European VC firm Draper Esprit raises over £100m from IPO

The tech investment fund behind LOVEFiLM, graze and Lyst is thought to be the first of its kind to list on AIM

European venture capital (VC) fund Draper Esprit raised an initial £102m after floating on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Dublin Stock Exchange yesterday.

Its decision to make its initial public offering (IPO) is said to be an industry-first – becoming the only tech VC to list on London’s junior market.

Founded in 2006, Draper Esprit – an offshoot of Tim Draper’s Silicon Valley fund DFJ – backs early-stage and fast-growth disruptive tech businesses and typically invests between £500,000 to £30m in Series A, B, and C rounds.

It has a portfolio of over 70 companies, which includes LOVEFiLM, graze, Lyst, and; the dog food subscription start-up that featured among the UK’s top 100 new businesses for 2016.

In a recent blog post discussing its decision to IPO, Draper Esprit’s Paul Darlison said:

“Why IPO a venture firm? Like the entrepreneurs we support, we have always seen the world a little differently and believe that, just because there’s a way it’s always been done, it doesn’t always have to be that way.

“We hope you will join us in our next evolution as we transform our VC model in Europe, and accompany us for many years to come as a publicly listed company. Our mission is simple: the right amount of capital as you need it, for as long as you need it, from whoever wants to invest in you at any stage.”




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