Founders Factory is a venture development company that combines a startup accelerator program with a venture capital fund to help startups achieve rapid growth and success. The company was founded in 2015 by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox with the aim of creating a new model for venture capital that would provide startups with the expertise, funding, and support needed to turn their ideas into successful businesses.
Founders Factory operates a unique model that provides startups with mentorship, networking opportunities, and funding, as well as access to a team of experts in areas such as product development, marketing, and sales. In addition, the company provides startups with a range of services, including office space, legal support, and access to its extensive network of investors and partners.
The company has worked with over 100 startups in a range of industries, including fintech, healthcare, and education. Founders Factory's portfolio includes successful startups such as IQ Capital, which offers a platform for investors to manage their investments, and Deep 3, a virtual reality company that creates immersive training simulations.
Founders Factory has also established partnerships with major corporations, including L'Oreal, Aviva, and Marks & Spencer, to help startups access new markets and customers. The company's partnerships with these corporations enable startups to receive valuable mentorship and support, as well as access to new customers and markets.
Founders Factory is a venture development company that was founded in 2015 by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox. The company is headquartered in London, United Kingdom, and has additional offices in Johannesburg, New York, and Paris.
Brent Hoberman is a successful entrepreneur and investor who co-founded lastminute.com, one of the largest travel and leisure websites in Europe. Henry Lane Fox is a former executive at the luxury travel company, Belmond, and is also the sister of Brent Hoberman.
Founders Factory was established with the aim of creating a new model for venture capital that would help startups achieve rapid growth and success. The company's mission is to bring together the best startup ideas and founders, along with the expertise, funding, and support needed to turn those ideas into successful businesses.
The company operates a unique model that combines a startup accelerator program with a venture capital fund. Founders Factory provides startups with mentorship, networking opportunities, and funding, as well as access to a team of experts in areas such as product development, marketing, and sales. In addition, the company provides startups with a range of services, including office space, legal support, and access to its extensive network of investors and partners.
Since its founding, Founders Factory has worked with over 100 startups in a range of industries, including fintech, healthcare, and education. The company has also established partnerships with major corporations, including L'Oreal, Aviva, and Marks & Spencer, to help startups access new markets and customers.
In response to the lack of diversity in the startup ecosystem, Founders Factory launched a new initiative in 2020 called Founders of Color. The program is designed to support and mentor startups founded by people of colour, with a particular focus on Black founders.
Founders Factory launched two new accelerator programs in 2020, focusing on fintech and health-tech startups. The programs provide startups with mentorship, funding, and access to expertise in their respective fields. In 2021, Founders Factory raised £60 million in a funding round to support its venture development activities. The round was led by British Business Bank's Future Fund and included participation from several other investors.
Founders Factory has supported several successful startups in recent years, including Tractable, a company that uses AI to process insurance claims; Spoon Guru, a food discovery platform that helps users find products that fit their dietary needs; and Flo Health, a period and fertility tracking app that has reached over 180 million users worldwide.
As well has also expanded its presence beyond London, with additional offices in Johannesburg, New York, and Paris. This expansion has enabled the company to work with startups in new regions and tap into local expertise.
Founders Factory has unique investment criteria that focus on early-stage startups with disruptive business models and innovative technology solutions. Here are some of the key investment criteria that Founders Factory looks for when considering startups:
- Disruptive business model: Founders Factory looks for startups that have a disruptive business model that challenges traditional ways of doing things. Startups that can create new markets or disrupt existing ones are particularly attractive.
- Innovative technology: Founders Factory is interested in startups that have innovative technology solutions that solve real-world problems. Startups with proprietary technology or unique IP are particularly attractive.
- Experienced founding team: Founders Factory looks for startups that have an experienced founding team with a track record of success in their respective fields. The team's expertise should be complementary, with members who have a range of skills and experience.
- Scalability: Founders Factory looks for startups that have the potential to scale rapidly and achieve significant market share. Startups that have a clear path to profitability and a solid growth plan are particularly attractive.
