Flying in the face of the traditional entrepreneurship model, Franco-Belgian startup think tank/incubator/VC facilitator eFounders celebrates its 10 year anniversary today with the formal announcement of a $2 billion portfolio valuation.
A decade ago, founders Thibaud Elziere and Quentin Nickmans proposed a radical idea; collaborative company building. Not just between the two of them, but across an entire team, and not just one company, but multiple in parallel.
Say what now?
The model functions as such: the think tank arm of eFounders formulates the ideas and solutions, and then partners with two entrepreneurs, one technical co-founder, and one business co-founder. The core eFounders team the work hand-in-hand with the co-founders over a 12 to 18 month period with the ultimate goal of taking the project from idea to independent company.
eFounders then rinses and repeats this process 4 to 6 times a year.
"At eFounders, when a CEO and a CTO join to co-found a startup, it's not just the two of them trying to get the company off the ground, but a total of 15 people. We have proven that team effort will always win against individual performances. This is the key to building successful companies." says Nickmans.
If you think this sounds like a grueling pace, you’d be right.
”It’s hard to build more than six companies a year without losing what’s made our success so far: acting as the co-founders of the companies we build. And so to scale the eFounders model, we’re exploring different opportunities, such as backing more mature companies like we did with Yousign or replicating the eFounders model across other verticals” said Thibaud Elziere, cofounder of eFounders.
Over the past decade, eFounders has been responsible for 30 B2B SaaS companies including Front, Aircall, and Spendesk. Of these 30 companies, 5 have been acquired, TextMaster, Mention, Mailjet, Hivy and Briq.
On the VC front, eFounders’ companies have cumulatively raised more than $400 million from firms including Sequoia, Accel, Index Ventures, and Creandum, and have a combined ARR of over $130 million.
And so it should come as no surprise with numbers like these, that just 18 months after surpassing a $1 billion portfolio valuation, the portfolio has now doubled to a robust $2 billion valuation.
"Beyond funding and valuations numbers, what we're most proud of over the past decade is to have helped thousands of teams around the world get better work done together. I believe that this is what truly validates our model." sums up Nickmans.