Cazenove and Prelude become Esprit

Cazenove Private Equity (CPE) and Prelude Ventures have merged to create a new venture capital entity, Esprit Capital Partners. Deals from the two firms closed in the past three months have raised a total of $142m from 10 transactions.

Esprit has around $500m of investments in over 40 private and newly floated companies built up over the last ten years. Esprit will continue to invest through Prelude Trust plc and through the CPE Limited Partnership funds it manages. The partnership has offices in London and Cambridge and the combined team brings together considerable experience of investing in Europe and Silicon Valley.

Since the merger, the team has been active in making new and follow-on investments throughout Europe, The Netherlands, France and the UK in rounds ranging from $2m to $35m.

Simon Cook, CEO of newly-launched Esprit, said: The continued pace of our investment activities since the merger was announced indicate how attractive to growing technology companies and their advisers the combination of Prelude’s early-stage investment skills and Cazenove’s later-stage expertise is to entrepreneurial management teams. We have launched our new company with the name Esprit and I am confident the brand will soon become recognised as one of Europe’s leading venture managers.”