Veterans of the venture capital (VC) industry, Simon Cook and Stuart Chapman had been investing in high-potential technology companies for several decades. But they wanted to be able to invest for longer in these emerging companies than the traditional ten-year VC fund structure allowed.
And they wanted to be able to build bigger stakes as many of these companies remained private for longer periods. “The pressure to show returns in Europe continues to force funds to sell out early after just a few years. The best global technology businesses take much longer to build to their maximum potential,” says Chapman.
The answer lay in taking their VC firm Draper Esprit onto the public markets. In a publicly listed structure, their portfolio companies could be supported until they were ready to float themselves. Draper Esprit joined a number of other “patient capital” investors in being able to provide long term permanent capital to technology companies.
“The listing has definitely helped us,” says Chapman, now Draper Esprit’s chief operating officer. “We can go longer with the entrepreneurs who can create truly world class companies and build an environment in Europe in which we increase the likelihood of winners.”