Source - RNS
RNS Number : 9460K
Draper Esprit PLC
16 April 2018

Strictly embargoed until 07.00: 16 April 2018


Draper Esprit plc

("Draper Esprit" or "the Company")


Draper Esprit (AIM: GROW, ESM: GRW), a leading venture capital firm investing in high‐growth digital technology businesses, announces an update on trading ahead of its final results for the year ended 31 March 2018.

The Company has had another active year and is seeing strong growth within the portfolio, predominantly driven from revenue growth and from financing rounds and exits at higher valuations being achieved.

As a consequence of this growth and further realisations in the portfolio, the Directors anticipate that the gross primary portfolio* value will have increased to approximately £244m, up 50% from the £163m at 30 September 2017 and more than double the £113m at 31 March 2017. The increase in the value of the gross primary portfolio reflects investments made during the year of £71m (£27m during the six months ended September 2017) and a fair value increase of £51m in the six months ended 31 March 2018 in addition to the £24m increase reported in the six months ended 30 September 2017.

In total the fair value growth in the FY2018 represents a 66% increase in the gross primary portfolio. In addition, the Company continues to achieve a number of successful exits with over £15m in cash realisations made during the period. Notable exits include the sale of Clavis Insight, Aveillant and Moviepilot.


Six months ended 30th September 2017 (unaudited)

Six months ended 31st March 2018 (unaudited)

Year ended 31st March 2018 (unaudited)




Gross Portfolio Value beginning of period












Movement in Fair Value




Gross Portfolio Value at period end




% Change in Gross Portfolio Value




% Change in Fair Value





Portfolio Performance

The increase in fair value in the period has been driven by continued strong performance across the portfolio with notable uplifts in the value of Graphcore, Lyst, Perkbox, Podpoint and Transferwise (acquired as part of the Seedcamp Fund I and II acquisition in the period).

During the second half of the year, the Company made several exciting new and follow-on investments, amounting to £44m, bringing the total investments for the full year to £71m. This investment in the period in high growth technology companies is approximately £90m when investments made by other funds controlled or managed by the wider Group** (EIS and VCT) are included.

Some of the notable new investments made in financial year to 31 March 2018 include:

·      £18m into Ledger, the Paris headquartered cryptocurrency and blockchain security company

·      £18m to acquire Seedcamp Fund I and II, 2007 and 2010 vintage funds which include stakes in high profile growing technology companies including Transferwise (a leading international Fintech money transfer business), Codacy, Edited, Erply, Fishbrain, Codility, Winnow, Codeship and and which provides strong follow-on potential.

·      £12m into IESO Digital Health (online mental health platform), Verve (word-of-mouth sales software), Evonetix (DNA synthesis platform), Kaptivo (SaaS-based digital collaboration solutions for enterprise using computer vision), Droplet (software allowing unmodified applications to run on any device) and Premfina (insure-tech business providing premium finance).

The Company also made further investments to increase its holdings in:

·      Trustpilot, the global online review community.

·      Perkbox, digital employee engagement platform.

·      Podpoint, the UK's leading provider of electric car charging solutions for home, workplace and public charging.

·      Resolver, the customer support and complaints resolution software business.

·      Realeyes, machine learning technology measuring emotions through facial recognition.

Alongside this the Company has continued to expand its fund of fund strategy with further commitments to a number of Europe's top seed funds: Episode 1 (UK), Seedcamp Fund IV (UK), Join Capital (Germany), Icebreaker (Finland). Commitments have also been made to three other funds based in London, Cambridge and Ireland.

The Company continues to be well supported by its diverse investor base and has raised significant funds across all vehicles managed or controlled by the Group. Draper Esprit is executing on its strategy of scaling‐up and increasing its stakes in existing portfolio companies through later rounds. Group cash at the year-end was £56m with a further £50m available to deploy within EIS/VCT co-investment funds.


Simon Cook, CEO Draper Esprit commented:

"Our mission is to help ensure European entrepreneurs have access to significant long-term capital and the partnerships and networks needed to build global technology leaders. We set ourselves a financial benchmark of continuing our 10+ year track record of annualised returns of 20% a year and are consistently achieving and exceeding this. As we continue to grow portfolio value with clear market leaders, and generate meaningful cash returns for our investors we are demonstrating an ability to scale our model at an increased pace.

"This year we have continued to deploy increased capital to add further impressive new portfolio companies to our holdings, such as Ledger, Evonetix and Transferwise and have a strong pipeline of further potential world leading technology companies. Our portfolio is growing and scaling with our hands-on help and global network and, as our results show, we are firmly on track to deliver continued and sustainable growth."


* Gross primary portfolio is the gross value of the Company's investment holdings before deductions for accrued carry and any deferred tax.

** Group - The Company, its subsidiaries and Elderstreet Holdings Limited.

- ends ‐

For further information, please contact:


Draper Esprit plc

Simon Cook (Chief Executive Officer) Ben Wilkinson (Chief Financial Officer)


+44 (0)20 7931 8800


Numis Securities

Nominated Adviser & Joint Broker

Alex Ham Richard Thomas

Jamie Loughborough


+44 (0)20 7260 1000


Goodbody Stockbrokers ESM Adviser & Joint Broker Don Harrington

Charlotte Craigie

Linda Hickey

Richard Tunney


+353 1 667 0420




+44 20 3841 6202



Belvedere Communications (PR)

John West Kim van Beeck


+44 (0)20 3567 0510




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