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Tech investor Draper Esprit sees portfolio surge on stakes in Cazoo and other big winners

Jim Armitage
·1-min read
 (©Tom Stockill)
(©Tom Stockill)

Tech-hunting venture capitalist Draper Esprit today said the value of its investments had surged nearly a third in the past year after big rises in the value of its investments, which range from Cazoo to PrimaryHub.

The company, which specialises in finding technology companies to back in their early stages, said it had made £206 million from selling its investments in Peak Games, TransferWise and Decibel, as well as partially exiting from Trustpilot, which floated on the London Stock Exchange recently.

The value of its portfolio measured by net asset value per share, is expected to jump from 555p a year ago to 728p, the company said in a trading snapshot of the year to 31 March.

Draper Esprit raised £107 million in October to fuel its warchest to invest and it said it had more than £50 million of deals approved and ready to go with a further £75 million in the near term.

It invested in Cazoo, PrimaryBid and CoachHub during the period. Cazoo is now in the process of merging into a US Spac valuing the group at $7 billion.

Other deals have included follow-on investments in Graphcore, the super-fast chip designer.

Chief executive Martin Davis said: “The market for tech company investments has been exceptionally strong since the pandemic, highlighting the importance of technology to many aspects of our future. Our impressive fair value increase reflects that, as well as the ability of our partners to identify companies with potential for high growth.

“The nature of venture capital means that investments must be made throughout the cycle. Today’s strong returns are partly down to investments made when things were less buoyant.”

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