Draper Esprit’s portfolio exceeds €1bn for first time

Dublin-listed venture capital firm benefits from strong performances across portfolio

 

Dublin-listed venture capital firm Draper Esprit has increased the value of its portfolio to over €1 billion for the first time.

Publishing its latest full-year results, the company, which invests in and develops high-growth digital technology businesses, said its gross portfolio value grew to £984 million (€1.1 billion) in the year to the end of March. This was 40 per cent up on the £703 million reported the previous year.

The company reported an after-tax profit of £267 million, up from £40 million. It said it generated “significant cash proceeds” of £206 million from realisations, predominantly generated by the exits from Peak Games, TransferWise and Decibel, and the partial disposals of Trustpilot and UiPath.

It invested £128 million in the year, investing in nine new companies and 18 existing ones.

Investments made during the year included lead positions in earlier stage investments Ravelin, Agora, Riverlane and Focal Point as well as larger, later stage rounds in Cazoo, PrimaryBid, and CoachHub.

“Our financial year and my first full year as CEO demonstrated the strength and flexibility of the Draper Esprit model in market conditions at two extremes,” chief executive Martin Davis said.

“Despite market shock in the first half, our scale and maturity gave us room to focus on the needs of our portfolio companies and structuring ourselves for growth,” Mr Davis said.

“Our close relationship to our portfolio and industry insight enabled us to accelerate into the digital transformation catalysed by the pandemic. Our investment team increased its cadence in the second half, deploying significant funds into existing portfolio companies and new, as intended when we raised equity in October,” he said.