- Entrepreneur First
Entrepreneur First has raised $12.4 million (£9.4 million) from a host of big name investors that includes the cofounders of DeepMind as it looks to become the number one company builder in the world.
The funding round was led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Greylock Partners, which backed Airbnb and Facebook in their early days. Reid Hoffman, a partner at Greylock and the cofounder of LinkedIn, has joined the board at Entrepreneur First.
Entrepreneur First was founded by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck in 2011. The company aims to attract highly technical individuals and partner them with like-minded people who have the potential to build successful technology startups.
Those that are accepted onto the Entrepreneur First course – operational in London and Singapore – receive a monthly stipend for living as well as pre-seed funding, a desk to work from, and mentoring. When they complete the course they receive more capital from Entrepreneur First.
Clifford told Business Insider that the $12.4 million will be used to fund Entrepreneur First’s operational costs and to help it expand.
The former McKinsey & Co consultant added that Entrepreneur First may look to open another hub in Europe if Brexit prevents candidates from moving to London. “It may make sense to have a mother hub in Europe because there’s likely to be some disruption from Brexit,” he said.
Other notable investors in the funding round, essentially a Series A round include Google DeepMind cofounders Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman, as well as Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund.
Rob Bishop and Zehan Wang, who built their AI company Magic Pony on the Entrepreneur First programme before selling it to Twitter for a reported $150 million (£113 million), are also investing in the funding round.
“We wanted to make EF the place where outlier talent comes together to build startups from scratch,” said Bentinck in a statement. “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.”