Draper Esprit to list on main markets in London and Dublin

23 Jul 2021

Draper Esprit CEO Martin Davis, co-founder and director Stuart Chapman, and CFO Ben Chapman. Image: Draper Esprit

The move is set to place the £1.4bn-valued VC in the FTSE 250.

Venture capital firm Draper Esprit is set to move its listings to the main markets of the London Stock Exchange and Euronext Dublin.

The company is currently listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Dublin’s Euronext Growth Market, but said the move will make it “the largest purely tech VC listed on London’s main market”.

At its £1.4bn valuation, Draper Esprit would be eligible for entry on the FTSE 250 at the next index review, which is scheduled for September. When the firm was initially listed on the AIM five years ago, its market cap stood at just £120m.

“A move to the main market is a signal of the ambition and potential of Draper Esprit,” Martin Davis, Draper Esprit’s CEO, said.

“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.”

Founded in 2006, the firm’s portfolio of 67 companies includes names like Revolut, N26, Freetrade, Cazoo, Graphcore and UiPath. Draper Esprit investees Trustpilot and Wise themselves recently listed on the main market in London.

Draper Esprit’s 2016 IPO made it the first European VC to be publicly listed. The firm has raised approximately $860m and seen cash realisations of $420m to date. Since its IPO, it has deployed more than $760m into companies.

In June, the firm participated in Aircall’s Series D round. It has also led notable earlier-stage investments in the past few months, including drone delivery start-up Manna and climate risk platform Cervest.

Stuart Chapman, co-founder and director of the company, added: “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 market 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.”

Updated, 12.00pm, 23 July 2020: A previous version of this article stated that the move would place Draper Esprit on the FTSE 250. It was updated to clarify that the firm would be eligible for entry to the FTSE 250 at the next index review.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin