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Updated list of venture studios and startup foundries


I’ve been more and more interested in the venture studio / production studio / startup foundry model, and started researching different ones around the world. I’ll also have a post in the next few days on what I actually think about the model. But for now, here are the ones I found:



Idealab was started in 1996 and created some massively successful companies. They had more than 30 exits on ~75 companies created. They were involved with eToys, Overture, Shopping.com, Commission Junction and Compete.


Betaworks is a company which builds companies in. Their studio in NYC is currently focused on Bitly, Digg (which they recently acquired), Chartbeat and SocialFlow. They also double as an early-stage investor.

Sandbox Industries

Sandbox Industries has many different activities, including a number of venture funds, but at the core they have their foundry, which has created CakeStyle, CareSimply, Doggyloot and more.

Hattery – acquired by Google

Hattery is a hybrid foundry, venture firm and incubator in San Francisco. They invest in companies and help them out with design and other services, as well as start their own.

Redstar Ventures

Redstar is a company builder focusing on 3 different themes: aging demographics, the future of media and the underemployed. Their first startup is LoopIt.


Youweb is the incubator that spun off OpenFeint and CrowdStar.

Archimedes Labs

Started by a TechCrunch co-founder, Keith Teare, Archimedes is a foundry, incubator and investor, which recently spun out Just.me

Launch Code

Launch Code is building a platform to launch consumer internet companies, working out of RAA Venture’s office. They’re focusing on subscription e-commerce in the beginning.

Atomic Labs

Stealthy product lab.


A Paris-based foundry which is probably one of the most successful ones, given they already launched MailjetTextMasterPressKingMentionFront and Aircall.


Celebrity entrepreneurs’ vehicles


Obvious is the factory of Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Jason Goldman which spun Odeo, Twitter and more recently Medium, Branch and Lift. The founders actually recently announced that they were “closing” the foundry to each focus on a startup, as they really like to focus.

Monkey Inferno

Monkey Inferno is Michael Birch’s entrepreneurial vehicle. The model is very interesting: everyone can come up with an idea, and if enough people think it’s valid, they’ll start testing it out. They’re very fast in killing the ones that don’t work, and everyone gets equity in every company created.

Sherpa Foundry

Sherpa is new a mixed foundry and fund headed by Shervin Pishevar and Scott Stanford. Looking forward to seeing what comes out of this, as the names behind it are really heavyweights.

Science, Inc.

Science is a new studio started by former MySpace CEO Mike Jones. It already created some very cool companies, including: EverySignal, HelloSociety and WittleBee.


HVF is Max Levchin’s new company. He seems to be focused on big-data problems with this one. Apparently Max tried the production model earlier and spun out Slide and Yelp. Not too bad. HVF stands for “HARD, VALUABLE, FUN”.

Tasty Labs – acquired by Walmart Labs

Tasty Labs is Joshua Schachter’s foundry. They’re working on Jig, Skills.to and Human.io.

Ooga Labs

Ooga is the vehicle of James Currier, former founder of Tickle. It already spun out Wonderhill, which was sold to Kabam, Jiff and IronPearl.


Expa is Garrett Camp‘s the new holding company. He is best known for having founded StumbleUpon, Uber and Blackjet.


Other Models


Prehype is a foundry which works with corporations, acting as their external R&D studio.


Cofounder.co is exactly what it sounds like. It acts as an early co-founder for your company.


Rocket Internet

Probably the most famous one, having built Alando, StudyVZ, Jamba, BigPoint and a million other clones, but most European countries have a lot of them.

Forward Labs

Forward labs is the foundry of the Forward group, which dabbles in entrepreneurship, venture capital and private equity as well. Their model makes a lot of sense as they’re able to leverage their services in all of their companies, no matter the stage.

Fastlane Ventures

Fastlane is Russia’s Rocket Internet, they launch companies in 50 days out of their office in Moscow.

Germany also has Project A, Found Fair, Venture Stars, Rheingau Founders, Hanse Ventures  and Founders Link, Denmark has Rainmaking, Italy has Banzai, Boox, Nana Bianca, Digital Magics and H-Farm while Switzerland has Centralway. Europe is really big on the studio model, and I’m sure I’m missing many, many of them.

Let me know the ones I missed.



Pollenizer is an australian foundry who’s creating some really cool companies such as WooBoard and Pygg.

Innovation Works

The premier Chinese incubator.


DFR is an asian studio with offices in Shanghai and Tokyo.

