Scaleup programmes

Back to programmes


Draper Esprit [Annual Review 2020]

Finance and Risk Capital

Impact for scaleups


Companies backed


Follow-on investment


Investment outside of London


Growth-stage investments

Key sectors

Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Building & Construction Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Creative, digital, film, games & media Professional services Defence & security Technology & Communications Engineering / Advanced Engineering Transport & Logistics Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink Healthcare

Draper Esprit invests in seed, venture and growth-stage companies based in Europe.

The firm makes between ten to 20 new investments annually, including follow-on. Its investment approach is ‘incremental’, investing small amounts early while reserving more capital for later stage rounds. Notable scaleups which it has supported include Graphcore, Ravelin, PrimaryBid, IESO Digital Health, POD Point and PushDoctor.

Founded in 2006, the fund invests throughout Europe, with offices in London, Dublin and Cambridge. It invests in four sectors: consumer technology, enterprise technology, hardware and electronics, and digital health and wellness. Its core vision is to take a long term view on any investment and provide the capital to enable firms to reach their full potential. As a listed VC firm, it says that it is “free from five-year fund cycles;” and in October 2020 it raised £110m on the public markets: the capital will be deployed across a combination of larger investment rounds, follow-on opportunities and new dealflow, typically Series A and beyond. 

The firm has a strategic partnership with Earlybird Digital West to share resources, talent, and dealflow opportunities, particularly in the German speaking market. The firm’s network of partners in Asia, the US, and the Middle East helps its portfolio companies to internationalise with commercial connections and funding. The firm says it has increased dialogue with its portfolio companies and provides operational support and advice, particularly in relation to accessing various elements of the Government’s financial assistance packages.

Draper Esprit [Annual Review 2020] website