Founded in 2011 by Thibaud Elzière and Quentin Nickmans, eFounders received €5M from 40 entrepreneurs and European family offices in a recent capital round. This capital will enable the Brussels and Parisian startup studio that together with entrepreneurs turn unique ideas into successful companies and has already founded 9 startups including Mailjet, Front, Aircall, Mention and TextMaster to finance the creation and launch of 4 companies each year, and reach profitability.
A startup builder
eFounders builds and finances several startups in parallel in order to mutualise resources. The studio transforms in-house ideas into independent companies over an 18-month period with the help of a team of experts. Using this model, eFounders has already successfully launched 5 autonomous startups which all have raised money from prestigious investors including Alven Capital in France, Point Nine Capital in Germany, Balderton and Social Capital in England and the United States.
The € 5 million raised by eFounders will be used to build 8 new companies over the next 2 years. The studio generates revenues by selling the shares it possesses in its companies during a liquidity event. Given that “on average, it takes 8 years for a company to make an exit in our sector, you have to be very patient and finance yourself for a significant period," explains eFounders co-founder Quentin Nickmans.
Several well-known digital entrepreneurs took part in this capital round including Nicolas Steegman, Stupeflix CEO (bought by GoPro) Jean Daniel Guyot, Captain Train founder (bought by Trainline) Bruno Vanderschueren, Lampiris founder (bought by Total) Clément Benoit, founder of Restoin and Stuart Bruno van Lierde (Senior Partner at The Boston Consulting Group) as well as thirty or so other investors.
“They joined us because they believe in our project and because we need them in order to build a strong eFounders network. This capital round was hugely successful! We had to limit the amount contributed by each investor to fit everyone in,” asserts Thibaud Elzière, eFounders co-founder. These new shareholders have acquired a stake in eFounders and as such will enjoy a privileged position to invest, through venture capital funds, in the companies launched by the studio.
The total value created by eFounders and its startups currently stands at €125M
eFounders completed an initial capital round of €5M in June 2015 with Oleg Tscheltzoff, which brings the total amount invested in eFounders since 2011 to €10M. The $8M of funding raised by Aircall in September means that the total value created by eFounders and its startups currently stands at €125M. In 5 years, 250 jobs have been created and 60 positions are yet to be filled, mainly in Paris, Brussels, New York and San Francisco.