Entrepreneur First, organization that helps startups built itself has raised $13.3 million funds from high-profile angel investors including Index Ventures partner Robin Klein and Zoopla CEO Alex Chesterman along with Encore Capital and Singapore’s Infocomm Investors. This fund will be uses to help grow its ‘pre-team, pre-idea’ business model for technical individuals.
Founded in 2011 by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck, the company Entrepreneur First offers technical people with $26,500 as pre-seed funding for them to build a technology startup over a period of six-months. In return to its funding, its takes 8% equity stake. In the time frame of six months, the team members of the startup join hands to work and built their startup with the mentoring and support from the EF network and a desk to work from.
Currently, UK-based EF backs students, post-graduates and young professionals with tech ideas. The programme receives more than 1000 applicants from all over the world every year, mostly from the background of science and engineering. The programme supports 150 people this year that includes three computer scientists from Cambridge University and 220 in 2016.
“Lots of enterprise seed investment and accelerators are taking talent from the same pool – which makes it very competitive to get the best startups. We are now one of the biggest recruiters of computer scientists in Europe, competing directly with the likes of Google and Facebook for the best people,” said Bentinck. “We have a high-calibre of investors and former tech founders joining the fund, directly investing in the next generation of people who would create Europe’s next unicorns,” she added.
Since EF’s inception in two years, around 37 alumni companies have secured more than $40 million in total which includes the founders of adtech startup called AdBrain that raised $9 million from Octopus Investments and Notion Capital, bike light manufacturer Blaze and coding game Code Kingdoms.
With regard to the current funding, “This fund will see us becoming one of the highest frequency investors in Europe and what’s most exciting is that the 200+ people we invest in will all be focused on cutting edge technology,” said Bentinck.
Chairman of Infocomm Investments, Steve Leonard said, “The UK and Singapore both prioritize the contributors that entrepreneurs play in tackling important challenges in areas such as healthcare, transportation and energy. We believe EF is leading the way in helping great technical talent become great entrepreneurs. As Singapore builds itself into a Smart Nation, we want to work with the best talent around the world.”