VC giant Draper Esprit raises £100m with IPO in Dublin and London

15 Jun 2016

Brian Caulfield from Draper Esprit, the venture capital firm that raised £100m on its first day's trading after making an IPO in London and Dublin

In a rare move for a venture capital company, Draper Esprit, headed in Ireland by Brian Caulfield, has made an initial public offering (IPO) on stock exchanges in Dublin and London.

Draper Esprit today (15 June) made a dual listing under the GROW symbol on the London AIM market and Ireland’s Enterprise Securities Market (ESM) with an initial price of £3, which raised more than £100m on its first day’s trading.

The Dublin and London-based company has a portfolio of 24 companies and is valued at just over £74m.

Draper Esprit is the venture capital firm behind start-ups in Europe such as LoveFilm while its $9bn Silicon Valley parent DFJ, headed by top venture capitalist Tim Draper, has also invested in Skype, Hotmail, Overture, Baidu, Tesla and Twitter.

Key investors in Draper Esprit include the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, UK investment companies Baillie Gifford and Woodford Investment Management, and Chinese fund China Huarong Asset Management.

In Ireland, Draper Esprit is headed by Brian Caulfield, who is also chairman of the Irish Venture Capital Association. At Draper Esprit, Caulfield has led investments in firms like Movidius and Datahug.


Caulfield is an accomplished tech founder in his own right. He worked in a number of indigenous financial technology companies, including Peregrine Systems and Trintech.

He sold Exceptis Technologies, an electronic payments company, to Trintech in November 2000 for $26m. Six years later, he sold Similarity Systems, a data quality company, to IT giant Informatica Corporation for $55m in cash.

Caulfield also served as interim CEO of Belfast mobile cloud firm Aepona. Intel acquired that company for $120m in 2013.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years