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Draper Esprit floats to become largest tech VC on London's main market

City AM logo City AM 23/07/2021 Amy O'Brien
a man standing in front of a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by City AM

UK venture capital firm Draper Esprit today announced it has made the jump from the AIM to London’s main market, with a market value of £1.4bn – the largest tech-only focused VC on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

The move comes exactly a month after the firm announced its intention to make the leap and splace new ordinary shares at a placing price of 800p each to raise £111m to provide the firm with extra investment firepower for European startups.

Draper Esprit today confirmed it had successfully raised the £111m and now had access to “a much broader pool of investors”, from more institutional investors and wealth managers to increasingly retail investors, who participated in the latest round via retail investment platform PrimaryBid.

It’s the latest boost for European tech companies, which have had a booming year of mega-rounds during the pandemic.

The surge in institutional capital that the listing brings helps level the playing field between Europe and the US, and gives European tech companies the same quality of investments that their US counterparts have enjoyed for years.

Since listing on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) five years ago, Draper Esprit has grown to a market value of approximately £1.4 billion – around 11 times higher than its original listing value of £120m.

Draper Esprit said it has raised £619m and seen cash realisations of over £300m, with £206m in the last full year alone. Since IPO, the firm has deployed £550m into companies and has an annual rate of deployment of around £200m.

The firm counts 67 companies in its portfolio, with a combined value of £984m. Tech heavyweights Trustpilot, Revolut, Ledger, Aircall and Cazoo sit among them.

Its portfolio has almost tripled from its initial size of 24 European tech companies with a combined value of £74.8m.

“Listing Draper Esprit five years ago was a radical and unusual step for a venture capital business. What we knew then, and we can prove now, is that publicly listed venture capital is a powerful force for supporting entrepreneurs on their own long-term journeys to outsized success,” said Stuart Chapman, Co-founder and Director at Draper Esprit.

“For the UK and European tech sectors to prosper, startups need support throughout their growth stages and as they mature into successful businesses. This is exactly what Draper Esprit’s public model can offer because there is always capital on hand to invest,” he added.

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