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London-based Entrepreneur First raises $158M to support next generation of tech founders

Entrepreneur First
Image credits: Entrepreneur First

London-based early-stage investor Entrepreneur First (EF) has secured $158M in a Series C round of funding to invest in new startups and launch new products, aimed at up-ending the typical venture capital model. The company also announced that the aggregate value of companies created through its platform exceeded $10B. 

The roaster of investors include: 

  • Stripe’s Collison brothers 
  • 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 
  • Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman – Co-founders of Deepmind 
  • Sten Tamkivi 
  • Elad Gil 
  • Lachy Groom
  • Patrick O’Shaughnessy. 

“Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. The idea of taking strangers and helping them start robust and ambitious companies is no longer radical but essential to power the next stage of innovation,” says Matt Clifford, CEO, and co-founder of Entrepreneur First.

“The whole EF thesis is finding individuals who otherwise might not start companies and then trying to accelerate their journey to success,” he says.

“EF is completely unique in the early-stage funding landscape. Our whole effort focuses on talent rather than typical venture capital deal flow. We don’t try and win deals, we don’t pick deals, we find great people. That brings big strengths. The ability to partner before there even is a company is both a relationship and an economic strength,” he adds.

Helps talented people find co-founders

Amid the increasing trend of mounting layoffs and diminishing VC volumes across the startup world, owing to fears of a looming recession, a slew of successful entrepreneurs and founders are backing EF to unlock opportunities for a diverse set of new global founders.

Founded by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck in 2011, Entrepreneur First operates as an early-stage investor, helping talented people find co-founders to partner with launching startups. The platform helps high-potential individuals from ideation to securing funds in the shortest possible time. 

The company has built over 500 companies; has over 3000 alumni worldwide, and its portfolio is valued at over $8B. 

Notable alumni include Tractable (the computer vision unicorn focused on the insurance industry); Omnipresent (the employment platform for remote work); Aztec Protocol (the private transaction protocol); Cleo (the financial management app); and Permutive (the privacy-compliant advertising infrastructure platform).

Alice Bentinck, the co-founder of Entrepreneur First, says “As the value of EF’s portfolio companies passes $10B, we feel we’re just getting started. We want EF to have a product to enable every ambitious individual to find their co-founder. EF is already one of the world’s great talent communities and with this new funding and these new investors, we’re looking forward to partnering with thousands of more exceptional founders in the coming years”

Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and Entrepreneur First board member says, “We are entering a new era for venture funding, with a new generation of global founders needing support to build iconic companies from scratch. I’m excited to be part of this world-class syndicate. We’re 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 that opportunity and a new way to build startup ecosystems outside Silicon Valley.”

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