UK-based global ‘talent investor’ and accelerator, Entrepreneur First (EF) has raised $115 Mn for the first close of its new deeptech focused global fund. Leading institutional investors from across the U.S, Europe and Asia invested in the funding round, including new anchor LP Trusted Insight. Some European entrepreneurs such as Taavet Hinrikus, Alex Chesterman and EF alumnus Rob Bishop also participated.
This new fund will enable EF to support its various programs over the next three years, impacting more than 2.2K individuals. Further, the fund will help to create 300 venture-backed companies, which is three times the number of startups EF has helped create since its launch in 2011.
EF cofounder and CEO, Matt Clifford, said, “As we undertake further global expansion, the support of our investors enables us to continue building more deep tech startups than anyone else. In empowering thousands of talented individuals across the globe we can help them realise their true potential to create an impactful legacy.”
Earlier this month, Entrepreneur First announced its foray into India with a commitment of $25 Mn and a maiden cohort of 50 innovators. While this cohort works on developing its startup ideas, each cohort member will get a monthly stipend of $2K.
Cofounded by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck, Entrepreneur First bridges the gap between traditional venture capital funding and startup development by backing entrepreneurs and companies at early and pre-seed stages. The company currently operates in six cities across the world including Bengaluru, Berlin, Hong Kong, London, Singapore and Paris.
Focused on investments in deep tech startups, EF has claimed to have reached more than 1,200 individuals in building over 200 companies, with a combined valuation of almost $1.5 Bn.
In December 2018, Alphabet-owned, Google also opened applications from startups across machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) sectors for the second batch of its Launchpad Accelerator India programme. Further in January, venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India introduced its startup accelerator and incubation programme called Surge. The programme is targeted at startups both in India and Southeast Asia across sectors such as consumer internet, deep tech, enterprise software, healthcare technology, fintech, crypto or direct-to-consumer brands.
According to Inc42’s The State of Indian Startup Ecosystem 2018, India is currently home to more than 39K startups, with the number of incubator and accelerators reaching 250, as of November 2018. India has also seen a rise in the number of deeptech startups. There are 737 deeptech startups with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data products across various sectors like ecommerce, fintech, banking, surveillance and customer service.