Draper Esprit maintains portfolio value of more than £700m

30 Nov 2020217 Views

Image: © Tierney/Stock.adobe.com

Venture capital firm Draper Esprit has announced its interim results for the six-month period up to the end of September.

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dublin and London-listed venture capital firm Draper Esprit’s portfolio value was £702m as of 30 September, compared with £703m at the end of March.

In its interim results for the six-month period up to the end of September, the firm reported a 10pc growth in gross portfolio fair value, even after significant cash realisations of £106m. Net assets increased by 8pc to £715m compared to £660m at the end of March.

Draper Esprit said the realisations were predominantly generated by the recent Peak Games and TransferWise deals, as well as escrows and partial disposals.

In July 2020, the firm sold its remaining stake in TransferWise for around £18m, having first acquired a stake in the company in October 2017. In that same month, Draper Esprit said it received around £39m after Zynga acquired Peak Games, a business in which the venture capital firm had invested.

Draper Esprit CEO Martin Davis said the firm’s investment process continues to deliver despite the challenges of the pandemic.

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“We have also made significant progress in building the model which allows us to scale our delivery, support our talented partners to identify and nurture even more of the best opportunities in European technology,” he said.

“We look forward to building on our strong first-half performance with the goal of rewarding our investors further for their support.”

The effects of Covid-19

In September, the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) published a report highlighting how the Covid-19 pandemic impacted venture capital investment in Ireland.

According to the report, IVCA saw the highest levels of investment in Irish start-ups on record, with €363.8m invested between April and June 2020, up 58pc on the same period last year.

However, the report also highlighted a shortage of funding for early-stage start-ups, echoing an earlier report from Tech Ireland. At the time, Draper Esprit venture partner Brian Caulfield warned that it was “a difficult time” for companies without existing deep-pocket investors.

“In this environment, strong Government intervention to ensure capital is available in the market is essential,” he said.

Jenny Darmody is the deputy editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com