Gowling WLG advises Draper Esprit on oversubscribed £100 million fundraise and c.£71 million secondary acquisitions

12 February 2019

International law firm Gowling WLG has advised leading venture capital firm Draper Esprit on its £100 million fundraise by way of a conditional placing of new shares. The placing was oversubscribed.

Draper Esprit will primarily use the funds to acquire stakes in two separate funds and as a result will acquire underlying holdings in 19 companies which will be added to its portfolio.

The AIM-listed digital tech investor is one of the leading venture capital companies involved in the creation, funding and development of disruptive high-growth technology business in Europe.

Gowling WLG Corporate partner Kris Rogers led on the deal, with support from a cross-border team of senior associate Emily Troubridge, associates Tom Smith and Kat McGriskin, trainee solicitor Helena David, and Andreas Woelfle, head of Corporate/M&A in Germany.

Kris said: "We're thrilled to have been able to advise Draper Esprit on its latest fundraising and resultant secondary acquisitions, further developing the strategic partnership with Earlybird to strengthen the pipeline for future investment in European technology.

"Draper Esprit is proven in the development of tech businesses across the continent and the fundraise will further strengthen the company's investment in innovative companies, boosting Europe's potential as a tech powerhouse."

Gowling WLG has advised Draper Esprit since its AIM and ESM admission in June 2016. Since floating two years ago, Draper Esprit has funded 25 new businesses and grown its portfolio valuation by more than 200 per cent.

The law firm is recognised for its leading position in the AIM market and investment funds, acting 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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Ben Griffiths Senior Corporate Communications Executive Birmingham