LinkedIn Co-Founder Hoffman Will Invest in U.K. Startup Hub
The venture capital firm led by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman has invested in Entrepreneur First, a London-based hub for startups, alongside Mosaic Ventures and Founders Fund, according to Bloomberg.
Greylock Partners led the $12.4 million funding, which also included Lakestar Capital, and Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman, the founders of DeepMind, according to a statement from Entrepreneur First. Hoffman will also join the board of Entrepreneur First.
The backing of Hoffman is a significant boost to Entrepreneur First, which finds technical and business talent and then brings them together in order to create startup companies. Hoffman is a partner at Greylock Partners, and in March joined the board of Microsoft, three months after the world’s largest software maker acquired LinkedIn. Hoffman is also on the board of room-rental startup Airbnb.
Founded in 2011 by Alice Bentinck and Matt Clifford, Entrepreneur First follows a similar model to YCombinator, the California-based financier that has backed Airbnb, Dropbox and Reddit. At the U.K. company, accepted candidates receive a monthly stipend, followed by a small seed investment in return for an 8% stake.
Magic Pony, a London-based artificial intelligence startup, is arguably Entrepreneur First’s most significant success story. Twitter paid about $150 million for Magic Pony in 2016, earning Entrepreneur First around $6.5 million from a $16,000 investment.