DFJ Esprit announces rebrand to Draper Esprit, with Tim Draper set to invest more in Europe after record start to 2015
- Draper Esprit companies have raised over $250m in first half of 2015, including growth rounds in Lyst, Trustpilot, Movidius and new investments including Miura, Fluidic Analytics, and CurrencyFair.
- Tim Draper to work closely with Draper Esprit to become more active in European investments through the Draper Venture Network
LONDON, UK 1st July 2015, 12:01am: One of Silicon Valley’s most famous investors, Tim Draper, is setting his sights on Europe as DFJ Esprit has today announced it is officially rebranding as Draper Esprit along with other members of the global Draper Venture Network, formerly the DFJ Network. This comes as Draper Esprit companies have raised over $250m in first half of 2015, in one of the firm’s most active periods in the 9 years since the venture capital firm was founded.
Draper, the VC who has invested in hundreds of start-ups including Tesla, Baidu and Europe’s own Skype among others, will work closely with the team of nine Esprit partners to find, back and scale the next wave of European unicorns, as the number of European companies reaching a $1bn valuation continues to rise.
“Simon and the Draper Esprit team are one of the most successful VC teams in the Draper Venture Network, outside of the Valley, and the quality and scale of the companies coming out of Europe right now means it’s a very exciting time to be an investor in Europe. I’m looking forward to working closely with the team to back the world’s best entrepreneurs from across Europe,” said Draper.
In recent months Draper Esprit portfolio companies Trustpilot, Lyst, Movidius, Sportpursuit and Horizon Discovery have raised a total of over $230m in new capital to further accelerate their growth and international expansion, supported by the team at Draper Esprit. Trustpilot of Copenhagen is well recognised as the world’s leading source of trusted reviews for internet based businesses. Backed by many leading investors, Lyst is a leading fashion marketplace. In hardware, Dublin based Movidius is one of the most exciting companies in the area of machine vision. In healthcare, Cambridge headquartered AIM listed Horizon Discovery is one of the world’s leaders in personalised medicine.
In addition, Draper Esprit has invested in recent months over $20m in new companies such as Miura, Fluidic Analytics, and CurrencyFair. Oxford based Miura is a leading next generation payment systems company. Fluidic Analytics is a Cambridge-based protein analytics company. Currencyfair, from Dublin, is one of the world’s fastest growing peer-to-peer currency exchange and money transfer businesses.
Draper Esprit founder and CEO Simon Cook said, “For 30 years Tim Draper has expanded the horizons of venture capital and entrepreneurship always focusing on the big ideas and teams that really can change the world. We are excited to continue to lead that mission in Europe alongside Tim.”
Draper Esprit will continue to operate as the exclusive Draper Venture Network partner for high growth companies originating in Western Europe.
About Draper Esprit
Draper Esprit is one of Europe’s most experienced venture capital investors, helping entrepreneurs build ground-breaking technology companies. In recent years, Draper Esprit’s exits have generated more than $4 billion in combined enterprise value. Portfolio companies include Movidius, Conversocial, Datahug, EVE (sold to Synopsys), Graze, Greenpeak, Horizon Discovery (IPO on AIM), Icera (sold to Nvidia), LOVEFiLM (sold to Amazon), Lyst, Oxford Immunotec (IPO on NASDAQ), SportPursuit, The Cloud (sold to BSkyB), and Zeus (sold to Riverbed).
Draper Esprit is the exclusive Western European member of the Silicon Valley-based Draper Venture Network with historic investments including Baidu, Skype, Tesla, and other leading innovators.
Draper Esprit operates a multi-fund strategy with numerous funding sources for primary, angel and secondary deals, creating unique venture and growth capital options for the fastest growing companies in Europe.
About Draper Venture Network
The Draper family represents 4 generations of VCs in Silicon Valley. The Draper brand is premier in the world of venture capital. Tim Draper founded Draper Associates in 1985, which led to funds branded Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), and led the development of a network of US affiliate funds in the 90s, and the expansion globally in 2000 finding companies such as Baidu and Skype. A number of successful regional VCs have joined the network over the last 15 years. In 2013, Tim Draper expanded his venture capital reach with Draper Associates, and also started Draper University, a school for entrepreneurs, and focused on expanding and helping drive the global venture network.
As part of this evolution the now global network is branding as the “Draper Venture Network.” The Draper Venture Network now represents funds in China, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Western Europe as well as several partner funds across the US. Several new VC members will be announced in the coming months.
Draper Associates is based in Silicon Valley and represents the hub of the network. Draper Associates manages family money as well as various funds that are managed under the Draper Associates brand. Tim Draper has ongoing management committee responsibilities with DFJ, but his primary investment vehicle is now Draper Associates. The Draper Network team are based with Draper Associates at Hero City in San Mateo.