London Stock Exchange welcomes Draper Esprit plc to the Main Market

Draper Esprit, a leading venture capital firm investing in and developing high growth digital technology businesses, today announces that it has moved its listings from London’s AIM and Dublin’s Euronext Growth Market to their respective main market partners. Its shares will today begin trading on the Premium Segment of London’s Main Market with a secondary listing on Euronext Dublin. 

The company has undertaken admission to the Main Market to raise its global profile, extend its shareholder base to a wider group of institutional investors, enable further scaling and a greater cadence of investment, and enable it to support its portfolio companies through their own growth journeys.

The move takes place just five years since Draper Esprit first listed its shares on AIM and the then ESM (since renamed the Euronext Growth Market). The company then described the motivation for its IPO as to be able to back its emerging companies for longer, to be able to build bigger stakes as companies remained private for longer periods, capturing more value for shareholders, and to further democratise funding for entrepreneurs. In all of these areas, Draper Esprit’s listing has proven successful. 

A number of the companies in Draper Esprit’s portfolio when it listed in 2016 are still in the portfolio today, including Trustpilot, which IPO’d onto London’s Main Market in March this year. Today, Draper Esprit has a market cap of around £1.4bn, a more than eleven-fold increase from its listing value of just over £120 million. Draper Esprit’s broad shareholder register demonstrates the store investors set by gaining access to the companies building the future.

The initial portfolio set out in the AIM Admission Document totalled 24 European technology companies at a valuation of £74.8 million compared with 67 in today’s portfolio, including high profile, later stage names such as UiPath, Graphcore, Revolut, Cazoo, Ledger and Aircall. The 67 companies in the portfolio at the end of the last financial year had a valuation of £984 million and are targeting growth of 20% through the cycle. The infrastructure for future growth is also firmly in place, including a seed fund of funds programme built up over recent years composed of 42 funds.

The company’s unique listed evergreen venture capital model has enabled a significant contribution to the growing strength of European venture capital according to several key industry metrics. Draper Esprit has raised £619m (~$860m) and seen cash realisations of over £300 million (~$420m) with £206m (~$290m) in the last full year. Since IPO, Draper Esprit has deployed over £550m (~$760m) into companies, with a current annual rate of deployment of about £200m ($270m). Its fundraising and deployment figures place Draper Esprit in the top tier of all VCs active in Europe, including private VCs, but unlike private VC models, Draper Esprit’s model enables the company to reinvest realisations rather than distribute them to LPs as is standard with traditional private VCs. This ensures more of Europe’s best startups can raise funding and allows Draper Esprit to invest annually across cycles.

Investors in the company now include a far wider range than at IPO, from leading blue-chip institutions, through wealth managers to, increasingly, retail investors including by participation in a recent fundraising using PrimaryBid. Moving to the Main Market has the potential for even more investors to benefit by exposure to Draper Esprit’s growth, for example through pension funds and in time, index trackers.

Martin Davis, CEO of Draper Esprit, commented:
“A move to the Main Market is a signal of the ambition and potential of Draper Esprit. As we invest in and support the visionaries who invent the future, this next step will enable us to offer an even wider range of investors around the world access to high-growth, privately owned technology companies. The last five years on London’s AIM and Euronext Growth in Dublin have demonstrated our potential as an investment and an investor, as we have grown to become one of the most active venture capital firms in Europe. As we look to the future on the Main Market, we plan to support many more of Europe’s best entrepreneurs whatever the investment size, because the long term combination of capital and commitment that we offer is what will help them achieve their incredible potential.”

Stuart Chapman, Director at Draper Esprit, commented: 
"Listing Draper Esprit five years ago was a radical and unusual step for a venture capital business. What we knew then, and we can prove now, is that publicly listed venture capital is a powerful force for supporting entrepreneurs on their own long-term journeys to outsized success. We are delighted that we’ve been able to demonstrate what is possible when investors in public markets share in the success of the next generation of globally significant tech businesses. Moving to the Main Market will enable us to make more possible."

Quick facts

Market: Main Market
Instrument market cap (£m)
Listing/Admission to trading
15 Jun 2016
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