Draper Esprit lists in London and Dublin

The venture capital firm plans to use almost £30m of proceeds raised in the IPO to make primary and secondaries investments.

Draper Esprit has listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market and the Irish Stock Exchange’s Enterprise Securities exchange, the firm said on Wednesday.

The venture capital firm, which manages two venture capital secondaries funds through its Draper Esprit Secondaries business, raised about £103 million ($146 million; €103 million) of initial capital through the listing, according to a statement.

“Traditionally the limited partnership model in Europe has restricted who can invest in venture capital backed companies and many growing technology companies are not accessible to institutions or public investors until they go public,” Simon Cook, Draper Esprit’s chief executive and co-founder, said.

“Now everyone can participate in the growth of VC-backed companies from their earliest stages through Series A and B to their success in the later stages up to and including their IPO.”

Draper Esprit manages five secondaries funds including three legacy vehicles that are in run-off mode, according to a document accompanying the IPO. The firm’s secondaries unit currently manages two funds, one of which held a close last December, though it was not clear how much it had raised.

A spokesman for Draper Esprit did not return a request for comment by press time.

In June 2015, the firm rebranded to Draper Esprit from DFJ Esprit, as part of American venture capital investor Tim Draper’s plans to increase investments in Europe. Draper founded Draper Fisher Jurvetson in 1985, and Draper Esprit is part of the Draper Venture Network, an organisation of 16 independent venture funds operating on four continents, according to the firm’s website.

Draper Esprit Secondaries, which is managed by David Tate and Olav Ostin, has previously raised six VC secondaries funds in Europe with €215 million in total and has acquired a portfolio of technology assets from firms including Vivendi, Siemens and WestLB, according to the IPO document.

The firm said it plans to use £29 million of the proceeds raised in the IPO to make further primary and secondaries investments and to provide working capital to support its growth plans.