Draper Esprit, the FTSE 250 investment house, today rebranded itself as Molten Ventures. The overhaul ends the clear association with Tim Draper, who gave his name to the company after Esprit joined the Draper Venture Network in 2015, a global alliance of independent venture investors. Draper is no longer involved in the day-to-day running of Molten.
Tim Draper is a long-time US venture capitalist who had early success backing Hotmail in the 1990s. More recently he has invested in Skype, Tesla, and Coinbase. He is a frequent guest on US financial TV and a vocal supporter of bitcoin.
More controversially, Draper was also outspoken in his support for Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of blood testing startup Theranos. Draper, who invested in the business, continued to defend Holmes even after she was charged with fraud by US authorities.
Molten Ventures’ rebrand comes after a period of rapid growth for Molten that saw it enter the FTSE 250 in September. It has backed businesses like Trustpilot, Revolut, and Cazoo.
Molten’s growth underlines the success of London’s tech scene over the last half decade.
Co-founder Stuart Chapman said: “We transformed the venture capital model by going public because we couldn’t see how conventional venture capital could really support entrepreneurs for the long term.
“When we founded the company in 2006, little did we realise we would be a FTSE250 company, but we knew that like any business we would need to be willing to transform ourselves to succeed.
“Our new name represents the knowledge that we can only succeed if we help our portfolio companies succeed, and that the transformation of venture capital itself is a necessary part of that success.”
Shares rose 3.6p, or 0.3%, to 996.6p.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article suggest Molten had left the Draper Venture Network. The company remains a member.