Draper Esprit acquires two Seedcamp funds including a stake in Transferwise


Listed venture capital firm Draper Esprit, which has backed companies including LoveFilm and Graze, today announced it has acquired Seedcamp's first and second funds for £17.9m.

Seedcamp funds 1 and 2, which include a stake in fintech unicorn Transferwise, were last valued at a total of £23.5m. Against the purchase price, this will give Draper Esprit a £5.6m boost.

Other notable companies in the Seedcamp portfolios include computer code review platform Codacy, fishing social network app Fishbrain and smart kitchen technology business Winnow.

Read more: Transferwise founders set to sell first shares as forex firm is confirmed as fintech unicorn

“We are thrilled to help our Seedcamp companies scale to the next level with the support and firepower of Draper Esprit. As the Seedcamp team continue to manage Funds 1 and 2, Draper is the perfect partner to help us manage these businesses moving forward,” said Seedcamp co-founder and managing partner Reshma Sohoni.

Draper Esprit will continue to invest in the portfolio to help it grow, and Seedcamp's team will remain managers of the funds working with the new owners.

Already the two funds, raised in 2007 and 2010 respectively, have returned more than four times invested capital to their underlying investors.

Seedcamp still other funds are unaffected, and Draper Esprit itself has recently invested in its fourth fund as part of the firm's new seed fund-of-funds initiative.

Read more: Graze backer Draper Esprit boosts its portfolio value by 44 per cent

Being listed, which is rare for a venture capital firm, Draper Esprit aims to offer investors a looser alternative model to the traditional fund which would generally spend five accumulating a portfolio of companies and five years growing them before selling their stakes.

“Although principally a primary series A, B and C venture capital growth investor, we have also been very active over the years as a secondary tech investor in Europe having acquired a number of well-known venture capital portfolios and increasingly taking large direct stakes in later stage companies,” said Draper Esprit's chief executive Simon Cook.

“Together with our recently announced seed fund-of-funds strategy, we can offer long term patient capital solutions for all European tech companies and their investors outside of the constraints of a typical five-plus-five year fund.”

Read more: Draper Esprit will put up to £75m in leading tech seed funds, starting with Transferwise backer Seedcamp and Zoopla investor Episode1

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