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The future, backed

Things you’ll need: big ambition, clear focus, and enough energy to power your team through the next decade and beyond.
Graze staff members

We changed the model,
so you can break the mould.

Our mission? Empower Europe to invent the future. Success depends on genuine collaboration, so when we meet teams that share our way of thinking, we back them all the way. As a group, we’ve been doing this for over 20 years – experienced investors bringing global firepower and a long-term view.

We believe in Europe’s potential to grow the companies that will shape the future. We’re here to help that happen, by growing our community of extraordinary teams – a team of teams. And by reinventing European venture capital – long-sighted, flexible and global.

Not the usual VC

A global
community

We’re the European arm of a global network of venture funds. Looking for rapid international growth? We know the right people.

The Draper Venture Network reaches from Silicon Valley to China, Mexico to Japan, Portugal to Finland. We’re the exclusive European arm – connecting teams to the right investors, corporates or talent at the right time, from across the globe.

For teams with global ambition, it’s a distinctly unfair advantage.

Founded by an early backer of Skype and Tesla

The Draper Venture Network was founded by Tim Draper, an early backer of companies such as Baidu, Skype, SpaceX, Hotmail and Tesla – and the grandson of the inventor of venture capital himself, William H Draper. Today, The Draper Network connects investors across the world to share expertise and build brilliant companies that change the world.

A corporate development team for start-ups

Our network helps start-ups build meaningful relationships with global corporates – with a bespoke programme of introductions informed by the latest corporate trends. Think of it like the most effective business development tool around.

The mother of all CEO summits

Once a year, every fund in the Draper Network gathers its CEOs together to meet the leading thinkers in Silicon Valley. It’s a chance to speed-date with corporates, share insight, and get a grasp of the technology trends that are shaping every corner of the globe. Previous speakers? Little-known figures like Elon Musk, Will.i.am, Sam Harris, and Justin Khan.

5 years?
We think way longer

We’re unusual for a VC: we’re listed on the stock market. It’s a bold move that cuts us free from five-year fund cycles, and gives us unmatched flexibility.

We invest for the long term

We’re the only tech-focused venture capital firm listed on the stock market. Why is that important? Because it means that when we invest in you, we’ve got the flexibility to back your team from scale-up to IPO or acquisition.

Our flexibility means we can focus on growing sustainable businesses. Because we know it takes time, belief, and effort to build the companies with the biggest impact.

What’s five years anyway?

What’s five years, to a technology business that plans on being the best in the world at what it does? Not much. And not enough either – as more and more companies stay private for longer periods.

That’s why we broke free from the popular Limited Partnership model of a time limited fund. Being publicly listed means we have a balance sheet, a longer view, and the staying power to back teams to reach their full potential.

Open to everyone

Tables, turned. Anyone can invest in us – in fact some of our entrepreneurs do.

Venture capital for the people

Anyone can buy shares in Draper Esprit, so everyone can benefit from the fast-growth tech companies in our portfolio. The world of venture capital is usually a private affair, but we initiated a radical shift – and it opens up an exciting future for us all.

Our investors include the big institutions, of course, but also people across Europe, and some of our very own entrepreneurs. The one idea uniting them all? That technology can create real value for the world.

Diverse ambitions

We recognise that technology needs diversity to thrive. We back companies from across Europe, from Paris to Helsinki. We keep diversity front of mind as we grow our own team, and as we look for people to back. Because in our experience, diverse teams get better results.

When we invest, we really invest

We bring more than money. We give hands-on support and advice to every team we back, helping you to grow and scale.

When we invest, we don’t just give you the money and wait for our return. We join your team, and take an active role on the board as you scale the business. At the core of every investment decision we make is one simple question: will we work well together?

Exactly the people you need

It’s always about people. We’ve been helping to build technology businesses for over 20 years, so we’ve got some idea of the kind of people you’ll need. We can connect you to the right ones, whether you need a good lawyer in London, a contact in Berlin, or a corporate lead in Beijing. We can even help you hire the management talent you need to grow the company. When you need us, we’re here for you.

How we back businesses

Growth investing is our core business, but our funding platform gives us unmatched flexibility to enable us to invest in a variety of ways across the lifecycle of your company.

Early stage

Got a product that fits a market, and need to ramp up your operations? That’s the kind of early stage we invest in.

Growth

For your company’s international expansion and global dominance. Or ‘Series B+’ if you’re feeling secretive about it.

Secondary

We might be buying out your early backers. Or taking on a whole portfolio, from a timed-out fund. Whatever the situation, we look for ambitious tech companies ready to grow.

Follow on

Once we’ve invested, we can stay for the long term, through every stage of growth. We back many businesses through to IPO or exit.

Fund of funds

We don’t do seed funding directly. But we do partner with seed funds across Europe, to support businesses as they scale.

For you

The one thing we don’t do? Boxed-up, one-size-fits-all funding. It’s likely you’ll need different funding styles at different stages – we’re here to make sure you get what you need.

View our portfolio

In numbers

2006

Year founded

$1bn

Equivalent fund size

125

Number of investments since 2006

$5bn

Total value of exits since 2010

20

Average number of deals per year, including follow-on.

27

Size of team