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08 Apr 2021 | 09:09

Draper Esprit reports positive momentum through year-end

(Sharecast News) - Venture capital company Draper Esprit said on Thursday that its strong momentum had continued through the end of its financial year on 31 March.

The AIM-traded firm said it had been investing in new portfolio companies across a range of technology applications, as well as several follow-on rounds in existing portfolio companies.

It invested a total of £162m in the year ended 31 March, and had increased the speed of investing, with £96m invested in the second half.

That took the full-year total to £128m, with a further £34m from Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and venture capital trust (VCT) co-investment.

It said its earlybird partnership was delivering "good" uplifts, with series C and D rounds from Aiven and Sennder, respectively.

Realisations for the year totaled more than £200m, with a full recent exit from Decibel by way of a trade sale to Medallia, and the recent partial realisation of Trustpilot adding to first half realisations of £106m.

Draper Esprit said it had a "strong" deal pipeline, with more than £50m of investment committee-approved deals.

"Over the last few months, we have continued with the application of our strategy of accelerating our capital deployment to invest in high growth opportunities in our existing portfolio and to secure exciting new investment opportunities," said chief executive officer Martin Davis.

"In the year ended 31 March we have invested over 40% more than in the prior year, with a notable acceleration even in the second half on the first.

"We continue to be disciplined in our investment criteria and also in managing the balance of the portfolio."

Davis said the recent activity showed the level of opportunity in the European technology sector, making it a "very exciting time" for the company, as reflected by its deal pipeline.

"We have helped 10 unicorns on their growth journeys to date and have confidence that we will see many more."

Draper Esprit said it would provide a full-year trading update on 26 April, and would announce its full-year results on 14 June.

At 0853 BST, shares in Draper Esprit were flat at 815p.
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