DFJ back in Europe through Esprit !
We were expecting the next move from DFJ as they had been scouting the market for a way back in, organic or otherwise, but I must say I was really taken by surprise by the news that DFJ took an equity stake in Esprit.
DFJ ESprit officially launches today, which explains why Simon kept cancelling lunch ! I have written about Esprit’s market vision and ambition before, which was the result of the merger between Prelude and Cazenove, and led by my sprightly friend Simon Cook.
The press release says DFJ’ partner will join the Esprit investment committee,
I assume that will be Tim Draper led by John Fisher.
The network approach hat DFJ has adopted had a first attempt at Europe with DFJ ePlanet, which yielded some great exits (Baidu, Skype !!) but was hampered by an unstable team. Dennis Atkinson is still active with ePlanet and doing a great job from what I hear. Apparently polymath Morten Lund is a venture partner there as well.
DFJ are clearly buying into an established platform with quality folks, and we can only wish them a repeat of their previous European success. Well done to Simon and the team for this great pairing up, which gives a truly international flavour to a quintessentially Brisith brand.
Also read Nick (better place than me to comment :-)) here