Fintech investor Draper Esprit reports 51 percent uplift in pre-tax profits to £59m

By John Reynolds on Wednesday 27 November 2019

Alternative LendingDigital BankingSavings and Investment

Draper Esprit cited positive trading from Graphcore, Trustpilot and Aircall.

  Fintech investor Draper Esprit reports 51 percent uplift in pre-tax profits to £59m
Image source: Pic of Simon Cook alongside Chairman Karen Slatford and Chief Executive Martin Davis

Draper Esprit, the Dublin-listed venture capital firm which has been an investor in Revolut and Transferwise, has reported a year-on-year jump in pre-tax profits from £39m to £59m in the six months to September 30.

Draper Esprit Chief Investment Officer Simon Cook cited positive trading performances from a number of its investments including tech start-up Graphcore, consumer review website Trustpilot and cloud-based call centre business Aircall, as helping its six-month performance.

The company also cited funding rounds for data analytics company Ravenpack and Pollen, an influencer marketing company, as underpinning its performance.

Simon Cook, Chief Investment Officer at Draper Esprit, said: "We have recorded a strong first six-month performance and our 12 percent fair value increase during the period means that we are on track to deliver our stated 20% annualised portfolio return target." 

"Our half year performance was underpinned by good funding rounds for Ravenpack and Pollen (formerly Verve) alongside positive trading performances at firms including Graphcore, Trustpilot and Aircall, as well as £22.7 million from cash exits, supportive of NAV."

“We have maintained a prudent approach to investment, ensuring that all our portfolio companies meet our strict investment criteria."

“The strength of our balance sheet means that we have retained the necessary firepower to invest in the right businesses at the right valuations.  Furthermore, our portfolio provides us with a natural hedge against the weakness of sterling given that many of our core assets, due to their global reach, trade in Euros and Dollars.

“We continue to see a range of exciting and high growth technology companies across the sectors in which we operate and remain focused on executing our strategy of providing early and growth-stage technology companies with the capital, network, and support they need to pursue their global growth plans. 

“We are now in a better position than ever to capitalise on these opportunities and support companies across all stages of development and are delighted to have announced the addition of Martin Davis as Chief Executive Officer.”

In the six-month period to the end of September, Draper Espirit invested £42m with a further £15m from its Enterprise Investor Scheme (EIS), and Venture Capital Trust (funds) into new and existing companies.

It also invested in five new companies in the period, meaning it is now investing in 57 companies.

Draper Esprit said it remained on course to achieve its financial goal of delivering a portfolio return of 20 percent for the full year.


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