British pre-seed startup accelerator Entrepreneur First has secured a £40m Enterprise Capital Fund. This funding includes a £26m investment from the British Business Bank.
Entrepreneur First creates startups from scratch, investing in people pre-team and pre-idea. Since 2011 the company has helped build over 100 startups, including Magic Pony, which was recently acquired by Twitter for $150m.
Other investors include Imperial College London, Freston Ventures, Isomer Capital and a number of entrepreneurs, family offices and funds.
The company plans to use funds to invest in the startups it has created. Backed by Margot James, Minister for Small Business, The Next Stage Fund will invest alongside early stage VC firms and will help the startups scale successfully.
Matt Clifford, co-founder and CEO, Entrepreneur First, commented: “When we started Entrepreneur First, we broke the mould when it came to creating defensible technology startups. We’re proud to say that we are no ordinary fund: we build the companies we invest in.
“The new fund, supported by the British Business Bank’s ECF programme, will take this on a stage further helping us to continue recruiting world-class technologists at volume to turning them into world-class startups.”
Available to the current cohort (EF6) to the cohort of September 2018 (EF10), the fund will invest in over 100 UK companies. It will provide £70,000 loan notes to each company presenting at each Demo Day, and support the growth of seed-funded companies for 18 months after the day.
Keith Morgan, CEO at British Business Bank, said: “It is vital to the UK economy that we support innovative, entrepreneur-led startups on their journey to becoming the high-growth businesses of tomorrow. We are therefore delighted to be partnering with Entrepreneur First in their Next Stage Fund, which will provide much-needed capital and support to help realise the potential of smaller companies across the country.”