DFJ Esprit has strengthened its ties with a global network of investors which includes the Silicon Valley venture capital firm that backed Hotmail, Skype, Box, Twitter and Tesla Motors. Simon Cook, managing partner of London-based DFJ Esprit, will join the board of the DFJ Global Network, based in Silicon Valley which was founded by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, one of Silicon Valley’s leading investors.
DFJ Esprit has strengthened its ties with a global network of investors which includes the Silicon Valley venture capital firm that backed Hotmail, Skype, Box, Twitter and Tesla Motors, providing a significant vote of confidence in British and European tech start-ups.
Simon Cook, managing partner of London-based DFJ Esprit, will join the board of the DFJ Global Network, based in Silicon Valley which was founded by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, one of Silicon Valley’s leading investors.
Following its recent spin-out, the DFJ Global Network is now a self-governed organisation of 16 independent venture funds – including Draper Fisher Jurvetson and DFJ Esprit – which cooperate on investment diligence, market intelligence, corporate relationships and co-investments. In total, the network has 30 offices and $7bn in funds under management around the globe.
The appointment reflects the continuing interest in the European start-up scene from overseas investors, including major US funds.
Mr Cook said: “DFJ has always been an innovator. The firm was the first to use the network model and apply it to venture capital (VC), and the network board is the next evolution of the DFJ Network globally. I’m delighted to join the board and to strengthen our relationship with Silicon Valley and all of the DFJ Network.”
In addition, Mr Cook said “What many European companies want is an investor who can provide the stepping stone to US and beyond, whether for future fund raising, market entry, or for exit. DFJ Esprit is committed to this”.
Bill Bryant, a venture partner with DFJ in Silicon Valley, has been seconded for a year to the London office of DFJ Esprit to further strengthen the relationship between Europe and the Valley.
Bill Bryant said: “There is a wealth of activity taking place in the European entrepreneurial and VC scene and I am excited to be hosted by DFJ Esprit for what promises to be an educational stay. I’m looking forward to meeting Europe’s best start-ups and founders.”
Tim Draper, founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, added: “We are thrilled to be working with DFJ Esprit, the premier venture capital firm in Europe. They are great investors and fun to work with.”
DFJ Esprit will continue to operate as the exclusive European partner for the DFJ Global Network. It will also remain branded DFJ Esprit across its primary and secondary VC activities.
DFJ Esprit’s portfolio includes companies founded by the pioneers of some of today’s most ubiquitous technologies – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and LCD – as well as online companies including ACHICA, Graze and LOVEFiLM (which was acquired by Amazon).
The DFJ Global Network started in 1990. All members raise their own capital and manage their investment decisions independently.
About Simon Cook
Simon Cook has been involved in the European Venture Capital industry since 1995. He co-founded DFJ Esprit in 2006 by merging Cazenove Private Equity with Prelude Ventures. A year later he negotiated the partnership with Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and in 2009 acquired the European VC portfolio from 3i plc.
Simon has been involved with a number of Europe’s most successful technology start-ups and leading IPOs His past board roles include successful companies such as Lovefilm (Amazon), Cambridge Silicon Radio (IPO LSE), Virata (IPO Nasdaq), nCipher (IPO LSE) and KVS
(Symantec). Simon currently serves on the boards of Neul Limited and Graze.
About DFJ Esprit
DFJ Esprit is one of Europe’s most experienced venture capital investors, helping entrepreneurs to build ground-breaking technology companies. In the last three years, DFJ Esprit’s exits have generated more than $2.3bn in combined enterprise value.
Portfolio companies include Achica, Apatech (sold to Baxter Healthcare), Conversocial, Datahug, EVE (sold to Synopsys), Graze, Greenpeak, Horizon Discovery, Icera (sold to Nvidia), LOVEFiLM (sold to Amazon), Lyst, Neul, SportPursuit, StrikeAd, The Cloud (sold to BSkyB), ZBD Displays and Zeus (sold to Riverbed).
DFJ Esprit is the exclusive European member of the Silicon Valley-based DFJ Global Network with 30 offices around the world, $7bn in funds under management, and portfolio companies including Baidu,
Box, Skype, Space X, Tesla, and Yammer and other leading companies.
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