Mumbai: Entrepreneur First, an investment firm which focuses on promoting startup development, has raised $115 million for the first close of a new deep tech-focused global fund, the investor said in a statement on Wednesday.
Entrepreneur First's investment strategy bridges traditional venture capital funding and startup development by investing in talented entrepreneurs and companies at early- and pre-seed stages.
Entrepreneur First was founded in 2011 by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck.
The first close of the fund was led by institutional investors across the US, Europe and Asia, Entrepreneur First said. Investors of the fund also included Taavet Hinrikus, founder of TransferWise; Alex Chesterman, founder of Zoopla; and Entrepreneur First alumnus Rob Bishop, who co-founded Magic Pony Technology, which was bought by Twitter Inc. for $150 million in 2016, the statement added.
“The new fund will enable Entrepreneur First to invest in over 2,200 individuals across the globe, who are joining cohorts in Bengaluru, Berlin, Hong Kong, London, Singapore and Paris. The company’s bespoke programme invests time and money in outstanding individuals, helping them to find co-founders and build high-growth technology companies from scratch," Entrepreneur First said.
In January, Entrepreneur First entered India with a commitment of $25 million, announcing its maiden cohort of 50 individuals. Its first cohort is working on ideas around deep technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, among others.
Entrepreneur First in India is presently seeking applications for the second cohort, which starts in July 2019. Over the next three years, this fund will invest in over 300 individuals and over 50 companies from Bengaluru, the statement said.
“What the most ambitious people choose to do with their lives has a profound impact on society, the economy and culture. Our ambition at Entrepreneur First will always be to identify and enable the most extraordinary individuals to build globally important companies," said Matt Clifford, co-founder and chief executive officer, Entrepreneur First.
To date, Entrepreneur First claims to have helped more than 1,200 individuals build over 200 technology companies, collectively worth $1.5 billion.
“We pioneered a new model of talent investing, and it’s encouraging to see this become a new frontier for venture capital. We believe the world is missing out on some of its best founders because of ecosystem constraints, a lack of co-founders and difficulties getting early pre-company funding. Entrepreneur First is changing that," said Alice Bentinck, co-founder and chief product officer, Entrepreneur First.