California-based start-up accelerator NFX Guild, founded in 2015 by partners James Currier, Stan Chudnovsky, and Gigi Levy-Weiss, unveiled its first class of companies at a conference at Mountain View on Thursday. NFX Guild also has an office in Herzliya, Israel, and one-third of the participating companies are from Israel. Levy-Weiss is one of the leading angel investors in Israel, and is a former CEO of 888 Holding plc (LSE:888).
The name NFX Guild comes from “Network Effects” which the accelerator partners describe as "the primary driver of defensibility of many of the largest tech companies in the world".
NFX Guild takes on companies only by invitation, and has a network of scouts in Silicon Valley and Israel. Many of the companies that join NFX Guild have already raised significant capital or gone through accelerator programs. Three of the 16 companies in the current class had raised over $20 million before the program started (Honor, LiquidSpace, Honeybook) and a total of one third of the companies in the class had already raised their Series-A capital.
“We’re product obsessionals. We take the approach that if the product is right, the fundraising will come, and so will the growth,” said Currier. The top three stated priorities of the NFX program are: 1) high retention, 2) good unit economics, and 3) organic growth. “Along with building network effects into the products, these three elements create the basis for the truly large and impactful companies, so that’s what we focus on helping the teams build.”
NFX Guild is an intense experience over three months, with an emphasis on education. In the first class, 12 of the 16 NFX Guild companies changed their core value-proposition, and 8 of the 16 companies went as far as to change their company name as part of their evolution. “We break it down to core principles and rebuild on a solid foundation -- retention, unit economics, and organic growth -- and go from there,” Currier said.
The Israeli companies in the current class are 5Treats, a market network for pet care services; Genome Compiler, whose web-based DNA design tool and marketplace platform allows scientists to design biological code, purchase research services direct online, and collaborate; Honeybook, an events planning and billing network; Rooster, which brings people together to help, borrow and share with one another for free in their local communities; The Restaurant Network, a market network for restaurant supply; Yodas, a professional graph for software developers, product managers, designers and anyone participating in product creation; and Zengaming, a network for eSports participants. The next NFX Guild class starts in January 2016.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 18, 2015
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015