Draper Esprit is to raise £111 million through a share placing. 

The tech investor, which sees a ‘significant opportunity’ in the post-COVID shift towards digitalisation, also plans to move its listing from the AIM growth market of the London Stock Exchange to the premium main market, with a similar move on the Dublin exchange. 

In addition to the placing, there will be an offer made by the company on the PrimaryBid platform of up to 603,500 new ordinary shares to provide retail investors with an opportunity to participate in the equity fundraise.  

CEO Martin Davis and CFO Ben Wilkinson intend to participate in the placing. 

Draper Esprit has deployed more than £550m of capital and realised over £300m of investments since its IPO in 2016. 

It says European technology companies are typically remaining private for longer, limiting public investment opportunities, while investment round sizes are increasing.  

Some of the best-performing European technology companies, which include examples from the company’s investment portfolio and pipeline, are increasingly accelerating their fundraising cadence to capitalise on the technological and behavioural trends catalysed by the pandemic. 

Draper Esprit anticipates increasing its investment cadence to over £150m per annum. It deployed £96m in the six months to 31 March 2021, and a further £48m since then.  

“The world has changed significantly over the past year and many of the habits formed during the pandemic will determine how the world operates in the future,” said Davis.  

“We believe that technology will transform the way we live and work and with the backing of shareholders, we will be able to accelerate this change by investing in the European entrepreneurs who are building the future. 

“By deploying more capital into our portfolio companies and new investments, taking part in and leading larger rounds and continuing to grow our fund of funds strategy, we will be able to expand our platform even further.  

“We can then reward a wider group of investors who for so long have found it hard to invest in fast-growing privately owned technology companies.”