- Market opportunity: Founders Factory looks for startups that are addressing large and growing markets with significant potential. Startups that are targeting underserved or overlooked markets are particularly attractive.
- Ability to leverage Founders Factory's resources: Founders Factory is interested in startups that can leverage its resources, including mentorship, funding, and expertise in areas such as product development, marketing, and sales. Startups that can benefit from Founders Factory's extensive network of investors and partners are particularly attractive.
Founders Factory is an organization with a set of values that guide its approach and culture. These values are essential principles that help shape the company's operations and interactions. Here's a closer look at each of Founders Factory's values:
- Think Big, Act Small, Move Fast: This value encourages a mindset of ambitious thinking, similar to a startup mentality. "Thinking big" means having grand and transformative visions. "Acting small" emphasizes the importance of breaking down these big ideas into practical steps or experiments. "Moving fast" stresses the need for agility and rapid execution to bring ideas to life.
- Value Momentum Over Perfection: This value underscores the importance of progress and forward momentum over waiting for perfection. It aligns with the agile methodology and encourages teams to iterate and make improvements continually. The focus is on delivering value and learning from each iteration rather than striving for flawless outcomes.
- Embrace Uncertainty & Remain Decisive: In the dynamic world of startups and innovation, uncertainty is a constant. This value encourages team members to embrace uncertainty rather than shy away from it. While being decisive means making informed decisions even when facing ambiguity, it also means being adaptable and open to adjusting decisions as new information becomes available.
- Suggest Solutions Not Problems: This value promotes a problem-solving mindset. Instead of merely pointing out issues or obstacles, team members are encouraged to come forward with potential solutions. It fosters a culture of proactive problem-solving and ownership.
- Prioritize Diversity to Strengthen Our Collective Intelligence: Recognizing the value of diverse perspectives and backgrounds, this value underscores the importance of inclusivity. It emphasizes that a diverse team can bring a broader range of insights and ideas, ultimately leading to better decision-making and innovation.
- Be Polite, Generous, and Show Empathy to Others: This value is about creating a positive and respectful work environment. Being polite and generous in interactions fosters goodwill and collaboration. Showing empathy means understanding and considering the feelings and perspectives of others, which is vital for effective teamwork.
These values collectively shape the culture and approach of Founders Factory, guiding how its team members work together, tackle challenges, and drive innovation.
Founders Factory's mission is “to empower entrepreneurs and corporates to build successful and innovative startups.” The company aims to achieve this by providing startups with the resources, expertise, and support they need to grow and scale their businesses.
Founders Factory's mission is driven by a belief in the power of entrepreneurship to create positive change and drive innovation. The company recognizes that startups are essential for developing new solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges and is committed to supporting startups that are working on solutions to these challenges.
Founders Factory has an impressive portfolio of startups across a variety of sectors. Some notable examples from their portfolio include:
- Hoxton Farms: Startup that produces lab-grown meat. Their mission is to create a sustainable and ethical alternative to traditional meat production.
- Laka: Startup that provides flexible and affordable insurance for cyclists. Their innovative insurance model is based on a community-led approach that incentivizes safe cycling and rewards members for sharing their insurance savings.
- Mighty Health: Startup that uses artificial intelligence to help people make healthier lifestyle choices. Their app provides personalized recommendations for diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors based on user data.
- Rovco: Startup that provides underwater robotic services for the offshore energy industry. Their technology enables more efficient and cost-effective inspections and maintenance of offshore infrastructure.
- Yayzy: Startup that helps users reduce their carbon footprint by tracking their spending and providing personalized recommendations for more sustainable choices.
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Henry Lane Fox (Chief Executive Officer & Founder)
Lee Bernasconi (Chief Marketing Officer)
Emma-Jane Willan (Chief Financial Officer)
Nick Le Fevre (Director of Strategic Partnerships)
Paul Egan (Chief Technical Officer)