Draper Esprit’s portfolio expected to exceed €1 billion

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

Dublin-listed venture capital firm Draper Esprit is expected to report a portfolio value of “not less” than £955 million (€1.1bn) when it publishes its full-year results for 2021 in June.

In a trading update published on Monday, the company, which invests in and develops high-growth digital technology businesses, said its gross portfolio value is expected to be not less than £330 million, or 47 per cent, over the year, reflecting a “strong performance across the breadth of the portfolio”. This compares with an increase of £59 million for the same period in 2020.

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.

Draper Esprit realised £206 million in the year ended March 31st 2021 from full exits from Peak Games, TransferWise, and Decibel, and partial disposals of holdings in UiPath and Trustpilot. This compares with £40 million a year prior. It had available cash at year-end of £161 million. Net asset value is expected to be not less than 728 pence.

Pointing to the "exceptionally strong" market for tech company investments since the pandemic, Martin Davis, chief executive, said that Draper Esprit's "impressive" fair value increase reflects that, as well as its ability to identify companies with potential for high growth.

“It is gratifying to see the results of our long-term investments continuing to be demonstrated by portfolio value and realisations. We have been able to maximise our realisations and, alongside our capital raise, have been able to reinvest them into the next generation of opportunities,” he said, adding that the investment company is looking forward to “strengthening the portfolio further to enable us to outperform throughout the cycle.”

Looking to the year ahead, Draper Esprit said it will continue to scale the group, and has a pipeline of over £50 million of deals approved by the investment committee, and a further qualified near-term pipeline of over £75 million.

The group’s final results for the year ended March 31st 2020 will be published on June 14th.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times