Described as “the best place in the world to meet your co-founder,” the London-based early stage talent investor Entrepreneur First has raised $158 million in a Series C funding round.
The Alice Bentinck and Matt Clifford Foundation are quick to point out that this is a funding round, not a fund. $100 million is earmarked for direct investments over the next three years, with the remaining funding used to provide the ability to experiment, innovate, and launch new products intended to use anything but methods necessary for the current venture capital model.
“EF is totally unique in the early stage finance scene. Our entire effort is focused on talent rather than the typical venture capital deal flow. We don’t try to win deals, we don’t pick deals, we find great people. This brings significant strengths,” Clifford explained. “Being able to partner before there is even a company is a relationship and an economic power.”
To date, Entrepreneur First has invested in 343 companies, acted as a leader in 92 of those investments, and seen 22 portfolio company exits including Magic Pony Technology (acquired by Twitter); Passfort (acquired by Moody’s); Credit Kudos Bloomsbury AI; scape. Atlas ML (sheets with code); and Sonantic (acquired by Spotify), grossing over $680 million.
Additional EF alumni include notable companies in the computer vision insurance industry Unicorn Tractable, HR Remote Teams and the Omnipresent setup platform, Aztec Protocol (Private Transaction Protocol, funded by Paradigm); Apo Cleo Financial Management and Permutive Privacy Compliant Advertising Infrastructure Platform.
Combined, the total value of companies created through the EF platform now exceeds $10 billion.
“With the value of the EF portfolio of companies exceeding $10 billion, we feel we are just getting started. We want EF to have a product to enable every ambitious individual to find a co-founder. EF is already one of the great talent communities in the world and thanks to this new funding and these investors We look forward to partnering with thousands of exceptional founders in the coming years,” Bentinck commented.
As for the investors behind EF’s new $158 million, hang in your hat as this list includes a hypothetical figure in the tech industry: John and Patrick Collison (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), Sarah Clemens (former COO of Twitch and Pandora), Matt Robinson (co-founder of Nested and GoCardless), Patrick O’Shaughnessy (Som-positive), Demis Hasabis and Mustafa Suleiman (Founders of Deepmind), Steen Tamkevi, Elad Gill and Lashi Groom.
“We are entering a new era of project finance, with a new generation of global founders who need support to build innovative companies from scratch. I am excited to be part of this world-class union,” said Reed Hoffman, LinkedIn EF Board Member. 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 ecosystems for startups outside of Silicon Valley.”