London, 6 April 2021: The Company today announces that after fifteen years, Simon Cook will retire from Draper Esprit on 6th April 2021, and will, accordingly, step down as manager of his various portfolio companies and the investment committee of Draper Esprit.
Simon founded Draper Esprit in 2006 with Stuart Chapman and was CEO from inception through the IPO in 2016 until the end of 2019. Since then he has acted as Chief Investment Officer and Founding Partner. He resigned from the board of the PLC in July 2020.
Simon was most recently responsible for managing Trustpilot until their £1.1bn IPO this month, and also the Company’s investments in Freetrade, Cazoo and Ledger. He was also responsible for developing the strategic partnership with Earlybird which included the Company’s successful investments in UI Path, Aiven and Peak Games amongst others.
Simon Cook said “Having led the firm as CEO from its founding times, it has been an honour to help the Company grow through the £120m IPO to its current market capitalisation of over £1.2bn, delivering 20%+ returns to our investors and significant cash returns throughout that time, working with some of Europe’s most ambitious entrepreneurs, and opening up Silicon Valley style investing for public market investors. The Draper Esprit team has the depth of capital now and the robust processes, market position and investment philosophy to continue to deliver exceptional returns from high growth private technology businesses in Europe. I wish them every success in continuing our proven strategy in the future.”
Simon will be relocating to the west coast of North America and will continue to act as an informal advisor to the Company on technology and venture capital trends.
Karen Slatford, chair of Draper Esprit, said: "Simon has brought something unique and special to the venture capital space and to Draper Esprit. The strength of our portfolio is testament to his foresight and investing skill. He will be missed, however we wish him well in this exciting next chapter of his life and are pleased he will continue to assist us as we build the leading venture capital business in Europe”.