Sunday 4 December 2016

State-backed Draper Esprit pumps €3.7m into health firm

Published 19/07/2016 | 02:30

Brian Caulfield, Draper Esprit partner, rings the bell at the June IPO on the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE), watched by Orla O’Gorman, head of equity, ISE. Photo: Chris Bellew/Fennells
Brian Caulfield, Draper Esprit partner, rings the bell at the June IPO on the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE), watched by Orla O’Gorman, head of equity, ISE. Photo: Chris Bellew/Fennells

Venture capital firm Draper Esprit, which is backed by the Government through the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, has announced its first investment since floating on the stock exchange last month.

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The company has pumped £3.1m (€3.7m) into Stockholm-based digital health business Lifesum with Draper Esprit venture partner Vishal Gulati joining the Lifesum board.

The tech firm has become one of Europe's fastest growing health apps with over 15 million users. Lifesum looks to engage users to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle and work towards fitness goals. The investment comes after Lifesum closed a $10m Series B funding round with the money earmarked to fund international growth.

Draper Esprit chief executive Simon Cook said the company is eyeing up investment into high-quality management teams with innovative digital technology.

"Scandinavia has produced many great digital success stories such as Spotify and the team at Lifesum has created a very powerful platform," Mr Cook said.

Lifesum chief executive Henrik Torstensson said the investment will accelerate the firm's ambitions to make the app a global product. "The support from our new partners, as leading tech investors, and experienced digital healthcare and wellbeing investors, will help us to meet our product development targets, while facilitating the continued growth of our European and US user bases," Mr Torstensson said.

Draper Esprit - where Irish serial entrepreneur Brian Caulfield is a partner - completed its initial public offering (IPO) in June on the Dublin and London stock exchanges.

The investment fund had originally planned an IPO before Christmas but shelved the plans due to uncertainty in the markets. Among its other investments are Dublin-based healthy snack firm Graze and Dublin-based chipmaker Movidius.

"Our day job will remain as it has been for the last 10 years: helping to build global companies starting in Europe but with potential in the US, Asia and globally, with the aim to create global across consumer, enterprise, hardware and digital health," the company said at the time of its IPO.

Lifesum was developed to help users form healthy habits and maintain them through prompts and monitoring. The app also looks to improve users' happiness.

Irish Independent

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