Draper Esprit to invest $100m into seed stage tech start-ups over next five years

The European venture capital firm will first invest in the latest funds of UK seed fund platforms Seedcamp and Episode 1 Ventures

Draper Esprit, the venture capital (VC) firm, has announced it plans to invest $100m worth of seed funding into European tech start-ups over the next five years.

Targeting “high growth digital technology businesses”,the VC has committed to invest in the latest funds of UK seed fund platforms Seedcamp and Episode 1 Ventures – having previously invested in leading crowdfunding sites Crowdcube and Seedrs.

Founded back in 2006, Draper Esprit usually injects between £500,000 and £30m into early and growth stage businesses across consumer tech, enterprise tech, hardware, and healthcare; alongside networks and management support to accelerate international growth and development.

Just last June, the London-based backer raised £160m in permanent capital to invest in tech start-ups at Series A, B and C stage.

Currently holding around £500m of assets under management, the VC has previously and has backed the likes of Startups 100 companies Graze and Perkbox, as well as video GP service PushDoctor and complaints platform Resolver.

Back in June 2016, its decision to make its initial public offering (IPO) was said to be an industry-first – becoming the only tech VC to list on London’s junior market, while it also floated on the Dublin Stock Exchange.

Simon Cook, CEO of Draper Esprit, said:

“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.”