London’s publicly-listed VC firm Draper Esprit (AIM: GROW, Euronext Growth: GRW) has announced its intention to raise £111 million via a placing of 13,299,278 Ordinary Shares (Placing Shares) and 603,500 Ordinary Shares (PrimaryBid Shares). The PrimaryBid Offer is conditional on the Placing, but the Placing is not conditional on the PrimaryBid Offer.
While Draper Esprit is opening the doors to retail, i.e. non-institutional investors with the PrimaryBid (a Draper Esprit portfolio company) offer, the raise is a signal of an overall intention to move the VC firm off the junior markets, and up to the big boys league, the coveted FTSE-100. With that said, Draper Esprit's current market cap would place them in the FTSE-250. Not too shabby by any measurement.
Founded in 2016 by Simon Cook and Stuart Chapman, Draper Esprit became the first publicly listed European VC firm in June 2016. Coming off a healthy year that saw profits clock in at £206 million, Draper Esprit is forecasting a bullish year ahead, namely due to the pandemic and strong advances in the tech industry as a whole.
"The world has changed significantly over the past year and many of the habits formed during the pandemic will determine how the world operates in the future. We believe that technology will transform the way we live and work and with the backing of shareholders, we will be able to accelerate this change by investing in the European entrepreneurs who are building the future,” comments CEO Martin Davis. "By deploying more capital into our portfolio companies and new investments, taking part in and leading larger rounds, and continuing to grow our fund of funds strategy, we will be able to expand our platform even further. We can then reward a wider group of investors who for so long have found it hard to invest in fast-growing privately-owned technology companies."