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Talent investor Entrepreneur First raises US$115m for global deep-tech fund

LONDON-BASED talent investor Entrepreneur First (EF) has raised US$115 million with the first close of its inaugural global fund which focuses on deep-technology. It did not disclose the fundraising target.

The investment was led by “some of the top institutional investors across the US, Europe and Asia”, according to the company. Investors include Taavet Hinrikus, founder of TransferWise; Alex Chesterman, founder of Zoopla; and EF alumnus Rob Bishop. Mr Bishop co-founded Magic Pony Technology which was bought by Twitter for US$150 million in 2016.

Capital for investing in EF Singapore companies will come from this fund. Depending on the companies EF will build, between US$35 million and US$50 million is expected to be allocated to the Republic, EF told The Business Times.  

EF’s Singapore fund stands at S$16 million and it is to last until May 2019. It was raised to cover its first to fifth cohorts. From the sixth cohort onwards, EF will be investing out of a new vehicle, it added. 

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Anne Marie Droste, EF's director of expansion, added that the fund would free the company from “constant fundraising”. It will also enable EF to invest in over 2,200 individuals across the globe joining cohorts in Singapore, Bangalore, Berlin, Hong Kong, London and Paris. 

The fund, which will stimulate increased startup formation across all locations, is also expected to create over 300 venture-backed companies over the next three years. It is part of an overarching global strategy, which has seen EF open four new sites in 12 months.