eFounders morphs into Hexa, a portfolio firm of startup studios • TechCrunch


Over the previous 11 years, eFounders has refined the startup studio mannequin in Europe. The corporate has contributed to the launch of greater than 30 startups, together with three unicorns — Spendesk, Aircall and Front.

Whereas issues appear to be going nicely for the startup studio, eFounders is pivoting — kind of. As of at this time, eFounders is changing into Hexa, a holding firm for various startup studios.

You would have seen this variation coming as eFounders hasn’t been simply eFounders for some time. Along with its preliminary studio centered on the way forward for work, eFounders has already launched two new studios — Logic Founders for fintech startups and 3founders for web3 startups.

Hexa goes to run three totally different studios — Logic Founders, 3founders and, sure, eFounders. So what is going on with eFounders then?

“I began writing a LinkedIn article saying that it’s the final time I’m writing because the founding father of eFounders,” eFounders co-founder Thibaud Elzière advised me. However he isn’t going wherever, because the eFounders core staff is just going to work for Hexa now.

Identical to with Hexa’s different studios, there’s a devoted eFounders staff with a head of studio in addition to a core staff of product folks. Matthieu Vaxelaire is now on the helm of eFounders.

Mixed, Hexa firms have employed 3,000 folks and have reached a complete valuation of $5 billion. And Hexa isn’t going to vary its method going ahead. Hexa’s startup studios match an concept with a founding staff.

The studio staff then offers sources and assist to launch a product. After elevating some funding, startups achieve their independence and the startup studio can transfer on and give attention to new initiatives.

“We reached a restrict in terms of scalability. It’s a virtuous mannequin nevertheless it’s additionally very a lot handcrafted work,” Elzière advised me. Along with supporting Hexa’s present studios, the corporate needs to launch studios round new verticals, reminiscent of local weather, schooling and well being.

However it’s going to depend upon heads of studio that they meet and find yourself hiring. Hexa goals to launch two new studios subsequent yr.

“It’s a loopy wager for us. We’re making a model from scratch. And we’re doing that as a result of eFounders is a powerful model in terms of SaaS startups, but in addition as a result of eFounders was outshining different studios,” Elzière mentioned.

A 30% stake

“What we’re doing with Hexa is that we’re democratizing staff entrepreneurship. We provide a substitute for conventional entrepreneurship,” Elzière mentioned. “Like loads of issues in life, once you work as a staff, it really works higher.”

However that doesn’t imply that Hexa and its startup studios are launching new startups for enjoyable. They’re taking a major stake in every new startup.

“We need to launch extra startups. However it prices us round €800,000 to launch an organization. We will both make investments some cash ourselves, or we might create a small fund like Y Combinator. Buyers might contribute and they might find yourself on the cap desk.”

When Hexa’s startup studios launch a brand new startup, they attempt to preserve a 30% stake within the firm after elevating a seed spherical. With third-party buyers, Hexa might decrease its stake to one thing like 25%, and buyers would get 5%.

Hexa’s personal stake could be cut up between Hexa and every startup studio. “You’d have 5 to 10% that will be allotted to the pinnacle of studio and their staff,” Elzière mentioned. The underside line is that Hexa and its companions would nonetheless take a 30% stake. Then it might be cut up between a number of companions.

“That deal might sound a bit unfair,” Elzière mentioned. However he thinks eFounders’ monitor document speaks for itself. With roughly three unicorns out of 30 portfolio firms, entrepreneurs usually tend to create a unicorn with the assistance of eFounders than with out. Primarily, founders can doubtlessly get a smaller portion of a much bigger cake.

The life and dying of startup studios

However the place does Hexa come from precisely? It comes from the hexadecimal numbering system. Particularly, hexadecimals are used to symbolize binary digits (0 and 1) in computing programming. Every hexadecimal character represents a succession of 4 binary digits.

“For me, it’s the only expression of the human-machine interface,” Elzière mentioned. As a bonus, hexadecimal characters are additionally utilized by designers for colour codes.

He believes that startup studios will work identical to startups. A few of them will thrive, others will fail. “Studios can have a sure lifespan. Sooner or later, they’ll run out of steam as a result of the pinnacle of studio gained’t be there anymore or there gained’t be any alternative left,” Elzière mentioned. As at all times, we are going to choose the standard of Hexa’s work by the brand new startups that emerge from these studios.



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