Why we’ve secured US$115M to invest in the world’s most ambitious individuals

19 February, 2019

The Next Chapter of our Development

Today at Entrepreneur First we announced the $115 million first close of our new global fund. In some ways, raising a fund like this is significant in itself: it is one of the largest pre-seed funds ever raised, the investors include top institutional investors across the US, Europe and Asia; and it underlines our global reach and ambitions.

Leading entrepreneurs have also joined us as investors: Taavet Hinrikus, founder of TransferWise, Alex Chesterman, founder of Zoopla, and EF alumnus Rob Bishop, who on on EF LD3 co-founded Magic Pony Technology, which Twitter bought for $150m in 2016.

But to us, what feels far more significant, is what that money will allow us to do.

EF exists to enable the world’s most ambitious people to become founders, no matter where they are, and this fund allows us to realise that mission.

Cohort members at work in London
Cohort members at work in London

Investing in Talent - Pre-Team and Pre-Idea

At EF we aren’t an accelerator or an incubator, or even a company builder. We are a Talent Investor; put simply, we invest time and money in extraordinary people. We are interested in you before you have a team or an idea. We invest in Outliers, purely on the basis of talent, ambition and skill.

And this fund will allow us to do that at previously unheard of scale. We will invest in more than 2,200 individuals over the next three years. To put that into context, in the eight years since EF was founded, we have had roughly 1,200 people go through the programme.

More than that, after the blitzscaling the company went through in 2018, opening four new offices in 12 months, the global nature of this fund is a natural next step. It allows us to offer ambitious individuals the chance to become entrepreneurs — wherever in the world they are. Our offices in globally will all benefit from this.

Building Globally Important Companies

While individuals are EF’s input, companies are our output. Specifically deep tech companies that have enormous, global-scale ambitions. The money from the new fund will be used to invest in the best companies coming out of all of our programmes globally. We expect that to result in 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.

This is clearly a huge step-change, but it is just one part of an overarching global strategy to ensure that we are building and helping fund globally important companies.

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