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


Draper Esprit targets seed funds with strategy to invest significantly over the next five years

Posted by Isabella Cookson, 16 Oct 2017

Draper Esprit (AIM: GROW, ESM: GRW), a leading venture capital firm investing in high growth digital technology businesses, announces a strategy to target up to £75m ($100m) of investment in the top seed funds across Europe over a five-year period.

Draper Esprit has committed to invest in the latest funds of both Seedcamp (www.seedcamp.com) and Episode 1 Ventures (www.episode1.com), widely recognised as two of the UK’s leading seed fund platforms. Draper Esprit are already investors in leading crowdfunding companies, Crowdcube and Seedrs.

This complements Draper Esprit’s core investment strategy, set out at the time of the Company’s fundraising in June this year, to invest up to approximately £100m ($130 million) a year in technology businesses at series A, B, and C+ rounds across the Group’s funds (the plc balance sheet, EIS, VCT and secondary funds), with investment from the Company’s balance sheet representing approximately £60 million per annum.

By closely aligning Draper Esprit with the seed fund ecosystem, the Company is able to provide growth capital to the best companies and unlock the strong performance of Europe’s highest quality seed funds to the benefit of the plc shareholders.

Simon Cook, CEO Draper Esprit plc commented:

“Our mission to democratise the venture capital model continues. Our plan is to create a significant fund of funds business, which will target investment in 10 to 20 seed funds, angel networks and early stage investment platforms over the coming years. We are investing in two of the UK’s best-known seed investors: Seedcamp and Episode 1 and are currently looking into three others.

“By partnering with the best seed funds, we can help them scale up their series A and B funding rounds more quickly, which in turn will accelerate growth for the most ambitious entrepreneurs.

“We have a number of pools of capital to back leading entrepreneurs and to deploy across the different funding life cycles of fast growing technology companies. External investors both institutional and private can use our evergreen listed venture capital model to access, on a pooled basis, the top seed funding platforms, screened and picked by our experienced team. This gives them exposure to a very important asset class on a pooled portfolio approach; giving a degree of risk mitigation, with added liquidity and without them having to sift through and pick individual seed funds themselves.”

He added: “Post Brexit it is imperative that UK investors continue to have access to the best early stage investment opportunities and having established itself as a leading hub for technology entrepreneurs from all over the world, the UK needs to keep supporting all stages of venture funding. Draper Esprit is building a business of scale, partnering with leading institutional and private investors, to support and benefit from high growth private technology companies across Europe.”

Reshma Sohoni, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Seedcamp commented:

“At Seedcamp there is a key ingredient of our model that gives us a performance edge. That ingredient is our LPs and we choose them carefully. We strive to bring on experienced Angels, top tier VCs, active Corporates and knowledgeable Family Offices and Fund of Funds around the table. With Draper, we are thrilled to get a double combination – both a top-notch VC who will be able to invest at Series A and beyond in our companies and is a fund of funds business with relationships we can benefit from. We are honoured to be one of the first investments from their new fund of funds.”

Simon Murdoch, Managing Partner of Episode 1 commented:

“We’ve known Draper Esprit for many years and are excited to be working with them again. As a leading seed fund our role is to find and accelerate UK startups helping them to become the sort of rapidly growing businesses that Draper Esprit want to invest in and grow to global success stories.”


For further information, please contact:
Draper Esprit plc
Simon Cook (Chief Executive Officer)
Ben Wilkinson (Chief Financial Officer)
+44 (0)20 7931 8800

Numis Securities
Nominated Adviser & Joint Broker
Alex Ham
Richard Thomas
Jamie Loughborough
Harry Trueman
+44 (0)20 7260 1000
Goodbody Stockbrokers
ESM Adviser & Joint Broker
Don Harrington
Linda Hickey
Charlotte Craigie
Richard Tunney
+353 1 667 0420
Belvedere Communications (PR)
John West
Kim van Beeck +44 (0)20 3567 0510

