Talented entrepreneurs have the ability to transform the global economy at unprecedented pace. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon and Alibaba are among the most valuable companies in the world. In each example, courageous founders have steered their companies to global prominence.
The economically transformative power of entrepreneurship is regularly celebrated by us at Mosaic and by our friend Reid Hoffman, the visionary entrepreneur behind LinkedIn, and now a partner at Greylock.
We touched upon the subject in the spring, as we drank tea and swapped stories in the Arizona desert. We were talking about startups, and mulling over the industrialisation of the startup ecosystem. Reid was a prolific angel investor before he joined Greylock, with over 80 investments, and he is involved with a number of initiatives that encourage entrepreneurship around the world, including his incredibly popular podcast series Masters of Scale and Stanford class on “blitzscaling”. He is also personally involved with two leading non-profits for entrepreneurship: Kiva and Endeavor Global.
With this in mind, we suggested to Reid that we should partner up to invest in Entrepreneur First, the pioneering company creation platform started by Alice Bentinck and Matt Clifford in 2012. Reid was instantly intrigued with the concept of EF, and organised to meet Alice and Matt two weeks later in Silicon Valley. Soon after, Mosaic and Greylock were officially collaborating to help EF continue their impressive onward journey.
EF can play a defining role in making technology entrepreneurship the career of choice for the most ambitious people in the world. Matt, Alice and the team work with individuals with deep technical backgrounds, and support them from day zero as they build companies from the ground up. This process helps turn world-class individuals into world-beating teams, all the while helping them develop ideas, grow their business, and overcome the cultural stigma that still surrounds startups, particularly in Europe.
YCombinator has achieved enormous success in Silicon Valley with its accelerator model, and has supported over 3,200 founders and 1,470 companies, including big successes such as Airbnb, Cruise, Docker, Reddit and Stripe. While it is comparatively early days for EF, to date they have helped over 350 individuals build 120 companies with a total valuation of over $1 billion.
Mosaic loves to work with mission-driven founders. We seek out the individuals who challenge convention, make bold decisions, and follow the courage of their convictions. Not only do Alice and Matt exemplify these traits, but they have created a programme that unearths future generations of startup founders.
It was a true team effort at Mosaic that make this all happen - from Mike learning that EF wanted to raise money from a top tier US VC firm, Simon’s conviction that we should introduce EF to the very best people, and Toby’s five year history with Alice and Matt. The Mosaic team have closely followed EF since the beginning, attending demo days, meeting their companies and enjoying the very special atmosphere and culture they have created with their founders - it is a real privilege to become a partner to such a unique company.
It goes without saying, if you have strong technical chops, and want to work on a highly ambitious startup, we highly recommend you apply to EF. The global economy is perpetually on the brink of being reshaped and working with EF will give you an unfair advantage if you want to go out and transform it.
Additional Recent Posts from the Mosaic Ventures Team:
Our Investment in Convoy Have you ever stopped for a moment to think about how the shirt you’re wearing arrived at the store? Or perhaps the workflow behind transporting your granola and smoothie to the local breakfast deli? While perhaps not the sexiest business for tech-savvy entrepreneurs, trucking is nevertheless a critical industry to every modern economy. We're excited to be investing in Convoy alongside our friends at YC Continuity, Greylock (who led the Series A), Hadi, and many more. Read More
The Machine can see you now: a market framework for medical imaging Ask most AI researchers, and they’ll tell you that one of the biggest advances within artificial intelligence capabilities in the past five years has been in the sub-field of computer vision — in particular image recognition, which now performs as well as humans in many domains. Read More
Have you ever stopped for a moment to think about how the shirt you’re wearing arrived at the store? Or perhaps the workflow behind transporting your granola and smoothie to the local breakfast deli?
Over the past year Benoit, François, Guillaume and team have been hard at work bringing their vision to life, and we are excited to be investing again in their Series A alongside Dom Vidal at Index Ventures. It is a “Criteo reunion” of sorts, with other Criteo alumni investing alongside us — Pascal Gauthier (COO) and Greg Coleman (President).
n the latest episode of the Mosaic Podcast we are joined by Pascal Gauthier, who over the last 15 years has been immersed in some of the fastest growing digital media and advertising companies to come out of Europe.
Mortgages are an enormous category, over £200 billion in the UK alone. Yet for a commodity-like product — who cares which lender your money comes from — it is exceedingly complex for a consumer to find the right mortgage, struggle through the jargon, and the mountain of paperwork, then stay on the best deal forever.
When I first met tray CEO Rich Waldron early in 2014, after an introduction from angel (and now VC) Andy McLoughlin, two things struck me. First, out of the 80 or so men in the cafe we’d picked near the Google Campus in Old Street we were the only two without full beards. Most of all, though, I was struck by how clearly he envisaged a future of easily connected SaaS services.
In this podcast, Mosaic partners Simon Levene and Mike Chalfen explore with Sam Altman his interest in “hard tech” sectors including Energy and Synthetic Life. Sam also discusses YC’s strategy and future including the new $700 continuity fund as well as the launch of YC research, a nonprofit research lab (including the famed initiative around universal basic income).
Jack Kreindler is an expert physician, physiologist and digital health entrepreneur. We co-hosted a fascinating health roundtable with him in London earlier this year, together with leading health entrepreneurs from across Europe and the US. This podcast covers many of the topics from the roundtable as well as his own personal thoughts on the opportunities and challenges in digital health, especially in machine learning and big data.
Fees are the first thing you should look at before choosing a pension manager and fund. Buy cheap and you have a significantly better chance of making money than if you buy expensive. The growth of roboadvisors and their success in attracting client assets shows that retail investors are recognising this. However, while roboadvisors have kept absolute fees very low, there are other areas in which they have not innovated.
At Mosaic we’ve long talked about what the killer applications of the Blockchain could be. While Fintech was always a strong initial market, with the technology still in its infancy how far reaching could the impact of Blockchain be beyond financial services.
It may be a surprise to hear this from a venture capitalist, but the vast majority of startups should not take money from our industry. The history of entrepreneurship is the history of owner-managers with no outside shareholders. Indeed the data shows just how few startups take venture capital - one in every 2,000 startups in the US.
We are thrilled to announce that Pascal Gauthier is joining Mosaic as a Venture Partner. Former chief operating officer of Criteo, Pascal has a strong track record of building and scaling a global business, competing head-on with Google and Amazon. Criteo is one of the most successful venture-backed startups in Europe, valued at $2.5bn on NASDAQ today.