Draper Esprit Announces 43% Increase In Gross Primary Portfolio Value

Draper Espirit (LSE:GROW), an AIM listed venture capital firm backing promising digital technology companies, has announced their results for the end of the year, the 31st of March.

Simon Cook, the CEO Draper Esprit, commented:

“At the time of the IPO in June 2016, we set out to demonstrate our model in a public market setting of investing in high growth private technology start-ups. Through our fast-growing portfolio and a series of successful exits and further investments, we have demonstrated that the public venture capital model is working.Post year end we continued onto the next stage of the strategy by raising an additional £100.0 million equity from our supportive institutional shareholder base. As a wider Group, we have also raised significant co-investment funds through our EIS, VCT and secondary funds, with £60.0 million raised in 2017 to date.

They stated their financial highlights in a release:

  • Gross Primary Portfolio value increased by 43% to £112.7 million as at 31 March 2017 (30 September 2016 £106.9 million, at IPO £78.7 million)
  • Net Assets including goodwill increased by 17% to £150.7 million as at 31 March 2017 (£128.7 million at IPO)
  • NAV per share of 370 pence (as at 31 March 2017)
  • NAV per share, excluding goodwill, of 319 pence (as at 31 March 2017)
  • Profit after tax of £33.2 million

During this year of business, Draper invested in 13 new and 6 existing portfolio companies. As a result, they saw their core portfolio holding grow by 30%. In this time, Draper also added more experience to their team, with six hires across London and Ireland.

Draper was able to raise £160 million across the Group. These funds came primarily from new and existing shareholders, but the EIS and VCT funds and other secondary deals also contributed to it. They were also able to invest £25 million across their group in both new and existing companies, which included, Push Doctor, Perkbox, Graphcore, and Trustpilot.

Cook also stated;

“We invest in companies that build the future. In the year ended 31 March 2017, the Company or co-investment funds managed by the Group invested £43.0 million including £34.0 million in 13 new companies, including Graphcore, LifeSum, PushDoctor, Resolver, Perkbox, Realeyes, Clavis, Clue, RavenPack and Podpoint. The portfolio is diverse: whether they are building a whole new infrastructure for developing Artificial Intelligence applications (Graphcore), the future of tracking female health (Clue) or the infrastructure necessary for electric vehicles (Podpoint), all the companies are united by a strong team and an ability to be global leaders. As we reflect on our maiden set of results, it is clear our model is working and we are growing Net Asset Value substantially to the benefit of our shareholders.”

Draper Esprit has been supportive of the equity crowdfunding space co-investing alongside smaller investors in crowdfunding issuers. Most recently, Draper Esprit jumped in to back PerkBox, a company that had raised capital on Seedrs not too long ago.

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