Global talent investor Entrepreneur First (EF) has announced the $115m first close of a new global fund to invest in 2,200 of the world’s most ambitious deep-tech entrepreneurs across six international markets including London, Berlin and Singapore.
The investment was led by some of the top institutional investors across the US, Europe and Asia. Prominent entrepreneurs also invested including Taavet Hinrikus, founder of TransferWise, Alex Chesterman, founder of Zoopla, and EF alumnus Rob Bishop, who co-founded Magic Pony Technology which was bought by Twitter for $150m in 2016.
EF was founded in London in 2011 by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck to help top-level talent build world-class tech startups, with Joe White joining as general partner in 2015.
This new fund – one of the largest pre-seed funds ever raised – will enable EF to invest in over 2,200 individuals across the globe, who are joining cohorts in Bangalore, Berlin, Hong Kong, London, Singapore and Paris. The company’s bespoke programme invests time and money in outstanding individuals, helping them to find co-founders and build high-growth technology companies from scratch.
The fund, which will stimulate increased startup formation across all locations, is expected to result in the creation of 300+ venture backed companies over the next three years. This is three times the number of VC-backed companies that EF has created to date.
Matt Clifford, EF co-founder and CEO, said: “What the most ambitious people choose to do with their lives has a profound impact on society, the economy and culture. Our ambition at Entrepreneur First will always be to identify and enable the most extraordinary individuals to build globally important companies.”
The fund is part of an overarching global strategy which has seen EF open four new sites in 12 months, and will also see general partner Joe White relocate to Silicon Valley to focus on growing EF’s investor network on the West Coast of the US.
To date, EF has helped more than 1200 individuals build over 200 technology companies, collectively worth US$1.5bn.