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Draper Esprit PLC (GROW)


Wednesday 29 July, 2020

Draper Esprit PLC

Investment and exit update

RNS Number : 3953U
Draper Esprit PLC
29 July 2020

Draper Esprit plc


("Draper Esprit", "the Group" or the "Company")


Investment and exit update


· Disposal of holding in TransferWise for ~£18m as part of a secondary share sale at increased fair value

· Fair value uplift of ~£12m as a result of UiPath Series E funding round

· Led $20 million Series C investment in Ravelin


Draper Esprit (LSE: GROW, Euronext Growth: GRW), a leading venture capital firm investing in and developing high growth digital technology businesses, today provides an update on recent developments in its portfolio.



Draper Esprit notes today's announcement from TransferWise, the international money transfer platform, of its successful $319 million secondary share sale at a $5 billion valuation, a 43% uplift since its May 2019 secondary share sale at a $3.5 billion valuation.


TransferWise launched in 2011 and is now one of the world's fastest growing payment firms. Today, over eight million people use TransferWise which processes over £4 billion in cross-border payments every month, saving customers over £1 billion a year in bank fees.


Draper Esprit has sold its remaining holding in TransferWise as part of today's transaction, for a total cash return of approximately £18 million ($22 million), above the £15 million fair value held in the year end March 2020 accounts. In total, Draper Esprit generated £33 million across two realisations from its investment in TransferWise.


Draper Esprit originally acquired a stake in TransferWise as part of the acquisition of Seedcamp Funds I and II, for £18 million in October 2017. Cash realisations to date from Seedcamp I and II total approximately £37 million with approximately £5 million of remaining fair value.



On 13 July 2020, UiPath announced the completion of its Series E investment round, raising $225 million at a post-money valuation of $10.2 billion. The round was led by Alkeon Capital Management, with participation from a range of funds including Sequoia Capital and Tencent alongside funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.


UiPath provides a comprehensive robotic software solution for IT-based process automation of legacy processes and is one of the fastest-growing enterprise software companies in the world. Proceeds of the fundraising will be used for R&D to support future growth.


Draper Esprit originally acquired its holding in UiPath in January 2019 through the acquisition of interests in Earlybird Digital East Fund I.


Draper Esprit's fair value holding in UiPath has increased by approximately £12 million as a result of the fundraising to approximately £40 million.



Draper Esprit led the recent $20m Series C investment round into Ravelin; a fraud detection company. Ravelin has pioneered the use of machine learning and graph network technologies to help online businesses accept more payments with confidence.


Ravelin's early growth was focused on securing transactions for large-scale food and cab-ride marketplaces. The company has since expanded into travel, ticketing, entertainment, gaming, gambling, and retail.


Martin Davis, Chief Executive Officer of Draper Esprit, commented:


"TransferWise is a fintech leader that has scaled rapidly and radically reshaped the forex industry, whilst UiPath continues to build on its leading position in the fast-growing process automation sector. Well before COVID-19, these companies were already global leaders in their fields and, as the global economy slowly emerges from crisis mode, companies like TransferWise and UiPath and others in our portfolio are well placed to benefit from the significant changes in the way we work.


"The TransferWise disposal highlights our focus on active management in the portfolio and is also an excellent example of a successful secondary transaction that has enabled us to generate a healthy return on our initial investment in a relatively short space of time. UiPath's latest fundraise reaffirms the huge opportunity offered by our strategy of investing in high growth private tech companies, as well as the quality of the companies within the Earlybird Digital East Fund we acquired in January 2019. The TransferWise transaction and Ui Path funding round provide a further demonstration of value accretion in excess of fair value holdings.


"Importantly, we continue our essential mission of identifying and supporting the next generation of great technology companies. To that end, we are delighted to have led the latest investment round in Ravelin, a company with an excellent team and world-class technology, serving a critical market need. We look forward to working with them."





Draper Esprit plc

Martin Davis (Chief Executive Officer)

Ben Wilkinson (Chief Financial Officer)

+44 (0)20 7931 8800

Numis Securities

Nominated Adviser & Joint Broker

Richard Thomas

Jamie Loughborough

+44 (0)20 7260 1000

Goodbody Stockbrokers

Euronext Growth Adviser & Joint Broker

Don Harrington

Charlotte Craigie

Dearbhla Gallagher

+44 (0) 20 3841 6202


Public relations

James White

Elly Williamson

Jessica Hodgson

+44 (0)20 7250 1446


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