A London venture capital firm held an unusual IPO and made over £100 million

Draper EspritSimon Cook, chief executive and cofounder of Draper Esprit,

Venture capital firm Draper Esprit raised over £100 million in a rare VC stock market listing on Wednesday.

The London-based company, which has invested in healthy snack food startup Graze and fashion website Lyst, raised a total of £103 million across two stock markets: The London Stock Exchange and The Irish Stock Exchange.

Shares were issued at 300 pence each and climbed to highs of 312 pence. They were trading at 306 pence each at market close on Thursday.

Draper said it plans to use the proceeds of the listing to provide development and expansion capital to companies in its existing investment portfolio.

The move is unusual given that VCs typically raise money through a limited partnership (LP) model, where the LPs entrust the VCs to put their money into growing technology companies that will significantly increase in value over time.

Simon Cook, chief executive and cofounder of Draper Esprit, said in a statement:

Our motivation for evolving our Venture Capital business model was twofold. Firstly, we wanted to be able to invest for longer in our emerging companies and to be able to build bigger stakes as companies remained private for longer periods, capturing more value for shareholders. Secondly, we wanted to further democratise funding for entrepreneurs.

Traditionally the Limited Partnership model in Europe has restricted who can invest in venture capital backed companies and many growing technology companies are not accessible to institutions or public investors until they go public. Now everyone can participate in the growth of VC backed companies from their earliest stages through series A and B to their success in the later stages up to and including their IPO.

Draper said it has been involved in investing over $1 billion (£705 million) into more than 200 technology businesses and has been linked to businesses with a total aggregate value of over $8 billion (£5.6 billion), with an exited value of over $6 billion (£4.2 billion).

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