We are pleased to announce that Nicola McClafferty and Vinoth Jayakumar have joined the Draper Esprit leadership team as Partners.
“Nicola and Vinoth have added an enormous amount of value to the Draper Esprit bench since joining. Both have invaluable depth of sector knowledge, alongside valuable experience as, respectively, an entrepreneur and an angel investor.” Martin Davis, CEO of Draper Esprit
Please see the press release below for further information.
London, 2 April 2020 - Draper Esprit, a leading venture capital firm investing in and developing high growth digital technology businesses, is pleased to announce the promotion of Investment Directors Nicola McClafferty and Vinoth Jayakumar to Partners with immediate effect, strengthening the leadership team.
Nicola has significant venture capital and industry expertise. She joined Draper Esprit in 2017, and leads the consumer practice, with a focus on consumer and B2B Saas. Nicola sits on the Boards of portfolio companies Lyst and Pollen, and led the company’s investments in Roomex, Sweepr and Decibel. She also serves as a Director on the Global Board of Draper Venture Network and heads up the Dublin office.
Before joining Draper Esprit, Nicola cofounded and led online retailer, Covetique, which was later sold to ASOS plc. She previously spent five years as a venture capital investor with Balderton Capital and media consultancy Ravensbeck, focusing on early stage technology and media investments. Nicola started her career as an investment banker in the technology team of Jefferies International in London.
Nicola serves as a Board Director of state-backed NDRC, Irelands largest technology accelerator. She graduated from University College Dublin with a BComm in International Business and French.
Vinoth joined Draper Esprit in 2016. He leads the Fintech practice and sits on the boards of Thought Machine, Form3, PremFina, Perkbox and ICEYE. He also co-led the company’s investment into Revolut, where he is a board observer. Prior to joining the company, Vinoth worked at a boutique management consulting firm in London and previously ran a micro-angel fund, investing in crowdfunded start-ups. Vinoth is a Chartered Accountant and a graduate of the London School of Economics.
The promotions of Nicola and Vinoth significantly strengthen Draper Esprit’s leadership team and enhance the investment committee. Draper Esprit recognises that the most important investment is in people and these appointments support the company’s continued leadership expansion and growth across Europe, while further deepening the sector focus.
Martin Davis, CEO of Draper Esprit, said: “Nicola and Vinoth have added an enormous amount of value to the Draper Esprit bench since joining. Both have invaluable depth of sector knowledge, alongside valuable experience as, respectively, an entrepreneur and an angel investor.
“At such a challenging time for the venture capital industry, people with their expertise, experience and network have never been more critical to our future success, and its important at this moment to have people in our senior team who understand the challenges which innovative start-ups are facing now. We’re delighted that they are to become partners in the business and are excited to have both of them on our journey to become Europe’s pre-eminent venture capital investor.”
Nicola McClafferty said: “Draper Esprit has a long track record of successfully supporting European entrepreneurs and understand the needs and challenges of helping these teams and businesses scale. It continues to be an exciting time to be investing in European technology businesses and our patient capital model positions us as a long-term investment partner. I have really enjoyed bringing my experience as both an investor and an entrepreneur to bear when working with our portfolio, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the team and our current and future entrepreneur partners.”
Vinoth Jayakumar added: “This is a pivotal moment for the financial technology sector. The transformations which our portfolio companies are driving will shape the finance industry for years to come. At Draper Esprit we have been building a deep thesis in the future of financial services, covering how we interact with our money on a day to day basis, all the way through to the infrastructure software behind banks. It’s a great privilege to be able to continue to back entrepreneurs who are shaping the future of finance.”
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, UiPath, Transferwise, and Graphcore. For more information please visit: www.draperesprit.com