Transferwise backer Draper Esprit sees its value soar amid new blockchain investments and climbing company valuations

 
Lucy White
The Draper Esprit team recently invested in bitcoin security business Ledger (Source: Draper Esprit)

Tech-focused venture capital firm Draper Esprit announced this morning that the value of its portfolio has more than doubled over the past year, to £244m.

The firm, which has invested in businesses such as customer review site Trustpilot and indirectly backs fintech "unicorn" Transferwise, put the increase down to £71m of new investments and a £75m boost in the "fair value" of its existing investments.

Companies such as Graphcore, Lyst, Perkbox, Podpoint and Transferwise, which Draper Esprit grabbed when it acquired Seedcamp's first two funds, performed well and accounted for much of the increase in value, the firm said.

Read more: LoveFilm backer Draper Esprit acquires two Seedcamp funds including a stake in Transferwise

"As we continue to grow portfolio value with clear market leaders, and generate meaningful cash returns for our investors, we are demonstrating an ability to scale our model at an increased pace," said Draper Esprit's chief executive Simon Cook.

"Our portfolio is growing and scaling with our hands-on help and global network and, as our results show, we are firmly on track to deliver continued and sustainable growth."

Draper Esprit also made a number of interesting investments over the year, such as ploughing £18m into cryptocurrency and blockchain security company Ledger and £12m into online mental health platform IESO Digital Health.

Read more: Venture capital firm Draper Esprit just boosted its share price by investing in a bitcoin cryptocurrency startup

It also raked in the cash selling businesses such as e-commerce data firm Clavis Insight, radar startup Aveillant and film magazine Moviepilot.

Analysts were impressed, with Ken Rumph at Jefferies joking that Draper Esprit was "only supposed to blow the doors off". Numis analyst Nick James added the return on investments was "very impressive".

After the fair value of the portfolio increased 21 per cent in the first half of the year, Rumph said he had expected this to be more modest in the second half. Yet the fair value growth actually accelerated to 31 per cent, leaving the gross portfolio value 11 per cent above estimates at £244m.

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

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