Tails.com

Tails.com are on a mission to dramatically improve the health and wellbeing of dogs. They use a technology platform and manufacturing set-up to create food tailor-made for individual dogs, using technology which draws on extensive veterinary expertise, and takes into account factors such as age, sex, breed, health, weight, and activity levels. Customers sign up online and receive monthly deliveries of personalised food.

Tails.com was founded by serial entrepreneur Graham Bosher, who previously founded Graze and LOVEFiLM.

With a team that includes alumni from Graze and Innocent Drinks, the company has moved fast in a sector that was long overdue for a change. The company now serves over four million tailor-made meals for dogs every month.

Nestlé acquired Tails.com in April 2018 through its Purina Petcare brand in a substantial cash exit. Draper Esprit EIS was invested in the company since 31st December 2013, and provided board-level support and guidance as its operations scaled.

Graphcore

Graphcore is a machine intelligence semiconductor company who are changing the way that developers can build AI and machine learning applications through its cutting-edge processing capabilities. Its technology has the potential to be indispensable for advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning across diverse industries – from autonomous vehicles to personalised healthcare, intelligent mobile devices and collaborative robots.

The credentials of the CEO and CTO are proven: they previously co-founded another semi-conductor maker, Icera, which later sold to NASDAQ-listed Nvidia for US$360m in 2011.

Draper Esprit EIS participated in a US$30m Series B funding round, alongside other high-profile US VCs and strategic industry investors including Samsung. Leading US VC Sequoia Capital has subsequently invested US$50m.

Graphcore plans to use this capital to bring its intelligent processing system to market this year, and anticipates that it will enable material performance increases of between 10x and 100x for machine learning computation.

Perkbox

Perkbox enables companies of all sizes to incentivise, motivate and attract staff with over 200 perks and benefits, using a a sophisticated and bespoke rewards and recognition platform. Launched in 2015, the company already has over 650,000 paying members ranging from SMEs to large corporations such as British Gas and BUPA.

Perkbox has also now developed a white-labelled platform called “Perkbox for Customers”, which helps businesses acquire, connect, and retain loyal customers. The company has doubled year-on-year and now has over 165 employees. Forbes magazine recently ranked Perkbox as one of Britain’s fastest growing companies.

Draper Esprit invested in the firm in the same year which saw Perkbox achieve revenue growth from £4m to £14m, and it has continued this impressive growth trajectory since.

Sportpursuit

SportPursuit was founded in 2011 as a UK-based sport-specific e-commerce website providing customers access to discounted product from brand partners in the technical sportswear and outdoor clothing and equipment space. SportPursuit has customers in the UK, Australia, Germany, France, and Scandinavia, and aims to be the world’s largest private shopping club for sports enthusiasts. They also boast strong environmentally-friendly credentials – they are the first e-commerce site to package their products in carbon-negative sugarcane mailing bags.

The vision of the leadership team is to use the power of their e-commerce platform, their brand, and the community built around it to realise a significant value opportunity. So far, they have been successful – SportPursuit has grown year-on-year and now has annual revenues of over £20m.

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