Thursday 12 December 2019

Draper Esprit completes IPO

Brian Caulfield, head of Irish Venture Capital Association.
Brian Caulfield, head of Irish Venture Capital Association.

Draper Esprit, the venture capital firm whose Irish arm is headed by investor Brian Caulfield, has successfully launched on the Dublin and London stock markets, raising €102m.

The fund's investments include Graze, which delivers healthy snacks, and Dublin-based chip maker Movidius.

Draper Esprit is seeking exposure to early stage companies "which combine technology and service provision, are able to generate strong margins through significant intellectual property or strong barriers to entry and are scalable and require relatively modest capital investment".

It had explored an IPO prior to Christmas but shelved the plans amid turbulence in the markets.

Investors in Draper Esprit include the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund as well as China Huarong Asset Management.

Mr Caulfield is also the chairman of the Irish Venture Capital Association.

Draper Esprit said that it will continue to invest £500,000 to £30m-plus in funding rounds in Europe.

"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," according to the company.

The firm has also appointed new board members to the plc, including Karen Slatford, Richard Pelly, and Graham Cook.

Draper Esprit was advised by Numis, Goodbody and Zeus.

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