Draper Esprit (AIM: GROW, ESM: GRW), a leading venture capital firm involved in the creation, funding and development of high-growth digital technology businesses announces the appointment of Irish online entrepreneur and venture capital investor, Nicola McClafferty.

Nicola will join Brian Caulfield in the Company’s Dublin office to focus on identifying and investing in the next generation of Irish tech success stories.

Most recently, Nicola was CEO of Covetique.com, a leading online retailer of pre-owned luxury fashion, offering women a hassle-free way of selling on the designer items from their wardrobe. She co-founded the company in 2011 and in 2012 Covetique received investment from ASOS plc, the UKs largest online fashion retailer, who subsequently acquired the company in 2015.

Born in Ireland, Nicola graduated from University College Dublin, with a first class honours degree in International Commerce and French.  After moving to London, she joined leading investment bank Jefferies International where she worked as an Analyst in the Technology team with a focus on consumer internet and digital media.  Nicola left to begin a successful career in Venture Capital, investing in and developing early-stage technology and media start-ups, first with Balderton Capital and latterly with Ravensbeck.

Nicola wants to empower the next generation of founders and has been a mentor on the Enterprise Ireland Retailer Ready programme and in 2014 she was shortlisted for the Female Entrepreneur of the Year award at the GP Bullhound Investor Allstars. She has also frequently been a speaker at events including Google Campus, London College of Fashion’s Digital Fashion Conference, London Women’s Forum and Dublin’s Archipelago.

Her appointment forms part of Draper’s plans to build an executive team to support their growth internationally and particularly their focus and commitment to Ireland, given its importance as a leading location in the technology sector, and its growing importance as a global tech hub.

Brian Caulfield, Managing Partner, Draper Esprit PLC in Dublin, commented:

“Nicola has great experience both as an investor and importantly as an entrepreneur in her own right. I’m absolutely delighted that she has joined us.  We have already experienced much success and the expansion of our Dublin team reflects our commitment to continue to back the best Irish entrepreneurs with patient venture capital to generate future global success stories out of Ireland.”

Nicola McClafferty added:

“Draper Esprit has been redefining the venture capital industry and having been both an investor and an entrepreneur the benefits of their patient capital model really appealed to me.  I look forward to working with Brian and the wider team to help to create more Irish technology success stories.”