NFX Guild, a young mentorship-driven startup accelerator that was already managed by three powerhouse partners — James Currier, Gigi Levy-Weiss and Stan Chudnovsky — just added another impressive name to its roster: Pete Flint, the co-founder and longtime CEO of the real estate site Trulia. (You might remember that Zillow, the real estate listing site, acquired Trulia for $2.5 billion last year.)
Flint had left Zillow four months after the acquisition — and almost exactly 10 years after starting Trulia .
Though he remains on Zillow’s board, he says that since jumping away from the firm, he has spent his time largely “helping a bunch of startups, as well as spending time with the venture community,” and that he decided to join NFX expressly because it combines four of his passions.
First is investing, natch. Flint also says he’s eager to mentor companies, having received “terrific advice” himself early on. “Sharing some of what I did right and some of what I did wrong [feels] highly rewarding and can add a huge amount of value very quickly.”
Flint also said he gravitated to what NFX is creating, which is less early-stage fund than startup platform. (The firm has built all kinds of products and software and systems and processes to help its portfolio companies become as successful as possible.)
Last, Flint notes, like a growing number of other early-stage investors, NFX is obsessed with building community, something about which Flint personally feels strongly. “I found during my own entrepreneurial journey that the best advice was often sort of through this safe sharing between peers,” he told us on a call earlier today.
Currently, NFX is investing a $15 million fund, capital for which has been supplied in large part by four big brands in tech investing: Greylock Partners, Shasta Ventures, CRV and Mayfield.
Asked if Flint’s move suggests a bigger fund is in the works, Flint declines to say, but he concedes that NFX has “big ambitions” and says “it’s natural that we’ll have to raise more money at some point to do what we want to do.”
Flint says that prior to joining NFX — where he will be “100 percent focused” from now on — he had made a range of seed-stage investments in companies that largely remain in stealth, including several digital health startups, a few international real estate companies and a recruiting platform.
Flint was also an angel investor in Viv, the next-generation AI assistant founded by the creators of Apple’s Siri. Viv was acquired by Samsung earlier this year.
Flint found his way to NFX through Levy-Weiss. The two sat on a panel several years ago and had remained in touch, Flint says.
NFX is currently working with its third batch of startups. All the companies that pass through its program are referred to NFX through a network of scouts — some of them investors and many of them entrepreneurs. (No company can enter into the accelerator without being routed through them.)
Each company is provided with $120,000, along with 30 hours of programming, mentoring and introductions to investors. NFX in turn gets between 5 percent and 7 percent of their startup depending on how much money the company has raised previously.