TheFamily is a leading accelerator in France with a different approach to nurturing startups. Founded just a year ago, it has quickly grown into an education powerhouse, with strategic investors and mentors on the board. Faithful to its promise of supporting 100 startups per year, TheFamily now strengthens its position further by raising $1 million funding from Index Ventures and a number of angel investors for an open round that may go up to $2 million.
The company who is located in in a 1,200 square meter house in central Paris, has a portfolio of 126 startups selected among 3250 applications. They include many of today’s celebrity French startups like Mindie, Jellynote, TVShow Time and Bunkr.
TheFamily’s strategy is based on strong education. It provides around 170 workshops to their entrepreneurs, with 140 videos on their YouTube channel and 79 eye-opening presentations on Slideshare. They organize 85 meetups for tech ecosystem and the Growth Hacking Paris event that the company claims has become the largest tech meetup in France.
During the incubation process, the company provides the startups with the first legal contract to raise funds without debt nor valuation. “AIR” system, as they call it, is run in collaboration with SB Avocats an offered in open source to the whole French ecosystem. They believe that the French startup ecosystem can develop and prosper when they stop copying Silicon Valley ingredients and start leveraging “French assets”.
Co-founder Nicolas Colin says, “We need to overcome the French paradox, a nation of purists and highly educated people who are experts and technicians but who never even think about entrepreneurship as a possibility. This is what we call the Dark Matter, all the hidden diamonds to reveal by making entrepreneurship accessible to them.”
Martin Mignot from Index Ventures said in a statement, “When they presented us with their plan for educating the French tech ecosystem, we thought it was crazily ambitious and would have been happy to see them achieve half of what they were promising. One year later, they have delivered twice as much, and it was therefore an obvious decision to keep supporting them. What they are doing for the French ecosystem is phenomenal: they have both the vision and the drive to help turn Paris into one of the main tech hubs globally.”
Among the list of Godfathers, many young angel investors and serial entrepreneurs committed. As Oussama said: “I’ve been impressed by the number of French people who’ve sold their companies and want to give back to the ecosystem. They are the ones we wanted to be supported by, a new generation of angel investors.”