision Processing Unit (VPU), Movidius brings new levels of visual intelligence to smart devices. Applications of Movidius’ leading technology enable a new wave of intelligent and contextually aware devices such as drones and Augmented and Virtual Reality devices.

Intel, a Santa Clara based global technology company (NASDAQ: INTC), has made a conditional offer for Movidius, which will result in an estimated total cash return of approximately £27 million for Draper Esprit before provision for accrued tax and carried interest payments. The Group had an unaudited pro-forma Net Asset Value (“NAV”) including goodwill at admission of £128.7 million with the disclosed audited NAV of the holding in Movidius of £7.5m as at 31 December 2015.

The sale is expected to complete before the end of 2016 and is estimated to increase the Group’s total NAV by approximately 21%, when compared to the pro-forma NAV (excluding goodwill and cash) reported at the time of the Group’s admission to AIM / ESM in June 2016. The Group intends to invest the proceeds of the transaction in line with its existing investment policy.

Further details will be presented in the Group’s trading statement to be made in early October.

Simon Cook, CEO Draper Esprit commented: “We are proud to have once again helped an incredible management team with superior European technology to become a leading global platform. Movidius’ technology is enabling the next generation of computing devices with vision interfaces and the sale will allow the business to take full advantage of Intel’s global leadership and strong market position and the obvious market benefits this will bring.”

Enquiries

Draper Esprit plc

Simon Cook (Chief Executive Officer)
Brian Caulfield (Managing Partner)
+44 (0)20 7931 8800

Numis Securities
Nominated Adviser & Joint Broker

Alex Ham
Garri Jones
Richard Thomas
Paul Gillam
+44 (0)20 7260 1000

Goodbody Stockbrokers
ESM Adviser & Joint Broker

Don Harrington
Linda Hickey
Dearbhla Gallagher
+353 1 667 0420

Zeus Capital
Benjamin Robertson
Giles Balleny
+44 (0)20 3829 5000

Belvedere Communications (PR)
John West
Kim van Beeck
+44 (0)20 3567 0510

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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.

 
 

Consumer & Commerce

Achica

Consumer & Commerce Sector
Private buying club for luxury lifestyle products
Connect to company:
www.achica.com

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

Enterprise & Data

Campanja

Enterprise & Data Sector
Real-time and high-frequency bid management software
Connect to company:
campanja.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

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

Systems & Semiconductors

Phyworks

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

Enterprise & Data

RadiumOne

Enterprise & Data Sector
Online ad network
Connect to company:
radiumone.com

Enterprise & Data

RhodeCode

Enterprise & Data Sector
RhodeCode has created RhodeCode Enterprise which is an enterprise-grade source code management and collaboration solution that supports Git and Mercurial repository systems. It helps bridge the gap between the requirements enterprises have and the flexibility and ease of use that developers increasingly expect.
Connect to company:
rhodecode.com

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
Programmable chips bringing together the capabilities of processors, DSPs, ASICs and FPGAs
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 Cook

Partner

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 Investements 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

Stuart Chapman

Stuart Chapman

Partner

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.

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

Portfolio Companies Current: StrikeAd, Kiadis, Pulmagen, M-files, Metalysis, and Doutissima.

Portfolio Companies

Current: ClearSwift, RoadAngel, StrikeAd, Kiadis, M-files, Doutissima

Brian Caulfield

Brian Caulfield

Partner

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 boards of Clavis Technology and the Irish Times in addition to his Draper Esprit portfolio companies. Brian is a Computer Engineering graduate of Trinity College Dublin.

Portfolio Companies

Current: Datahug, Mobile Travel Technologies, Getbulb, Movidius

Jonathan Sibilia

Jonathan Sibilia

Partner

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

Olav-Ostin

Olav Ostin

Partner

Olav is a Managing Partner of the Draper Esprit secondary practice and has been involved with the venture capital industry for the past 15 years.  In 2006, Olav co-founded Tempo Capital which joined the Draper Venture Network in 2012 to form Draper Esprit Secondaries.  Between 2000 and 2004, Olav was a Managing Director of the venture capital firm ETF Group and previously spent 6 years in investment banking at Enskilda Securities

Portfolio Companies

Current: Airweb, Awox, Boku, Miura Systems, OneAccess, Rockmobile

Richard Marsh

Richard Marsh

Partner

Richard is an experienced software entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. He founded and built Datanomic, a Cambridge-based software company which was a pioneer of Data Quality software and was acquired by Oracle. Richard is responsible for Draper Esprit’s investments in Connectivity (KCOM), Garlik (Experian), GreenPeak Technologies, Polatis, Psytechnics (NetScout) and ZBD Solutions. Richard 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: Connectivity, GreenPeak, Polatis, Psytechnics, DisplayData, Conversocial

David Tate

David Tate

Partner

David is a Managing Partner in the secondary practice, which acquires portfolios of venture assets and single line investments. He has been involved in the secondary market since 2003, when he co-founded Tempo Capital, which merged with Draper Esprit in 2012, and in primary investing since 1998, and prior to this was in investment banking. He is a Chartered Accountant and was educated at Jesus College, Oxford, University College in London, and has completed the AMP at Insead.

Portfolio Companies

Current: CAST, Cerillion, MPLSystems, Trace One

OUR TEAM | Venture Partners

 
 
Vishal Gulati

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

Alan Duncan

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

team_mikko

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

team_sven

Sven Lung

Venture Partner

Sven is a venture partner at Draper Esprit based in Paris. Sven founded the leading European ecommerce site BrandAlley.com in 2005 where he led as CEO until 2012 where he built the company up to a €150m in revenues. In 2014, Sven launched Green Park Content (previously named Doutissima), an online health and beautfy platform with offices in France and Brazil with backing from Draper Esprit and Telefonica.

David Cummings

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.  His current portfolio consists of over 20 companies including Truphone, Grapeshot, LoopMe, Ionscope, Centrix, Wazoku, Unbound and Arachnys. 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

 
 
Paula-Darlison

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 at Cazenove, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley throughout more than 25 years within the City of London.

Stephanie Teubler

Stephanie Edwards

Team PA

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.

Graham Redman

Graham Redman

CFO

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.

Daniel Pearce

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
14 Gray’s Inn Road,
London, WC1X 8HN
Tel: 44 (0)20 7932 8954

Dublin
5th Floor
O'Connell Bridge House (OCBH)
D'Olier Street
Dublin 2
Ireland
Tel: +353 (0)1 645 2324

Cambridge | HQ
Draper Esprit,
Building 1010,
Cambourne Business Park,
Cambourne,
Cambridge, CB23 6DP
Tel: 44 (0)1223 307 770
Fax: +44 (0)1223 307 771

 
 
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