Entrepreneur First – Investing in Talent Across the Globe
Entrepreneur First is a global talent investor with a special focus on supporting individuals who build technology companies.
The company intends to attract the top technical experts in fields like engineering, maths and computer science and to encourage them to become entrepreneurs instead of entering traditional careers in the corporate world.
Overview of Entrepreneur First
Entrepreneur First was launched in 2011 by British entrepreneurs Alice Bentick and Matthew Clifford in London, United Kingdom. In 2016 the company’s first international expansion took place when they opened applications for a programme in Singapore. The following year, co-founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman announced that he would be joining the board of Entrepreneur First and leading an investment of $12.4 million into the company. In 2018 offices in Hong Kong, Berlin, Bangalore and Paris were opened. By 2019, the company had over 1,000 people avail of its program and subsequently creating more than 200 new companies with a combined net worth of around $1.5 billion.
Entrepreneur First has operational offices in six main locations around the world; London, Paris, Germany, Hong Kong, Bangalore and Singapore. In late 2019 it was announced that Entrepreneur First would launch offices in Toronto, Canada in early 2020.
Entrepreneur First invests £80,000 in each European startup and SG$75,000 in each Asian startup. Some of the most successful startups are Blaze Bike Lights, Permutive, Adbrain, Pi-Top Echobox, Bloomsbury.ai and Tractable. Entrepreneur First also invested in Magic Pony Technology who was acquired by Twitter only 18 months after for around $150 million. Other significant investments by Entrepreneur First include:
- Volt14 – A Hong Kong-based company that develops ultra-high performance materials for lithium-ion batteries. Entrepreneur First was involved with the seed funding round in November 2019 during which SGD1.3 million was raised.
- PacketAI – A France-based company that uses artificial intelligence to automate IT operations. Entrepreneur First was involved with the seed funding round in October 2019 during which €2.1 million was raised.
- Carnot Innovations – A Hong Kong-based predictive maintenance platform that uses artificial intelligence. Entrepreneur First was involved with the seed funding round in November 2019 during which $800,000 was raised.
- SEPPURE – A Singapore-based nanotechnology company that creates sustainable nano-filtration solutions at a molecular level. Entrepreneur First was involved with the seed funding round in August 2019 during which $2.55 million was raised.
Entrepreneur First in the News
In December 2019 Forbes Business Magazine reported on European startups becoming independent of Silicon Valley. Entrepreneur First founder Alice Bentinck featured in the article commenting on how the European tech startup scene is evolving. Tech in Asia published an article in November 2019 about the $800,000 investment secured by Carnot, a property tech company. According to the article Entrepreneur First helped raise the funding alongside MTZ holdings and 500 Durians. In September 2019, Tech Crunch reported on the launch of Entrepreneur First in Toronto Canada, due to take place in early 2020. This followed the closing of a new $115 million fund in February 2019.