Notes to Editors

About Draper Esprit
Draper Esprit is one of the most active venture capital firms in Europe, developing and investing in disruptive, high growth technology companies. We believe the best entrepreneurs in Europe are capable of building the global businesses of the future. We fuel their growth with long- term capital, access to international networks and decades of experience building businesses. Currently Draper Esprit is a shareholder in a diverse portfolio of companies including Trustpilot, Graze, Perkbox, PushDoctor and Graphcore.
For more information visit www.draperesprit.com

About Seedcamp
Seedcamp is Europe’s seed fund, identifying and investing early in world-class founders attacking large, global markets and solving real problems using technology. Since launch a decade ago Seedcamp has invested in 250 startups including fintech unicorn TransferWise.

For more information visit www.seedcamp.com

About Episode 1 Ventures
Episode 1 Ventures is a software ¬only venture capital firm that invests £250k to £1m in early¬ stage, revenue- ¬generating startups and plays an active and supportive role in turning them into growth businesses. With experience of startups from the inside, it provides frank and fast feedback to founders as well as strong entrepreneurial ‘know- ¬how’ and a passion for building successful businesses.
With 20+ years of experience investing in software businesses, its partners have made early investments in some of the UK’s best- known success stories including Betfair, LoveFilm, Natural Motion, ScanSafe, Shazam, Shutl, Zoopla and Viagogo.

Founded in 2013 and based in London, the firm is rapidly forming a portfolio of software businesses with enormous potential for growth. Its investments include CarWow, Cluster HQ, Raising IT, Scurri, SwiftShift, Touch Surgery, TripTease, TV Beat and User Replay.
For more information visit www.episode1.com

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Verve, the world’s leading word-of-mouth sales software for live entertainment, raises $18.5 million

Posted by Isabella Cookson, 10 Oct 2017

Verve, co-founded by Callum and Liam Negus-Fancey, is building a global platform that enables people to sell products they love to their friends in exchange for rewards. Over the last 12 months Verve has achieved significant success within the live entertainment industry, growing from 170 to 450 clients, selling more than 500,000 tickets globally and securing major partnerships with some of the best ticketing companies around the world. With $28.5m raised to date, the company will use the capital to continue its global expansion within the live entertainment sector, as well as enter new markets.


In a globalised and noisy world, customers increasingly crave authentic and curated experiences. Nothing fulfils this more than a recommendation from a friend based on both their accumulated knowledge of their own passion, and their understanding of your evolving tastes and idiosyncrasies. We all have experts in our networks who can access faster than ever before — the friend who is obsessed with computers, the one who knows all the best restaurants or that person who you turn to for fashion advice. These are the people who are the most valuable when making a purchase decision. Verve enables brands to harness the power of these recommendations, turning word of mouth into a reliable and scalable sales channel for the first time.


Verve’s clients include Live Nation, AEG, C3, Bonnaroo, React Presents, Bestival, Digital Dreams, Electric Zoo and many more.


Simon Cook, CEO of Draper Esprit, says: “Callum and Liam have built a world-class team which we back with full confidence. We very much believe in where Verve is heading. Today’s audiences are becoming immune to traditional advertising and increasingly prefer to discover through friends and people they trust. Verve has already proven word of mouth is a scalable and powerful tool for live entertainment, and we will support them in taking this channel to other markets and sectors.”


Leila Zegna, founding partner at Kindred, says: “Kindred is delighted to have increased its commitment to Verve as a part of this financing round, joining a strong global venture capital brand in Draper Esprit.”


“Since our first investment in Verve in 2016, we have been continually impressed by the buildout and strength of the management team, as well as the consistent execution against ambitious product and commercial targets. Going forward, we are excited about Verve’s ability to not only dominate the festivals market but also penetrate the enormous opportunities within music and sport on a global basis.”


“We were very impressed with the success of the Krewe of Voodoo and their ability to get tickets into more fans hands and helping grow Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. We look forward to working with them again this year!”

Patrick Dentler, Marketing Director, C3 Presents


“Verve has successfully grown our network, encouraging our biggest fans to join us in selling tickets for the best festivals in the world.” – Festival Republic

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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