Pomona picks up Draper Esprit VC stake

New York-based Pomona has bought another stake from LGAS as the insurance firm sells off its private equity commitments.

Pomona Capital, the New York-based secondaries firm, has bought another fund stake from Legal & General Assurance Society (LGAS) , this time in a tail-end Draper Esprit venture capital fund.

Pomona bought a stake in Esprit Capital I Fund No 1 through its Pomona Capital VIII fund, according to a UK regulatory filing. The fund, also known as DFJ Esprit I, is a 2000-vintage venture capital and growth equity vehicle that was targeting $393 million, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division.

London-based DFJ Esprit became Draper Fisher Jurvetson’s European arm after the VC firm bought a strategic stake in Esprit Capital Partners in 2007. In July, DFJ Esprit was renamed as Draper Esprit.

Draper Esprit has invested in companies including DisplayLink, which makes products for USB docking stations and monitors, and Graze, which delivers snack boxes

In March 2013, LGAS said it would sell LGV Capital, its private equity arm and the six remaining assets in LGV Capital’s £170 million ($265.9 million; €240.9 million) seventh fund would be sold off.

Pomona Capital declined to comment on the deal. DFJ Esprit wasn’t immediately available to comment.

Pomona’s eighth fund is a dedicated secondaries vehicle that closed at its $1.75 billion hard-cap in 2014 after a year of fundraising. The fund had a net internal rate of return of 43.3 percent and a multiple of 1.4x as of 30 September 2014, according to an investment document by LP Town of Palm Beach Retirement System, an investor in the fund.

Pomona this year bought a stake in a Mithras Capital Partners fund from LGAS, Secondaries Investor reported in July. It wasn’t clear how much Pomona paid for the Draper Esprit stake, which was also purchased in July.