Successful Irish entrepreneur Nicola McClafferty has joined VC firm Draper Esprit’s Dublin team to help identify future technology investment opportunities.

Nicola who co-founded Covetique in 2011 and in 2012 it received investment from Asos and they subsequently acquired the company in 2015.

Prior to co-founding Covetique, Nicola worked for various investment companies, including almost 3 years as an Associate at top tier Venture Capital firm Balderton Capital (formerly Benchmark Europe)

Draper Esprit IPO’d in 2016, on both the London and Dublin stock exchanges, with backing from The Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and China Huarong Asset Management. Whilst not focussed solely on Ireland (as they invest across Europe) Draper Esprit have various ties to Ireland and a Dublin office.

Draper Esprit Managing Partner Brian Caulfield commented “Nicola has great experience both as an investor and, importantly, as an entrepreneur in her own right, I’m absolutely delighted that she has joined us. We have already experienced much success and the expansion of our Dublin team reflects our commitment to continue to back the best Irish entrepreneurs with patient venture capital to generate future global success stories out of Ireland”

It is great to see the Venture Capital firms with operations in Ireland attracting top Irish entrepreneurial talent, especially with a remit of finding and supporting the next generation of Irish entrepreneurs.

We have seen in the past with the likes of Stripe (cofounded by Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison) it is possible for Irish entrepreneurs to create globally successful tech companies from America however, because of various factors such as talent, infrastructure, and capital, it is challenging for to do the same being based in Ireland.

Given that many Irish entrepreneurs opt to relocate themselves and operations to the San Francisco Bay Area. Hopefully, as the Venture Capital and Startup ecosystem matures we will see Irish Unicorns emerge, scaling their global operations from an Irish HQ.


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