Expa, a self-described “startup studio” created by StumbleUpon and Uber founder Garrett Camp, is announcing that it has raised $50 million in funding from some big names, including Virgin founder Richard Branson and HP CEO Meg Whitman.
What’s a startup studio? Well, Expa says it will be working with founders “from inception toward product-market ﬁt,” and investing between $500,000 and $1 million in their companies.
Camp said last year that names like “incubator” and “accelerator” don’t quite describe what he’s trying to do. The goal is to build new startups from scratch using the techniques he’s learned from his past companies. (In the funding press release, Expa says it has turned that experience “into a platform to help founders increase their startup’s chance of success.”)
Camp told me today, via email, that Expa is still following the model he described, just “refined”: “We are still focusing on product, centered around 2 teams: data & design.” He also suggested that the closest parallel may be Idealab.
A team of about 20 people are working on Expa and its initial projects (two mobile apps and one mobile website), he added.
A regulatory filing revealed last month that Expa would be raising up to $75 million.
The just-announced investors include Branson, Whitman, Camp himself, Google board member Ram Shriram, TPG founder David Bonderman, Li Ka-shing and Solina Chau, First Round Capital, Sherpa Ventures, Booking.com Chairman Kees Koolen, SVAngel, Lerer Ventures, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, Behance founder Scott Belsky, Undercurrent founder Josh Spear, and author Tim Ferriss.