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eFounders is a startup studio founded in 2011 by Thibaud Elzière and Quentin Nickmans. Headquartered in Paris and Brussels, eFounders partners up with entrepreneurs to launch multiple SaaS startups each year. Projects are launched on an 18-month cycle during which eFounders assembles the team, builds the product, and acquires its first customers. At the end of the cycle, companies raise funds and become independent. eFounders differs from other accelerators and incubators by allocating extensive resources to each project and retaining equity in each company it launches.

FounderThibaud Elziere, Quentin Nickmans

Since 2011, eFounders has launched 20 startups. As of March 2019, those startups have raised a cumulated $187.3 million in funding, employ 670 people, generate $67 million in ARR, and are valued at a total of $541 million.



eFounders initiates projects by pairing founders and ideas. Founding teams are typically composed of one business founder (CEO) and one technical founder (CTO). In some cases, founding teams can include a product founder (CPO) and/or an operations founder (COO). eFounders then hires a team to support the companies' early development. Early employees typically include full-stack developers, business developers, and growth marketers. Teams usually grow to between 10 and 15 employees by the time they become independent.

eFounders relies on its core team to offer expertise to each early stage startup on certain functions. These functions include Design, Hiring, Marketing, Product, and Finance. eFounders also provides offices to its projects-in-the-making until they raise funds and become independent. If the project fails to generate traction in the 18-month cycle, the project is dropped.

Application processEdit

eFounders receives 500 applications from founders around the world to join its program. Cohorts of founders for each batch range from 6 to 15. Founders include graduates from Ecole Polytechnique, HEC, and Stanford.

Entrepreneurs applying to eFounders are pitched ideas that originate from the studio itself. In some cases, founders pitch eFounders an idea they would like to launch through the program. Founders joining the program then start working with eFounders on a specific idea until the founder and eFounders are convinced they are the right match to move forward and launch the startup.


Between 2011 and 2015, eFounders built its startup studio model and launched 5 startups. In 2016, eFounders raised a further $5 million and increased its output to 4 startups per year.[1]

Since 2011, 3 eFounders companies have been acquired.


eFounders portfolio companies
Batch Name Accelerators Founders Total funding Investors Status
eF11 TextMaster[2] - Thibault Lougnon, Alexandre Ponsin $8.4M Alven, Serena Acquired[3]
eF11 Mailjet[4] - Alexis Renard, Pierre Puchois $17.5M Alven, Iris, Seventure Active
eF13 Mention[5] - Matthieu Vaxelaire, Arnaud Le Blanc $800K Point Nine, Alven Acquired[6]
eF14 Front[7] Y Combinator (S14) Mathilde Collin, Laurent Perrin $79.3M Sequoia, DFJ, Social Active
eF14 Aircall[8] 500 Startups Olivier Pailhès, Jonathan Anguelov, Xavier Durand, Pierre-Baptiste Béchu $40.6M Balderton, Draper Esprit, Next World Capital, FJLabs, FundersClub Active
eF16 Spendesk[9] - Rodolphe Ardant, Jordane Giuly, Guilhem Bellion $12.1M Index Ventures, Kima Ventures, FundersClub Active
eF16 Forest[10] - Sandro Munda $3.5M Kima Ventures, Connect Ventures Active
eF16 Hivy[11] Y Combinator (W17) Pauline Tordeur, Pierre-Alain Loiseau $700K Y Combinator Acquired[12]
eF16 Illustrio[13] - - - - On hold
eF16 Foxintelligence[14] - Edourd Natté, Nicolas Remia $18.22M Daphni, Partech, Kima Ventures, Global Founders Capital Active
eF17 Slite[15] Y Combinator (W18)[16] Christophe Pasquier $4.4M Index Ventures Active
eF17 Station[17] Y Combinator (W18)[18] Julien Berthomier, Alexandre Lachèze $3.7M Accel Active
eF17 Briq[19] - Laurent Van Basselaere, Charlène Thouard, Jérémie Sicsic $1.1M - Active
eF17 Folk[20] - Noé Malzieu, Ronan Gouëllo - - On hold
eF18 Upflow[21] - Alexandre Louisy - Kima Ventures Active
eF18 Equify[22] - Alexandre Léger - - Active
eF18 Zenvest[23] - Cyril Bertier, Simon Arvaux - - Active
eF18 Multis[24] - Thibaut Sahaghian, Théophile Villard - - Active
eF19 Bonjour[25] - Etienne Dargnies, Jonathan Beurel - - Active
eF19 Swan[26] - Nicolas Benady, Nicolas Saison, Mathieu Breton - - Active
eF19 Chilli[27] - Julien Lhoste - - Active

Business modelEdit

As a startup studio, eFounders partners up with entrepreneurs to launch several startups simultaneously. eFounders specializes on one vertical - B2B SaaS aimed at small and medium businesses.[28] When a startup becomes independent, eFounders retains 50% of the company. The remaining 50% are split among the founding team.[29]

eFounders can generate revenue when its companies are acquired or when they IPO.[30] To allow its companies to grow, eFounders makes them fully independent from the studio operationally and financially. Once they become independent, companies raise funds to finance their growth.


