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Draper Esprit Annual Results FY2019

Author: Simon Cook

Posted on

Draper Esprit (LSE: GROW, Euronext Growth: GRW), a leading venture capital firm investing in and developing high growth digital technology businesses, today announces its final results for the year ended 31 March 2019.

Financial highlights

·      Gross Primary Portfolio value has grown by 144% to £594.0 million (2018: 116% increase to £243.5 million) with fair value increase since the start of the year of 58%

·      £16.0 million in cash generated via 2 exits, with an additional £15.3 million realised post-period end - have now exited 18 companies since 2016 IPO, realising over £81.6 million in cash

·      Profit after tax increased 83% to £111.2 million (2018: £60.9 million)

·      Invested £226.4 million by plc including £106.2 million invested into Earlybird fund acquisitions and strategic partnership, and a further £35.1 million by EIS/ VCT

·      Capital raised by plc of £215.0 million in the financial year and a further £64.0 million across EIS and VCT funds

·      Net Assets, including goodwill, increased by 106% to £618.6 million (2018: £300.5 million)

·      NAV per share, of 524.0 pence (2018: 416.0 pence), increased by 26%

·      Cash for future investment over £150.0 million including over £50.0 million plc cash, £50.0 million new EIS/VCT cash and new undrawn Revolving Credit Facility ("RCF") of £50.0 million which provides additional financing flexibility 

Operational highlights

·      Investments in 21 new companies (including 9 new portfolio company investments via Earlybird partnership) and follow on investments in 12 existing portfolio companies*

·      Core Portfolio Holdings increased in value by 143% to £415.3 million (2018: £171.1 million)

·      Strategic partnership with Earlybird Digital West to share dealflow, investment resources and expertise

·      £5.3 million invested in seed funds (further commitments of £24.0 million in 13 new seed funds invested over 5 years) into 150 companies averaging £30,000 seed investment in each, enhancing future dealflow as the best companies will seek further growth capital

Post FY End Highlights

·      £15.3 million gross proceeds realised from the partial realisation of Transferwise

·      Entered into a credit agreement for a £50.0 million RCF with Silicon Valley Bank and Investec providing additional funding flexibility

*Reporting threshold - companies with a NAV of £1.0 million or more.

Simon Cook, CEO at Draper Esprit, commented:

"The twelve months ended 31 March 2019 were a transformational period for the business which saw us undertake two successful fundraisings for the plc, invest £226.4 million in high growth tech firms across Europe (as well as a further £35.1 million from EIS/VCT), strengthen our dealflow across Europe with our strategic partnership with Earlybird, realise significant cash from exits and, once again, exceed our core strategic aim of delivering a portfolio return of 20% per annum with an annual return of 58% on opening portfolio value. 

As a result, we have cemented our standing as one of Europe's largest VCs, delivering growth and scale across our portfolio, as well as in our own business, which will continue to drive long-term, sustainable returns for our shareholders giving them access to high growth private technology companies through a listed company.

We have started the new financial year well and, while we are maintaining our customary discipline with regards to new investments, we continue to see exciting opportunities to work with attractive businesses, providing early and growth-stage technology companies with the capital, international networks, and hands-on support they need in order to achieve their global growth ambitions."

Availability of Annual Report and Notice of AGM

The Annual Report and Accounts for the financial year ended 31 March 2019 and notice of the Annual General Meeting ("AGM") of Draper Esprit will be available today on Draper Esprit's website at