With a little modesty, Thibaud Elzière, co-founder of the startup studio eFounders, shared this conclusion with me over the phone: “We are not far from showing that the model works”. For the decade of the French nugget, however, the results are not in doubt. The name eFounders resonates right down to the “valley”. The native Parisian managed to create his brand.
Its tenth anniversary is accompanied by a sacred price list. At the crossroads of a new decade, the fundamentals are solid. 30 startups were born. Some started when others were only a few weeks old. By the end of the day, the portfolio will be worth over $ 2 billion. Just 18 months ago, during our first interview with the repeated entrepreneur, the billion mark had just been exceeded.
“We double our value every 18 months”
The eFounders model is well known in the French corporate landscape. The startup studio differs from Accelerators or even Rocket Internet in a recipe that has not changed for ten years: eFounders transmits the idea of a startup to entrepreneurs and then works with them as a “third co-founder”.
He supports them by providing them with human capital and expertise for 12 to 18 months until the startup is operationally and financially independent (by validating an initial fundraiser). So 30 projects were born. However, EFounders is limited to 3 to 5 new projects per year.
“The lesson we’ve learned from this decade is that this model is very artisanal. The energy of starting five companies a year cannot be pooled, ”explained Thibaud Elzière before adding that“ every box is an original creation ”. This limit in no way distracts his portfolio from exponential growth. “We double our value every 18 months,” he confirmed.
On the way to new studios
Shortly before the new decade, eFounders has already shown its new ambitions for the future. If it can’t increase the pace of launching startups, other startup studios are launched. That’s already the case with the Logic Founders, unveiled on Jan. 27, who specialize in fintech, when eFounders turned to SaaS and productivity tools.
In a statement released today, his team didn’t refuse to mention the blockchain, health and artificial intelligence areas to discuss his future specializations. “To be honest, nothing is planned yet. However, the lesson we have learned is the importance of this subject verticality. […] It will depend on the possibilities, ”Thibaud Elzière told Presse-citron.
The challenge will be great, but the context is right. “What we’ve built in ten years is a brand that enables us to attract the best entrepreneurs and the best profiles to build teams.” EFounders has created 1,500 jobs and is riding the wave of new remote work organizations.
“It is a new era that is opening with profound changes. And opportunities arise from two things: changes in usage and changes in technology. We are very excited about the current opportunities, ”he said. The studio has annual recurring revenues of $ 130 million, which enables investments in other startups.
We are now thinking about investing money in startups in addition to our creative work by setting up a seed and pre-seed fund.
The next ten years are not just about technical challenges. When it comes to inclusion, the entrepreneurial landscape must tend towards parity. Today only five women from the 28 projects presented by eFounders have taken over the leadership of the CEO. 50 men share the roles of CEO, CTO and COO.
“We have no plans to discriminate positively or set quotas. We try, however, to give more prominence to the women who make up the teams in our companies. In addition, we are still dependent on entrepreneurs who submit our project proposals. We’re optimistic: we’re seeing more and more women taking on CEO positions. This is still too rare for the technology part as CTO, ”concluded Thibaud Elzière.