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DFJ Esprit to launch SEIS and EIS Angel Co-Investment Fund, providing access to private investors

22 Mar 2012

Following UK Budget support for venture capital and angel investing, DFJ Esprit announces its plans to launch a Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Angel Co-Investment Fund to enable individuals to invest alongside VC funds

London, 22 March 2012 – DFJ Esprit, a top-tier European venture capital (VC) firm, today announces its plans to launch an Angel Co-Investment Fund.  The innovative move means that business angels, entrepreneurs and qualifying individuals will be able to invest in funds managed by DFJ Esprit, alongside its institutional funds.

Yesterday’s changes to the UK Budget bring the EIS and SEIS schemes closely into line with the traditional VC model, and enable VCs to work cohesively with individual investors. This will increase the availability of growth capital to the fastest growing and most promising European start-ups.

Simon Cook, CEO, DFJ Esprit said, “We welcome the positive announcements in yesterday’s Budget, which allow us to offer a formal programme for business angels, working closely with them to accelerate the growth of the most promising start-ups in the UK and Europe. Following extremely positive feedback from entrepreneurs and investors, DFJ Esprit plans a short fund raising period, and already has a pipeline of deals which will close from April 2012 onwards.”

DFJ Esprit has over US$ 1.1 billion of institutional funds under management, chiefly focused on European high growth companies. Significantly, DFJ Esprit portfolio companies achieved four of the top five largest European VC M&A exits in 2010 and 2011. Some of the group’s most notable investments include Lovefilm, Icera, Apatech, KVS, CSR, Zeus, the Cloud, Phyworks and Digital Route.

Richard Marsh, partner at DFJ Esprit, will manage the Angel Co-investment Fund, and is himself an experienced EIS investor. He commented, “Our Angel Co-Investment Fund is a unique product which provides private investors access to top tier venture capital deals, whose compelling returns were previously exclusive to the institutional investor community. In addition, private investors benefit from substantial tax reliefs in these deals. For the UK Government, this will mean more capital going into the target policy areas of innovation and growth, which is precisely what EIS and SEIS aim to achieve.”

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