Newly named Molten Ventures hits hot streak on backing Covid winners

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Recently London-listed venture capital firm Molten Ventures, formerly Draper Esprit, has seen its investments in fast-growing pandemic winners such as online car retailer Kazoo and fintech Revolt Pay Off.

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The firm, which has a market cap of approximately £1.3 billion and a portfolio of more than 17 companies that span from climate tech to cloud computing, saw the value of its portfolio increase by 27% in the six months to September 30.

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Its portfolio value stood at £1.35 billion at the end of the period, up from £984 million on March 31, following a period of rapid growth that entered the FTSE 250 in September.

Molten took in £67 million in cash withdrawals over the period, and chief executive Martin Davies told Standard that the fund expects growth of around 35% for the full year as of March 31.

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Riser in half includes Revolut, Trustpilot and a new investment — cloud payment processing firm Form3.

Davis highlighted the competition currently being seen in the European VC scene and the “huge growth over the past 12 months”, adding: “A broader trend we are seeing is more capital being deployed from the US to Europe in general.” has been

“European [VC] The way the US market developed five-seven years ago, the market is moving ahead a lot. The opportunity for US funds in Europe is clear, and we are seeing a lot of US capital coming here as a result.”

Analysts at Librem said the firm has a “strong outlook” for asset price growth, and noted that its 19% price increase in half is “ahead of the S&P 500”.

Molten completed an equity raise of £107.7 million in half, and by the end of the period it had £156 million in cash and total available liquidity of £221 million. Davis also pointed to the firm’s leading investment round in this period, adding that the fund is “sufficiently diversified to counter volatility”.

He said: “Except any setbacks [from Covid or public markets]… the European enterprise system is in exceptionally good shape over the next few years. This is something not many people like – it has delivered better returns than almost any other asset class over the past five years. It has outpaced US enterprise, it has outpaced US private equity.”

Shares of the firm rose 5.1%, or 45p, to 920p this morning on the update.

This came as Motorway, another online used car marketplace, joined the ranks of Britain’s “unicorns” – startups valued at over $1 billion – on securing a $190 million funding round.

This London-based company allows people to appraise their car, find the highest price they can get from dealers, and collect it within a single day.

Motorway CEO Tom Leiths said the latest round will help it “grow even faster”.


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