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

 
Lucy White
Draper Esprit is a minority investor in Graze

Listed venture capital firm Draper Esprit, which has backed businesses such as snack producer Graze and fashion marketplace Lyst, announced in interim results this morning that its portfolio value had rocketed.

The numbers

Draper Esprit's gross primary portfolio value – or the value of all its investment holdings, before deductions – was up 44 per cent to £162.8m in the six months ending in September. The fair value, including deductions, grew by 22 per cent.

Its net asset value per share was up 2p to 372p, although profit after tax sank from £33.2m in the previous half to £20.9m.

The company raised additional capital of £100m, and had £92m on its balance sheet at the end of September.

Read more: Graze's private equity owners ready to chomp down on £300m sale

Why it's interesting

Over the six months, Draper Esprit has invested £26.5m from its balance sheet and £12m from its enterprise investment schemes (EISs) and venture capital trusts (VCTs) in three new and six existing portfolio companies.

It has also been building its team, hiring former Eden Ventures managing partner Ben Tomkins.

New and existing shareholders in the company helped Draper Esprit raise £100m, while another £35m was raised across the EIS and VCT funds.

Although the firm's share price climbed 0.31 per cent to 325p, this is still well below its net asset value of 372p per share.

Read more: Graze's venture capital backer Draper Esprit publishes first results since its float showing £33m profit

What Draper Esprit said

“We set ourselves a financial benchmark of achieving 20 per cent year-on-year growth in portfolio value, in line with our historical record, and are consistently achieving this,” said Draper Esprit's chief executive Simon Cook.

“At the half year we have already delivered 22 per cent growth in the portfolio and stand well positioned to deliver over the full year with significant cash balances remaining to deploy.

Importantly, we are retaining the ability to hold and grow our companies for longer than our non-listed competitors can, and with larger sums available for later rounds to maximise the opportunity and build large successful European technology businesses.

“We continue to find exciting new opportunities as technology innovation shows no sign of slowing, and our recent seed funds initiative is helping to forge key relationships at the very earliest stages.”

Read more: VC firm Draper Esprit's IPO at the height of Brexit has paid off with pre-tax profits of £26.5m

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