Monday 23 September 2019

Draper Esprit experiencing 'strong progress' across its portfolio

Simon Cook is CEO of Draper Esprit
Simon Cook is CEO of Draper Esprit
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Dublin-listed Draper Esprit has experienced "strong progress" across its portfolio in the four months to-date.

Describing the 12 months to 31 March 2019 as “transformational” for the company, ahead of its AGM today Draper Esprit’s chairman, Karen Slatford, said the group has continued to build on its positive momentum since the start of April.

Over the past four months the venture capital group has invested £22m (€24.5m) across six portfolio companies and a further £6.5m (€7.2m) from its enterprise investor scheme (EIS) and venture capital trust (VCT) funds.

This includes a further investment of €7m alongside Earlybird Digital West into Berlin-headquartered digital banking company N26 as part of its recently announced $170m (152m) round.

This latest funding round will enable the neobank to launch into the United States market.

The company also invested a further £2.2m (€2.5m) into machine learning business Realeyes, which measures emotions through facial recognition technology, and €2.5m in Aiven, a cloud technology company developing a portfolio of database-as-a-service products, alongside Earlybird Digital West.

“The European venture capital market is maturing and companies are seeing increased opportunities to gain access to larger pools of capital as they seek to stay private for longer, but more needs to be done in order to ensure that Europe can compete on an international level with the US, China and other markets,” Ms Slatford said.

“Our disciplined approach to investing, the growth and scale within our portfolio and our business continue enabling us to play a role of continuing significance in the development of the European venture capital market, while delivering long-term, sustainable returns for our shareholders,” she added.

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