Draper Esprit – executive interview

Published on 2 February 2021

Draper Esprit is Europe’s leading pureplay listed venture capital (VC) firm, investing c £120m annually in high-growth European start-ups at Series A+ in the UK and Europe, across four broad technology sectors: consumer, enterprise, hardware and deeptech, and digital health and wellness.

In addition to its investments, Draper Esprit has realised over £200m of exits since listing. Recent exits have included Peak Games, PodPoint and TransferWise, yet the portfolio still includes late-stage companies ready to drive future NAV appreciation, such as Graphcore, UiPath, Revolut and Trustpilot. As has been demonstrated this week by UiPath (valued at US$35bn, 3x uplift), major funding rounds and exits can move the share price materially.

As a rapidly scaling leader in the technology sector, Draper Esprit targets a 20% annual return on its portfolio and has delivered a 15.1% FY16–FY20 NAV per share CAGR.

In this interview to accompany our initiation report Draper Esprit’s CEO, Martin Davis, discusses the European VC market, the opportunity that the European tech sector offers to investors as it follows the lead of the US market, what this means for Draper Esprit and its portfolio of investments and how management is looking to develop and scale the business over the next few years. We also discuss where valuations in the tech sector might be headed and touch on the latent value in Draper Esprit’s portfolio.

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