- EF is optimistic about the Indian startup ecosystem and believes that Indian founders are on their way to building companies of global significance.
- The company raised its biggest funding round yet, of $158 million, from a large group of successful founders-turned-investors, including Stripe’s Patrick and John Collison.
- EF will target direct investment of $100 million over the next three years in hundreds of entrepreneurs and continue to grow its suite of talent products. It comes against an impressive background: the total value of companies created through EF now exceeds $10 billion.
Bangalore, June 30:Entrepreneur First (EF) a large-scale investor in early career founder talent, raised a $158 million Series C funding round from a group of veteran tech founders including Patrick & John Collison, Reid Hoffman, Taavet Hinrikus and Matt Mullenweg.
Against the trend of increasing layoffs and shrinking venture capital volumes in the startup world, due to fears of an impending recession, the host of successful entrepreneurs and founders argues EF to open opportunities to a diverse set of new global founders.
Over the past 3 years, EF has funded over 40 startups in India across SaaS, FinTech, HealthTech, Robotics, RetailTech, Biotechnology, D2C, Web3, Creator Tools, etc. the best venture capital funds in India and beyond. EF is optimistic about the Indian startup ecosystem and believes that Indian founders are on their way to building companies of global significance. EF is the best place in India for top talent to find their best potential co-founder and start a venture capital-enabled business.
EF’s impressive global list of supporters includes John and Patrick Collison (co-founders of Stripe), Taavet Hinrikus (co-founder of Wise), Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn), Matt Mullenweg (co-founder of WordPress), Tom Blomfield (co-founder of Monzo and GoCardless), Nat Friedman (former CEO of Github), Sara Clemens (former COO of Twitch and Pandora), Matt Robinson (co-founder of Nested and GoCardless), Patrick O’ Shaughnessy (Positive Sum), Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman (co-founders of Deepmind), StenTamkivi, Elad Gil and Lachy Groom.
Founded in 2011 by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck in London, EF today employs 120 people worldwide. It functions as a seed-stage investor, helping talented people find co-founders to partner with before launching startups.
“Talent is everywhere, but opportunities are not. The idea of taking strangers and helping them start strong, ambitious businesses is no longer radical but essential to propelling the next stage of innovation,”said Matt Clifford, CEO and co-founder of Entrepreneur First.
“EF’s whole thesis is to find individuals who wouldn’t otherwise build businesses, and then try to accelerate their path to success,” he said.
“EF is very unique in the seed funding landscape. All of our efforts are focused on talent rather than the typical venture capital deal flow. We are not trying to win deals, we are not selecting of contracts, we find great people. The ability to partner before there’s even a business is both a relationship and an economic strength,” he added.
Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and Entrepreneur First member of the board of directors, said:“We are entering a new era for venture capital funding, with a new generation of global founders who need support to build iconic companies from the ground up. I am thrilled to be part of this world-class syndicate. We are all passionate about the power of entrepreneurship to change people’s lives and change the world. Entrepreneur First represents a new way for talented people to access this opportunity and a new way to build startup ecosystems outside of Silicon Valley.
Alice Bentinck, co-founder of Entrepreneur First, said:“As the value of EF’s portfolio companies exceeds $10 billion, we believe we are just getting started. We want EF to have a product that allows every ambitious individual to find their co-founder. EF is already one of the largest talent communities in the world, and with this new funding and these new investors, we look forward to partnering with thousands more exceptional founders in the years to come.”
The money – raised through a funding round rather than a “fund” – will be used to invest in new startups as well as allow EF to experiment and innovate on how best to fund. the next generation of entrepreneurs by launching new products aimed at disrupting the typical model of venture capital.
EF also announced today that the total value of businesses created through its platform now exceeds $10 billion. Notable alumni include Tractable (the insurance industry-focused computer vision unicorn, funded by Insight and Georgian Partners); Omnipresent (the job platform for remote work, funded by Tencent and Kinnevik); Aztec Protocol (the private transaction protocol, funded by Paradigm); Cleo (the money management app, funded by Balderton and EQT Ventures); and Permutive (the privacy-friendly advertising infrastructure platform, funded by Softbank).
About Entrepreneur First
Founded in 2011 by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck and still based in London, Entrepreneur First is a leading investor in entrepreneurial talent. EF’s portfolio companies have been backed by world-class investors, including Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Softbank and GV (formerly Google Ventures). Portfolio outflows exceed $680 million and include Magic Pony Technology (acquired by Twitter); Passport (acquired by Moody’s); Congratulations credit; Bloomsbury IA; scape; Atlas ML (Papers with Code); and [Sonantic (acquired by Spotify)]. It has offices in London, Toronto, Paris, Berlin, Bangalore and Singapore. Sharing their expertise, Matt and Alice have co-authored the book “How to be a Founder” (Bloomsbury Publishing), available August 2022.
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