Gowling WLG advises Draper Esprit on its strategic partnership with Earlybird Digital West

26 July 2018

Gowling WLG has advised Draper Esprit, one of the most active venture capital firms in Europe, on its strategic partnership with German tech investor Earlybird Digital West. Earlybird is also one of Europe's most active venture capital partnerships, managing over one billion Euros.

Highlights of the agreement include AIM quoted Draper Esprit taking a significant stake in Earlybird's new Digital West Early Stage fund VI, investing an initial £16m and a further £15m a year until 2022. The deal will see the two groups sharing deal flow and resources to co-invest in high growth technology companies across Europe..

Draper Esprit's market cap has grown to in excess of £500m since its AIM and ESM flotation in June 2016 and the transaction creates one of the most active venture capital partnerships in Europe deploying up to €200m a year in Seed, Series A, B and C technology companies.

Kris Rogers, a partner in Gowling WLG's corporate team, led and advised Draper Esprit on the deal with support from senior associate Emily Troubridge, and Andreas Woelfle, partner and head of corporate at Gowling WLG in Germany.

"With Draper Esprit's strong footing in tech investment in the UK, Republic and Ireland and wider Europe, and Earlybird's standing in continental Europe, the deal creates an impressive partnership to invest in Europe's most innovative companies" said Kris.

"We were delighted to advise Draper Esprit on the transaction, demonstrating our strong corporate and tech credentials in the UK, Germany and across Europe."

Gowling WLG is recognised for its leading position in the AIM market and investment funds. The firm acts for AIM companies and advises issuers, investment management houses and the investment banks and brokers that advise them. It brings together experts in tax, corporate, finance, regulatory and dispute resolution to provide a full legal service to its clients.

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