entrepreneur first

London-based technology startup accelerator Entrepreneur First (EF) has raised $12.4m in a round led by Greylock Partners.

Mosaic Ventures, Founders Fund, Lakestar Capital and DeepMind founders Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman also participated in the round alongside alumni Rob Bishop and Zehan Wang (Magic Pony) and Bryan Baum (Represent).

Co-founded by Alice Bentinck and Matthew Clifford, EF seeks to build technology startups by bringing together potential co-founders, and investing in them pre-team and pre-idea.

Founded six years ago, the programme has built more than 100 companies with a total valuation of over $1bn.

Commenting on the news, Bentinck said: “We wanted to make EF the place where outlier talent comes together to build startups from scratch. Over the last six years, we have created a new investment stage, acting as a company builder for the world’s most ambitious individuals.

“We have developed a unique and robust company building methodology that has produced more than 100 companies in London and Singapore. Our companies work on frontier technologies, with nearly 70% of them working on a various forms of AI.

“We’re excited to work with Greylock and our other new investors and are delighted to welcome Reid Hoffman to our board. This funding round strengthens our access to the world’s best capital and provides our companies a pathway to Silicon Valley.”

Clifford echoed Bentinck, adding: “We are entering an era where a large proportion of the world’s most talented individuals will become founders. We’re building EF to be the institution where those people have the greatest opportunity to achieve their ambitions.

“We’re fortunate to have worked with hundreds of the most impressive technologists in the world over the last six years and this funding round will enable us to work with thousands more.”

Newly appointed EF board member – and LinkedIn co-founder – Hoffman praised EF’s approach to company building, saying it was “unique and effective”.

“EF has built a vast network of strong operators and company builders, and its program has incubated promising, innovative companies. I am excited to be joining the board and working with Matt, Alice and the rest of the EF team as they expand their operations and continue to invest in world class individuals,” he concluded.

The news comes after EF announced a £40m round in September last year.

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