Draper Esprit raises €102m from IPO on the ESM

Draper Esprit plc, the venture capital investor involved in the creation, funding and development of high-growth technology businesses has raised €102m from its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on both the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) and the London Stock Exchange.

Founded in 2006, Draper Esprit focuses on long term investment (patient capital) in digital technologies and has invested over US$1 billion in more than 200 businesses in the UK, Ireland and throughout Europe. To date it has created businesses with a total aggregate value of over US$8 billion with an exited value of over US$6 billion. Its current investment portfolio spans 22 countries. 

Key investors in Draper Esprit include the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, UK-based investment managers Woodford Investment Management and Baillie Gifford, and China Huarong International Holdings Limited.

It began trading today on the ISE’s Enterprise Securities Market with a market capitalisation of €161m.

Brian Caulfield, Managing Director, Draper Esprit rings the bell at the IPO of Draper Esprit on the Irish Stock Exchange watched by Orla O'Gorman Head of Equity

Brian Caulfield, Managing Director, Draper Esprit, rings the bell at the ISE with Orla O'Gorman, Head of Equity, ISE

On their admission, Deirdre Somers, ISE Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to welcome a highly ambitious company like Draper Esprit, which in turn backs Europe’s most ambitious entrepreneurs in the digital and technology sectors, to the Enterprise Securities Market. It is exciting to see technology-focused companies return to capital markets to raise international funds. We wish the company every success as a publicly-quoted company.”

Simon Cook, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Ireland has a long and proud history of producing world leading entrepreneurs as well as some of the best digital technology companies to emerge in Europe and onto the global stage.  Today represents a significant milestone of change for the European venture capital industry as we bring patient capital to the Irish and London Stock Exchanges.

“Our IPO enables us to invest for longer in our emerging companies and build bigger stakes, capturing more value for shareholders. It also further democratises funding for entrepreneurs, as the listings now enable everyone to participate in the growth of VC backed companies.

“This permanent capital model is ideally suited to a listed vehicle and we are grateful for the support this approach has received from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.  We aim to work together to secure the next generation of Irish technology success stories and value creation.”

Draper Esprit is the 14th new company to list on the ISE since 2013. It will trade on the ESM using the ticker GRW.