Tech startup incubator Entrepreneur First raises $12m and gets LinkedIn founder's backing

Alys Key
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Co-founders Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck (Source: Entrepreneur First)

Startup builder Entrepreneur First, which supports the creation of tech firms from scratch, today announced it had completed a $12m (£9m) funding round with the backing of one of LinkedIn's co-founders

London-based Entrepreneur First attracted investment led by Greylock Partners, where LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman is a partner.

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Hoffman now joins the board of Entrepreneur First as the company uses the new funding to support its continued growth.

Commenting on the investment, Hoffman said: "Entrepreneur First has built a vast network of strong operators and company builders, and its program has incubated promising, innovative companies."

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The six-year-old company specialises in bringing high potential individuals together to find co-founders for tech startups, then giving the budding ventures funding, office space, and mentoring.

Alumni of the programme include AI startup Magic Pony, which was acquired by Twitter for around $150m last year. Founders Rob Bishop and Zehan Wang also invested in this latest funding round.

Other backers include Mosaic Ventures, Founders Fund, Lakestar Capital and Deep Mind founders Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman.

The financing will not be used as a new investment fund but will instead drive expansion of Entrepreneur First's operations.

“We wanted to make Entrepreneur First the place where outlier talent comes together to build startups from scratch," said co-founder Alice Bentinck.

"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."

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Mosaic Partners set up the initial meeting between Hoffman and the EF founders.

"Mosaic loves to work with mission-driven founders," said Toby Coppel, partner of Mosaic Ventures.

"We seek out the individuals who challenge convention, make bold decisions, and follow the courage of their convictions. Not only do Alice and Matt exemplify these traits, but they have created a programme that unearths future generations of startup founders."

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