After pretty much pioneering the 'startup studio' model since its initial launch about 12 years ago, Franco-Belgian eFounders is ready for its next act: a platform for vertical startup studios called Hexa.
This has been some time coming, after eFounders (which focuses exclusively on incubating SaaS startups) launched two spin-offs for fintech ventures called Logic Founders and for Web3 initiatives, dubbed 3founders.
But with Hexa, the trio of founders behind eFounders - Thibaud Elzière, Quentin Nickmans and Amaury Sepulchre - aims to create a veritable ecosystem of startup incubators specific to certain sectors.
In the next months, eFounders 2.0 will be debuting new startup studios for fields like climate tech, health tech, AI, edtech and proptech, whilst continuing to support the ones launched prior to its official reinvention.
Whether the veteran entrepreneurs will be able to scale the platform model as well as the startup studio they've helped popularise, remains to be seen.
In any case, they have a straightforward playbook:
"Entrepreneurs who want to start companies but might not yet have an idea or co-founders can apply through Hexa to become a founder with one of the studios. They will then be matched with a startup studio and work with the studio team for 12-18 months to transform a startup idea into a company. Together, they will work to launch the startup, develop a first version of the product, hire a team of 8-10 people, and acquire their first customers… After this period, they will raise the first round of funding and become operationally and financially independent from the studio."
Make no mistake: eFounders has a proven track record of scaling tech startups, built up (relatively) slowly over more than a decade.
The 30+ startups that found their footing under the studio's wings have reached a valuation of more than $5 billion at last count (up from $2 billion only 1.5 years ago and $1 billion just north of 3 years ago), and includes unicorns like Front, Aircall and Spendesk. In total, eFounders startups have raised more than $700 million in follow-on funding to date.
Less visible, but also notable, is the fact that eFounders has been instrumental in guiding scores of people into entrepreneurship.