Young Gun-founded Entrepreneur First clinches £9.5m from LinkedIn co-founder

Latest funding will be used to help the organisation scale and to invest in its ongoing operational costs

Entrepreneur First (EF), the Young Gun-founded pre-seed accelerator, has raised £9.5m in funding from Greylock Partners – of which LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman is a partner – alongside Mosaic Ventures, Founders Fund, Lakestar Capital, and DeepMind. Hoffman will also join the board.

A number of EF alumni have also contributed to the round including Rob Bishop and Zehan Wang of Magic Pony, and Bryan Baum, who co-founded Represent.

Launched in 2011 by Alice Bentinck MBE and Matt Clifford MBE, EF’s six-month programme matches talented individuals to build fast growth technology companies from scratch, offering them a stipend for living costs, pre-seed funding – in return for an 8% stake – mentorship, support, and the option to pitch for funding for the next stage of growth.

Today, it takes 200 people through its programme every year, as well as 50 through its Singapore operation. Since 2012, EF has run Code First Girls; a scheme that teaches women to code for free in a bid to encourage more women to pursue careers in tech.

Over the last six years, the organisation has built more than 100 start-ups with 350 individuals, equating to a combined value of $500m. Its biggest success story has been Magic Pony, which was acquired by Twitter in 2016 in a $150m deal; earning an estimated $6.5m for EF from a $16,000 investment.

This latest funding round will be used to fuel ongoing operational costs, as well as to scale the EF programme further. Bentinck recently spoke to about her ambitions to make EF “the default way to build unicorns for Europe and the rest of the world”.

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