Posted by Isabella Cookson, 24 Jul 2017
Draper Esprit (AIM: GROW, ESM: GRW), a leading venture capital firm involved in the creation, funding and development of high-growth digital technology businesses across Europe, announces that since its successful fundraising eight weeks ago, its portfolio companies have raised a combined total of £54 million of additional capital, of which funds managed by the Group contributed a total of £25 million.
Simon Cook, CEO of Draper Esprit said:
“We invest in growing technology companies across Europe and source the best deals from thousands of companies, providing them with the capital, expertise and networks to fuel their growth. Earlier this year we announced that in aggregate the group had raised in excess of £160 million of new patient capital across our Plc, EIS, VCT and secondary co-investment fund platforms.
“We earmarked 70% of our capital to be reserved for scaling-up and increasing our stakes in existing portfolio companies through later rounds and since the beginning of last month the team has been busy putting our investors’ capital to work in this way, investing over £25 million in the last 8 weeks. We are on target to reach our ambition to invest over £100m, across the Group, this year into European technology companies.”
“Draper Esprit provides long term capital to entrepreneurs, a unique proposition for portfolio companies in a market dominated by fixed term funds. Importantly, as funding and support for growth businesses stalls in a post-Brexit climate, we feel that support for European and British entrepreneurs is now even more vital. Our patient capital model gives them access to the investment they need, as well as providing sustained, long-term capital support to build their companies into global leaders in timeframes that suit them.”
Notable investments made by the Group include £3.6 million (£1.8 million plc) in an unannounced insure-tech business and the following investments into existing portfolio companies:
Draper Esprit has significantly increased its equity stake in Perkbox, investing a further £6.6 million from the plc. The Group first invested in 2016 alongside the equity crowdfunding platform, Seedrs, and, including the follow-on investment, has now invested over £9.1 million.
Founded in 2015, Perkbox is the digital employee engagement platform that launched in 2015. They have also developed a ‘Perkbox for customers’, a white-label platform which helps businesses acquire, connect with and retain loyal businesses. Forbes recently ranked Perkbox as one of Britain’s top 5 startups while they were ranked no.3 in the start-ups 100 index of the most innovative and fastest growing start-ups in the UK.
Draper Esprit first invested in Trustpilot in 2013, with subsequent follow on investments in 2015 and January 2017 and now a further investment in July 2017. Including this latest investment, the Company has now invested a total of £17 million into the business.
Founded in 2007, Trustpilot is a global, multi-language review community. Trustpilot has customers in 65 countries including Denmark, Sweden, the U.K., France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S. Trustpilot has offices in New York, London, Denver, Copenhagen and Melbourne.
Trustpilot has built a strong SaaS revenue model with excellent growth across Europe over the last 3 years. They are now successfully expanding into the US and becoming the world’s leader in helping to measure Trust online.
Draper Esprit first backed Graphcore last year and has now invested £4.9 million in total. Draper Esprit’s latest investment is part of a wider$30 million Series B funding round recently announced.
Graphcore is a machine intelligence company that is changing the way that developers can build AI and machine learning applications through its cutting-edge processing capabilities. Its technology will be indispensable for advancements in Artificial Intelligence across industries. The Graphcore processors will be used in machine intelligence applications from autonomous vehicles to personalized healthcare, intelligent mobile devices and collaborative robots. The appetite for an easier and more powerful way to develop such applications is growing rapidly.
The new funding comes as the company prepares to ship its first Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) hardware to customers later this year, with scale-up production for enterprise data centres and cloud environments in 2018.
The Group has invested £7 million, of which the plc invested £3.5 million in Push Doctor, Europe’s largest digital health provider. This was part of a $26.1 million Series B funding round led by a powerful syndicate of global investors. This investment follows on from the Company’s original investment of £1.8 million made by the Group last year.
Based in Manchester Push Doctor is the first truly digital health consumer brand in the UK, connecting patients to a smart network of thousands of UK qualified GPs, giving them access to a doctor in as little as six minutes on any device. This round of investment will enable Push Doctor to bring new products to market, the first of which will hit later this year, further expanding the company’s value-proposition for patients as it couples its market-changing instant access doctors with complementary products and services.