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


XMOS powers growth in voice with $15m funding round

Posted by Paula Darlison, 07 Sep 2017

XMOS Ltd. (www.xmos.com), a leader in voice capture solutions for the consumer electronics market, has today announced its $15M Series-E funding round. The round was led by Infineon Technologies with additional funding from existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners, Draper Esprit, Foundation Capital and Robert Bosch Venture Capital.

Commenting on the funding, Mark Lippett, President and CEO at XMOS said, “The conclusion of our Series-E funding is a significant milestone for the business. XMOS is ideally positioned at the crossover between embedded voice processing, biometrics and artificial intelligence, and the funds will enable us to execute our ambitious product development plans. I am particularly delighted to welcome Infineon Technologies as a strategic investor in the business. We have worked closely with the Infineon team on groundbreaking sensor fusion technologies; the investment really strengthens our strategic partnership.”

“Through this investment, Infineon will further explore the high potential of voice control and is well positioned to address future use cases like speaker authentication or contextual awareness” added Andreas Urschitz, President of the Power Management & Multimarket (PMM) Division at Infineon. “This was the logical next step, as we have identified HMI as a strategic growth area.”

Bill Elmore, General Partner and Founder, Foundation Capital and Chairman of the XMOS Board, said “The addition of Infineon as a strategic investor in this funding round validates the progress XMOS has made in this rapidly growing market. The outstanding strategic and operational alignment between the two organizations has already delivered compelling technology which is at the forefront of human-machine interfacing. This funding round, and the strategic partnership at its heart, will further consolidate XMOS as the leader in voice capture.”

About XMOS
XMOS is a leading supplier of voice and audio solutions to the consumer electronics market. The combination of its unique silicon architecture and highly differentiated software positions it at the interface between voice processing, biometrics and artificial intelligence. For more information, please visit www.xmos.com

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Final results for the year ended 31 March 2017

Posted by Isabella Cookson, 27 Jul 2017

Draper Esprit (AIM: GROW, ESM: GRW) today announces its maiden final results for the year ended 31 March 2017.

Financial highlights

·      Gross Primary Portfolio value increased by 43% to £112.7 million as at 31 March 2017 (30 September 2016 £106.9 million, at IPO £78.7 million)

·      Net Assets including goodwill increased by 17% to £150.7 million as at 31 March 2017 (£128.7 million at IPO)

·      NAV per share of 370 pence (as at 31 March 2017)

·      NAV per share, excluding goodwill, of 319 pence (as at 31 March 2017)

·      Profit after tax of £33.2 million

Operational highlights

·      Invested across the Group in 13 new and 6 existing portfolio companies

·      Core portfolio holdings have grown by 30%

·      Significant cash realisations of £42.0 million in plc (including amounts held in escrow), generating an uplift in value of £24.4 million against the holding value at IPO and highlighting the Group’s prudent approach to valuation

·      £37.1 million of these cash proceeds already deployed in the period into the next generation of opportunities and to further support our existing portfolio 

·      Hired experienced team as the next generation of investment professionals to lead the business into the next stage with 6 hires across London and Ireland, taking the total investment team to 14 (including Elderstreet) and appointed Ben Wilkinson as new CFO

Post FY End Highlights 

·   £160.0 million additional capital raised across the Group post year end, comprising £100.0 million raised from new and existing shareholders in the plc, £25.0 million across the EIS and VCT funds and further £35.0 million for secondary deals

·   £25.0 million invested across the Group in new and existing portfolio companies, including Push Doctor, Perkbox, Graphcore  and Trustpilot


Simon Cook, CEO Draper Esprit commented:

“At the time of the IPO in June 2016, we set out to demonstrate our model in a public market setting of investing in high growth private technology start-ups. Through our fast-growing portfolio and a series of successful exits and further investments, we have demonstrated that the public venture capital model is working.

“Post year end we continued onto the next stage of the strategy by raising an additional £100.0 million equity from our supportive institutional shareholder base. As a wider Group, we have also raised significant co-investment funds through our EIS, VCT and secondary funds, with £60.0 million raised in 2017 to date.

“Having scaled our capital resources, the Group is now even better positioned to invest larger amounts in more companies, growing our holdings in our most promising investments.  

“We invest in companies that build the future. In the year ended 31 March 2017, the Company or co-investment funds managed by the Group invested £43.0 million including £34.0 million in 13 new companies, including Graphcore, LifeSum, PushDoctor, Resolver, Perkbox, Realeyes, Clavis, Clue, RavenPack and Podpoint. The portfolio is diverse: whether they are building a whole new infrastructure for developing Artificial Intelligence applications (Graphcore), the future of tracking female health (Clue) or the infrastructure necessary for electric vehicles (Podpoint), all the companies are united by a strong team and an ability to be global leaders.

“As we reflect on our maiden set of results, it is clear our model is working and we are growing Net Asset Value substantially to the benefit of our shareholders.”

Availability of Annual Report and Notice of AGM

The Annual Report and Accounts for the financial year ended 31 March 2017 and notice of the Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) of Draper Esprit will be will be available on Draper Esprit’s website at http://draperesprit.com/ and posted to shareholders by 11 August 2017

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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
Connect to company:

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 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 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