Why we’ve raised our $158M Series C to invest in the next generation of co-founders

Author:
Matt Clifford
Posted:
29 June, 2022

Entrepreneur First (EF) is the best place in the world to find a co-founder and start a startup from scratch. We are excited to announce we’ve raised a $158 million Series C round from a global alliance of some of the world’s top technology founders and investors.

They include:

  • Patrick and John Collison, co-founders of Stripe
  • Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of Wise
  • Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn
  • Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress
  • Tom Blomfield, co-founder of Monzo and GoCardless
  • Nat Friedman, former CEO of Github
  • Claire Hughes Johnson, former COO of Stripe
  • Sarah Clemens, former COO of Twitch and Pandora
  • Matt Robinson, co-founder of Nested and GoCardless
  • Patrick O’Shaughnessy, founding partner of Positive Sum and host of Invest Like the Best
  • Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman, co-founders of Deepmind
  • Rob Bishop and Zehan Wang, EF alum and co-founders of Magic Pony Technology 
  • … and many more, including our long-standing institutional backers Transpose Platform, Vitruvian Partners, Encore Capital and Isomer Capital

The value of companies built at EF just passed $10B. With our new capital and supporters, we’re excited to see this cross $100bn, then $1T in the years ahead…

Radically changing how great teams are formed

We believe that true innovation happens at the intersection of brilliant minds. For aspiring founders, that means finding the right co-founder could be the most important decision you ever make.

When we started EF 10 years ago, conventional wisdom was that you should co-found with someone you already knew. In fact, founding a company with a stranger was something that sounded obviously stupid.

We disagreed. 

We disagreed because the right co-founder is the foundation of a great company. But they’re also rare. You need someone with exceptional talent, a complementary skillset, someone as ambitious and as ‘all in’ as you are – and someone who is ready to start right now. Why should starting a startup be conditional on happening to have someone like that in your network? (and how would you know if they were? How would you test the relationship?) It felt like the world – especially the world outside Silicon Valley – was missing out on some of its best companies because finding the right co-founder was so hard.

So, we fixed it. We built a way for the world’s most talented people, from all walks of life, to come together to find co-founders and build from scratch. We invested in them from Day 0, and gave them access to a world-leading community of investors and advisors.

Now, that fix has introduced co-founders who wouldn’t have otherwise met, to build companies that wouldn’t have been built. Those founders have created $10B+ in aggregate value that didn’t exist before.

They include computer vision unicorn Tractable; Employment platform Omnipresent, and Privacy-compliant advertising infrastructure platform Permutive – and many others, backed by some of the world’s best VCs, including Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund.

A new era of venture funding

It’s been 10 years, but we feel like we’re just getting started. We’ve raised this funding round so we can ensure that those with the potential to build game-changing companies, do.

It feels right that this round of funding comes from the most successful technology founders of today. Their support will build their counterparts of tomorrow.

We’re particularly excited that several investors in this round are EF alumni themselves – those who began great things with us, investing in the next generation.

What we do may no longer seem crazy, as it did 10 years ago. But we’re just as committed to keep innovating to serve entrepreneurs better – and be the best place in the world to find a co-founder.

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