Pre-idea tech accelerator Entrepreneur First scoops £8.5m

Company plans to scale its model having previously helped to establish deep tech businesses AdBrain, Blaze, and Code Kingdoms

Entrepreneur First (EF), a UK accelerator programme for deep technology, has scooped £8.5m for its first investment fund with backing from leading angel investors including Zoopla CEO Alex Chesterman and Index Ventures’ Robin Klein.

Launched in 2011, Entrepreneur First operates on a pre-team, pre-idea model which means it backs technical individuals before they have a team or a developed idea, as opposed to selecting a team of founders with an existing business.

The six month accelerator programme says it has doubled funding on a yearly basis with an alumni of 37 companies, including AdBrain, Blaze and Code Kingdoms, which have gone on to raise over $40m with a total valuation of $150m.

Its new fund, which is also backed by Encore Capital and Infocomm Investments, will go towards investing in more European tech talent as it looks to “scale aggressively and innovate continuously”.

EF co-founder, Alice Bentinck, said: “We want EF to attract the greatest concentration of technical talent and build the most exciting technology companies in Europe. This is not about funding small lifestyle apps.

“This fund and the investors behind it, from Robin Klein through to the City of London show that there is belief that we can support talented technical brains so that they become the UK’s business leaders of tomorrow.”

While Khilan Dhodia, Encore Capital partner, added:

“By attracting the best talent in the world, bringing it to London and creating some very exciting and successful businesses, EF is doing as much as anybody to put London at the epicentre of global technological excellence. If you have a talent for technology and want to make the most of it, here is the place to be.”

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