Draper Esprit becomes Molten Ventures as tech VC heats up

9 Nov 2021

The Molten Ventures team. Image: Molten Ventures

The VC has backed Irish tech start-ups including drone delivery player Manna.

European venture capital firm Draper Esprit is changing its name to Molten Ventures.

The tech-focused VC said this new brand would reflect its ongoing transformation, with fresh investments, a growing team and its recent inclusion in the FTSE 250 index with a £1.6bn market capitalisation.

Molten Ventures’ portfolio includes 67 companies and it has backed European unicorns such as Revolut and Aircall.

The firm invests in tech start-ups from Series A through to IPO or acquisition, as well as in seed venture capital funds.

It recently led a $25m round of funding for Manna, the Irish drone delivery start-up, as well as leading investments in quantum computing outfit Riverlane and climate risk platform Cervest.

“Our rebrand to Molten Ventures is rooted in the team’s long experience of transformation – both our own, and our successful efforts to help our portfolio do the same,” said Martin Davis, CEO of Molten Ventures.

“It encapsulates that moment when VCs give their energy to help companies succeed and indicates what transformation means to us – for our portfolio, for our investors and for our society we make more possible.”

The VC is listed in London and Dublin, and recently moved its listings to the main markets of the London Stock Exchange and Euronext Dublin.

Davis added that it can give a “unique contribution” as a listed VC firm “to identify and fully support the vision of Europe’s most successful companies” while also delivering value to shareholders.

Since going public in 2016, Molten Ventures has raised £600m, deployed more than £700m into companies, and seen cash realisations of £380m. It has grown its own team in that time, from 14 people in 2016 to 52 today.

Nicola McClafferty, a partner at Molten Ventures who heads up the firm’s Dublin office, said the focus is on identifying and supporting “Europe’s most visionary entrepreneurs”.

“We recognise that building the next generation of companies requires flexible, patient and supportive capital and we are uniquely positioned to offer this.”

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Sarah Harford was sub-editor of Silicon Republic