MJ Hudson advised long standing client Entrepreneur First (EF) on the investment of approximately $12.4 million by a group of U.S. and European venture capital investors led by Greylock Partners and including Mosaic Ventures, Founders Fund and Lakestar Capital, into the EF group. Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and a partner of Greylock Partners, will join the EF board. Co-investors also include Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman, the founders of DeepMind.
EF has made a significant impact on the start-up ecosystem in Europe and Asia since its inception in 2011. With its core strategy of bringing people together, providing a space for idea generation, and helping them build their business from scratch, EF has worked with over 350 individuals to build over 80 start-ups that are now, in aggregate, valued in excess of $1 billion. Magic Pony, one of the first EF graduates, was acquired by Twitter for circa. $150 million in 2016. The EF operations have grown over the last five years to comprise two core funds in Europe (London) and Asia (Singapore) alongside a “Next Stage” fund which was launched with backing from the British Business Bank in 2015 to provide follow on funding to EF companies graduating from the UK core fund.
The investment will enable EF to substantially scale up both its domestic and international operations as it aims to help launch world class technology companies of the future.
Matt Clifford, co-founder of EF commented: “We couldn't have made this happen without Karma and the MJ Hudson team. It was a complex deal with many stakeholders and MJ Hudson navigated it beautifully.”
The MJ Hudson venture capital team advised EF on the launch of each of its three funds as well as acting as adviser generally across the EF operations, including this latest financing round. The transaction highlights MJ Hudson’s venture capital team’s dual expertise in investment funds and on the transactional side, drawing on its core competences to facilitate a seamless closing of a cross-border structuring and funding round which closely aligned the investors and the management team.
Karma Samdup, MJ Hudson partner and head of its venture capital practice, commented: “We are delighted to have been able to assist EF, a valued client, with respect to the opening of a new chapter in an already exciting story. With the combined expertise of both the existing management team and the investors, we are certain that we will continue to see great things as the EF proposition reaches new heights”.
The MJ Hudson team was led by Karma Samdup (partner) and Andrew Pannell (senior associate), supported by David Harris (associate), and Jacob Freeman (trainee solicitor).