Molten Ventures, formerly Draper Esprit, has seen a 27 per cent jump in its portfolio value to £1.35bn in the last six months, the London-listed tech venture capital firm said this morning.
In its first interim results since floating on London’s main market in July, the firm said the value of its tech investments had grown £366m in the six months to the 30 September, or 27 per cent.
This was a significant acceleration when compared to the ten per cent portfolio growth it recorded in the same period a year earlier, as was the growth in profit after tax, which reached £218m in the six month period, up from £54m in the first half last year.
Venture capital investments in the UK have reached an all-time high this year, as has competition between firms to get on the cap tables of the most innovative startups, as winning sectors like fintech and life sciences offer investors hope of powering the post-Covid economy.
The FTSE 250 firm invested £165m throughout the first half, ahead of expectations, which it said was attributable to a “higher level of follow-on opportunities in the existing portfolio” and repeatedly leading rounds in primary investments.
It also committed to twelve new seed funds via its seed funds programme, bringing its overall seed portfolio to 47 funds, as the firm looked to enter investments sooner.
Molten Ventures CEO Martin Davis remarked on the market’s “buoyant” conditions during the period, and said that the firm’s increased investment cadence was “due to an acceleration of rounds for some of our existing companies, but also through new investments, taking larger stakes and, crucially, leading rounds.”
Cash proceeds from realisations during the period reached £67m, mainly thanks to the firm’s exits from outdoor wear firm SportPursuit, software company Conversocial, and fintech PremFina, belated returns from previous exits, and its selling down of some shares in publicly-listed investments Trustpilot and UiPath.
Since the end of the period, the firm said it had already invested £36.6m, including an investment in Satellite Vu, a British start-up using satellite technology to determine valuable insights into economic activity, energy efficiency and carbon footprint.
Looking ahead, Davis said the firm is sufficiently diversified to counter any market volatility that may arise, and said the firm anticipated full-year portfolio growth to be in the region of 35 per cent, “subject to wider market conditions.”
Last month, the firm rebranded from its legacy name Draper Esprit to Molten Ventures, which it said reflected its ambitions to scale, and its “ongoing transformation” through investment stages, as well as its summer listing on the FTSE250.