Draper Esprit raises £160m to support the global ambitions of UK start-ups

London-based backer of Graze and Perkbox plans to invest in Series A, B and C rounds across hardware, healthtech, SaaS and consumer tech

Draper Esprit, the London-based venture capital (VC) firm, has announced the raise of £160m in permanent capital to support the long-term global ambitions of UK and European start-ups.

After going public on AIM last June, in what was thought to be an industry-first for a tech VC, £100m of the finance has been raised from new investors Invesco Perpetual and Hargreave Hale, alongside Woodford Investment Management, Baillie Gifford and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.

The additional £60m was raised via its Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), VCT and secondary co-investment funds.

Founded in 2006, Draper Esprit typically provides between £500,000 and £30m for early and growth stage digital technology businesses across consumer tech, enterprise tech, hardware, and healthcare; alongside networks and management support to accelerate international growth and development.

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

This latest funding will be used for continued investment in Series A, B and C+ stage companies across hardware, healthtech, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and consumer tech, with 70% of the money used for follow-on investments to help businesses scale.

Simon Cook, CEO of Draper Esprit, commented: “Much has been written about the uncertain future that British VC fundraising faces in the wake of Brexit. At Draper Esprit we believe our industry can find new investors and that the UK can continue to play a significant role in leading the wider European VC market.

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“As a permanent capital listed company, dual-listed in the UK and Ireland, we can access public markets by offering a partnership model with investors who wouldn’t otherwise have access to, or the capacity to actively manage, these type of investments; as well as reinvesting our realisations from exits into the next generation of tech businesses each year without the need to raise a new fixed life private fund every five years.”



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