Monday 28 November 2016 3:57 pm

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

Venture capital firm Draper Esprit, the backer of successful startups Lovefilm, Lyst and Graze, defied the EU referendum jitters to float a week before polling day in June; now that appears to have paid off.

It reported pre-tax profits of £26.5m for the six months to the end of September in its maiden interim results as a public company.

The dual Aim and and Enterprise Securities market (ESM) listed firm's portfolio value jumped 36 per cent since its IPO, or 27 per cent not counting new investments.

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Assets under management jumped 11 per cent to £143.3m, which is expected to get a further boost of £25m after taking a minority stake in fund manager Elderstreet Investments.

The firm bagged £39m from exits of three companies – Movidius, Datahug and Qosmos. It also expects to realise a further £6m from the sale of Qosmos to ENEA, a deal announced in October.

It also noted an uplift in the value of Graze, the healthy snack subscription service which is also stocked in supermarkets and is majority-owned by Carlyle Group.

Meanwhile, it's invested £17m in the first six months, including new investments such as Lifesum, Graphcore, Resolver as well as follow-on cash to existing companies it backs.

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"We have continued to experience strong deal-flow and have invested over £17m in the year to date into new and existing technology companies, across the UK and Europe. Our plc portfolio companies now have a combined turnover in excess of $710m, growing nearly 30 per cent on 2015," said chief executive Simon Cook.

“Although it is relatively early in our life as a listed evergreen vehicle, we have shown that we are focussed on putting our patient capital model to work to grow net assets substantially to the benefit of our shareholders and to generate meaningful cash returns over time."

Draper Esprit shares are up 20 per cent on its 300 pence per share IPO offer price.