DFJ Esprit nears first close for second EIS fund


pound_sterling_170sqBritish venture capital firm DFJ Esprit is reportedly set to close its second EIS Angel Co-Investment fund on up to £10m.

DFJE intends for the  fund to help angels invest as syndicate partners alongside the firm’s institutional funds, including the $90m latest vehicle, TechCrunch said.

The fund operates under the UK government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme, which offers tax breaks for investments of up to £1m in UK and UK-owned businesses.

The fund is approaching a first close of £5m, which is already 80 per cent subscribed. The final range expected at between £5m and £10m with the fund targeting exits of over $100m.

The firm raised £5m for first such fund, which was oversubscribed. Its portfolio businesses include Achica, Unbound, Lyst, Datahug and Aveillant with investments in Horizon Discovery, Sport Pursuit and another company expected to follow soon.

DFJ’s previous investments included LOVEFiLM and Kiala, which were sold to Amazon and UPS respectively and Nimbus, which it exited to Tibco.

DFJ partner and manager of the fund Richard Marsh noted that the investing scheme offered by the firm offers angel investors to participate in later stages beyond seed.

He said, It looks and acts and has the deal flow and scale of a full scale VC fund, and gives access into top tier VC deals to angel investors and has 10-20x scale compared with what EIS alone has had in the past.

We believe this fund is setting new horizons for what can be achieved with EIS.

Late last year DFJ sold Redkite Financial Markets to Nasdaq-listed NICE Systems after holding the business for only a year and inked its fourth deal in Ireland in 2012 by leading a €2.5m Series A financing round for Datahug.

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