London Brief #40

Simon Cooks fills the Brexit financial gap, a new Unicorn, broken marketplace for used cars and business as usual. Read more in this issue…


A hero of the week is Simon Cook, CEO at Draper Esprit — a company which has already backed crowdfunding platforms Seedrs and Crowdcube. He is now investing in Seedcamp and Episode 1 Ventures. Draper Esprit will also spend £100m on direct investment in the companies (and it has just invested in Verve, see the Business as usual section).

Mr Cook’s bold move comes as a small relief after a group of VCs anonymously told Politico they had been notified that the financial support from the EIF would cease. According to Mr Cook, the EIF is behind about one-third of all the UK tech investments.

Anthony Jenkins, a founder of 10x Future Technologies and a former CEO of Barclays, is long on Bitcoin. Learn why from this interview in Quartz.

In the news

Uber saga continues as the company appealed a London regulator’s decision to revoke the car service’s license, seeking more settlement talks.

If you were thinking about forgetting Uber and buying a used car, your options are now limited. Carspring has apparently gone down after Rocket Internet decided to decline participation in $5m Series B. The situation is unclear yet, and we keep fingers crossed for the company.

Startup bank Monzo is ending one of its most popular features, an unlimited free ATM withdrawals abroad. While disappointing for Monzo’s users, it is good news for Revolut.

Guardian Media Group has announced the launch of a new £42m media tech venture capital fund, GMG Ventures.

Reports and Rankings

Business as usual

Number of the day

£100m: this is how much Draper Esprit will invest in the UK startups each year.


London Brief is a weekly selection of essential information about startups, technology and the business scene in London. Got news? Give us a shout at

Piotr Wrzosinski

On behalf of the London Brief Team