Quasar Ventures

A foundry focused on Latin America.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716758809 Danilo Campisi

    rocket internet put money only in its own ideas. It is not a venture capital but a venture builder.

    • http://bernardi.me/ Stefano Bernardi

      what’s your point? This is precisely a list of venture builders and not funds.

  • AntonioMannoCap

    Exosphere at Santiago de Chile http://exosphe.re/

  • http://twitter.com/coreycrossfield Corey Crossfield

    Compelling model I think will become more frequent. I’m surprised though that the agencies CAA, WME, etc aren’t doing something simliar.

  • Kilian Schramm


    please add Found Fair to the list of Berlin Based Company Builders / Incubators / Accelerators.

    Btw: Many Berlin Based Organizations have own VC Entitiies as well. ;-)

    All best, K

    • http://bernardi.me/ Stefano Bernardi

      Added, thanks!

  • paolo

    google venture?

    • http://bernardi.me/ Stefano Bernardi

      I’m not aware of any internally grown ventures inside of GV.

  • http://twitter.com/tomas Tomas

    Nice list. Was just researching this. :)

  • http://twitter.com/sonofsarah Isaac Souweine

    Nice list! I would add Innovation Works in China. Pollenizer in Australia/Singapore (that’s where I work). http://www.founderslink.com/ in Germany. There was something in NYC called Gramercy Labs but it seems to have closed down. Also I believe Hootsuite came out of a digital agency in Vancouver and in fact I think “agencies that also build products” is probably worth a whole category on this list.

    • http://bernardi.me/ Stefano Bernardi

      Thanks Isaac, not sure how I forgot about Pollenizer. I love what you guys are doing.

  • Gonz Ferrero

    Great list stefano – please do include DFR in Tokyo and Shanghai as well (dfra.com) – we’ve been doing this for the last 5 years and looking for what exactly to call it.

    • http://bernardi.me/ Stefano Bernardi

      added, thanks!

  • http://ciurca.ro/ Vlad Ciurca

    Hi Stefano. What do you think about : http://interplay.vc/? It seems to fit these categories too.

  • http://ciurca.ro/ Vlad Ciurca

    Also http://www.avos.com/ might be in this category.

  • Justin Goldman

    Stefano, thanks a million for the comprehensive list. I was looking for your follow up post regarding your thoughts on the foundry/studio model that you alluded to in the intro of this post but could not find it. Just found your blog and am really enjoying the content. Would love to hear your thoughts on the foundry model.

  • Michael

    Hi Stefano,
    Great article, looking forward for the following post

    Switzerland has seedstars.com
    Denmark founders.as
    Germany team-europe.net


    • Michael

      Sorry about the 2 comments…

      SE Asia has novafounders.com

      South Africa has springlab.co

  • Ashish Aggarwal

    http://dfra.com/ – in Asia

    • http://bernardi.me/ Stefano Bernardi

      that’s already in there.. last one.

  • http://www.startupsinboston.com/ Jay Neely – Boston Startups Gu

    I think your link for Max Levchin’s HVF is wrong. It redirects to Horizons Companies, a media production studio. http://www.hvflabs.com/ looks like the correct link.

    Good list!

    • http://bernardi.me/ Stefano Bernardi

      Fixed – thanks!

  • Pingback: Updated list of venture studios and startup foundries | Enjoying The Moment

  • Iñigo

    One more for the list: Wayra ( wayra dot org) – It’s the VC arm of Telefonica (the spanish telco giant) with offices in Madrid, Barcelona, London, Múnchen (not Berlin), Sao Paulo, Mexico, and soon Buenos Aires.

    • http://bernardi.me/ Stefano Bernardi

      how is that a foundry?

  • Peter Hubshman

    Awesome list!

  • Tim Metzner

    You could also add Differential.io to the “Foundries” group (we’re both incubating internal ideas & providing services for equity in other startups).

  • Álvaro Cuesta

    Perhaps you could also add SonarVentures.com We are the first Company Builder in Spain. We launch our own startups, and we partner with entrepreneurs that share a common vision. We want to disrupt the startup ecosystem in Spain, by acting as a Movie Studio partnering with “movie directors” (our entrepreneurs) to lower their friction.

  • MFishbein

    Great resource, thanks Stefano!

    I just wrote a post on the viability of the studio model: http://mfishbein.com/startup-studio/

    Thought you might find it interesting and would love your feedback/thoughts.

  • Andy Freire

    Thanks Stefano for featuring us (@quasarventures)! Happy to see Latam in the map! We are exploring the possibility of opening a small portion of equity of our companies to other froundies. Anyone interested let us know.