In 2017 Hivy was acquired by ManagedByQ for an undisclosed amount.[31]

In 2018, TextMaster was acquired by Technicis[32] and Mention was acquired by MyNewsDesk.[33]

Relationship with other acceleratorsEdit

Many of eFounders' startups participate in accelerator programs. 4 eFounders startups have participated in Y Combinator's program (Front YC S14[34], Hivy YC W17[35], Slite YC W18[36], and Station YC W18[37]). 1 eFounders startup has participated in 500 Startups (Aircall[38]). eFounders encourages founders to consider such options, but no known partnerships exist between eFounders and other accelerators.


  1. ^ "Startup studio eFounders raises $5.3 million because it can't get enough of SaaS". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  2. ^ "Online Translation - Translation Services". TextMaster. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  3. ^ eFounders (2018-04-04). "TextMaster (eF11) Acquired by Technicis". Inside eFounders. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  4. ^ "Mailjet - Email Delivery Service for Marketing & Developer Teams". Email Marketing - SMTP services - Mailjet. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  5. ^ "Media Monitoring Made Simple | Influencer Marketing Platform". Mention. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  6. ^ eFounders (2018-08-31). "Mention (eF13) Acquired by MyNewsDesk". Inside eFounders. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  7. ^ "The shared inbox for teams | Front". FrontApp. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  8. ^ "Cloud Call Center Software & Business Phone System". Aircall. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  9. ^ "Smart spend management software for business". Spendesk. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  10. ^ "The admin panel framework". Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  11. ^ "Managed by Q | Task Management for a well run workplace". Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  12. ^ eFounders (2017-09-27). "Hivy (eF16) acquired by ManagedByQ: turning a new leaf, keeping the same vision". Inside eFounders. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  13. ^ "illustrio: 100% free, 100% customizable icon library". illustrio. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  14. ^ "Foxintelligence". Foxintelligence. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  15. ^ "Slite, the note app for teams". Slite. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  16. ^ eFounders (2018-02-02). "Slite (eF17) Joins Y-Combinator's 2018 Winter Batch". Inside eFounders. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  17. ^ "Station • One app to rule them all". Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  18. ^ eFounders (2018-03-20). "Station (eF17) Completes Y Combinator's 2018 Winter Batch". Inside eFounders. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  19. ^ "Employee engagement powered by virtual credits • Briq". Briq. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  20. ^ "Discover how smart individuals & teams use Folk to build their network". The next generation contact manager • Folk. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  21. ^ "Better payments for your business". Upflow. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  22. ^ "Equify | Logiciel de gestion juridique et financière de l'actionnariat". Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  23. ^ "Zenvest: Streamline your entire fundraising cycle". Zenvest. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  24. ^ "Multis, the cryptobank for companies". Multis. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  25. ^ "Bonjour • Power to sales teams". Bonjour. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  26. ^ "Simple banking API to issue cards, wallets, and IBANs". Swan. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  27. ^ "Chilli, la plateforme d'innovation pour propulser votre PME dans l'ère du Cloud et libérer votre potentiel digital". Chilli (in French). Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  28. ^ Elziere, Thibaud (2018-09-14). "eFounders Letter #6 — A Software Galaxy". Inside eFounders. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  29. ^ Elziere, Thibaud (2017-12-11). "eFounders turns 7 years old — A tribute to entrepreneurs". Inside eFounders. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  30. ^ "Startup studio eFounders is gaining some serious traction". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  31. ^ "Managed By Q, the office management system, acquires Hivy". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  32. ^ "Belgian translation startup TextMaster acquired by Technicis". Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  33. ^ "Mynewsdesk acquires web monitoring service Mention". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  34. ^ "Companies in Y Combinator S14 Batch | YCDB - The Y Combinator Database". Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  35. ^ "Companies in Y Combinator W17 Batch | YCDB - The Y Combinator Database". Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  36. ^ "Companies in Y Combinator W18 Batch | YCDB - The Y Combinator Database". Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  37. ^ "Companies in Y Combinator W18 Batch | YCDB - The Y Combinator Database". Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  38. ^ "". 500 Startups. Retrieved 2019-04-08.

External linksEdit