Draper Esprit plc has been admitted to the London and Dublin Stock Exchanges with the stock tickers GROW.L and GRW.I raising an initial £102m of capital.
In a post, the firm explained the move by referring to “Permanent Capital”, money they can invest over and over again in generations of startups, and not limited to a typical 5+5 year LP fund. In Europe, where there are different capital markets in comparison with the US, this allows them to build bigger stakes as companies remain private for longer periods with no pressure to show returns to LPs and sell out after a few years. In addition, Draper Esprit aims to democratize funding for entrepreneurs allowing a wider community to invest via an IPO. Finally, the firm aims to create a vision for a firm that will be in the market in 20 years’ time or longer, without limitating its life span to the success of a given fund.
To start, Draper Esprit has transferred its existing portfolio company investments (including Trustpilot, Graze, Movidius, Sportpursuit, Conversocial and Lyst, among others) on to its balance sheet.
The firm will continue to invest £500k to £30m+ in series A, B, C and beyond rounds 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.
The team includes investing partners Simon Cook, Stuart Chapman, Brian Caulfield, Jonathan Sibilia, Olav Ostin, Richard Marsh and David Tate as well as venture partners Vishal Gulati, Alan Duncan, Mikko Suonenlahti, Sven Lung, and David Cummings.