What We Did in 2016 at Entrepreneur First

Author: Matt Clifford
Posted: 20 December, 2016

Entrepreneur First turned five in 2016. Every year, we reflect as a team on how we’ve progressed towards fulfilling our founding mission — to support the world’s most ambitious individuals to start technology companies — and for us 2016 has been the best year yet.

The Entrepreneur First community has made great strides forward this year, so we wanted to share how we’ve grown and what we’ve done since January:

Exits: We had our first exits this year with Magic Pony Technology (EF3), Represent (EF1) and Avocarrot (EF1) all being successfully acquired. Between them, these three created $270m of value.

International growth: We opened EF Singapore in January and kicked off what looks to be an extraordinary first programme there in September. We ran recruitment events in 13 countries across three continents.

Funds: We raised two new funds this year — the EF Singapore core fund and the £40m Entrepreneur First Next Stage fund, which allows us to invest an additional £70,000 in each company that forms during the UK programme and to keep supporting and investing in our alumni up to their Series A.

Startups: We helped build and funded 70 new companies this year across three cohorts — EF6, EF7 and EFSG1. This brings the total number of startups we’ve funded to 143 and the total number of individual alumni to 484.

Funding: Our alumni from previous cohorts closed 25 follow-on funding rounds this year led by some of Europe’s — and increasingly the world’s — top investors. More than one in three EF seed rounds now involves US participation.

Talent: EF is attracting more and more applications from more and more extraordinary individuals. Total applications were up 60% on last year and we spoke to over 5,500 people to select our final cohorts,

Team: On 1 January, 13 people worked at EF; today there are 40 of us. We think like an operating company, not a traditional VC fund, and we’ve built an extraordinary team to support our startups and alumni at every stage of their journey — from building their founding team and refining their ideas to raising investment and negotiating commercial agreements.