US start-up Twice offers $1 million ‘acqui-hire’ bounty

A US start-up called Twice is pushing the ‘acqui-hire’ trend to new levels by offering $1 million to acquire any “well-qualified” technical and design-savvy entrepreneurs who have failed with their own ventures.


Twice, an online marketplace for buying and selling second hand clothing, said that its Restart Fund was a “tongue-in-cheek nod” to the Start Fund, which offers $150,000 in funding to every start-up graduating the YCombinator accelerator.


The $1 million Restart fund will be aimed at start-ups or entrepreneurs accepted into incubators such as YCombinator, 500 Startups or TechStars, or any “well-qualified” team.


A number of Australians have recently been accepted into these US incubators, such as Nikki Durkin of 99dresses and the founders of Flightfox.


Twice, which was launched last year by two former Google employees, said that the fund was aimed at snaring people with technical know-how who had launched their own start-up only to see the venture fail.


“My co-founder Calvin and I quit our jobs at Google and began working on a micropayments business, but we were never able to hit product/market fit. We were left wondering what to do,” says Noah Ready-Campbell, CEO of Twice.


“We were approached by several big companies about talent acquisitions, but we knew we still wanted to work on something that had a lot of opportunity for growth.”


“If Restart Fund had been around, it would have been a very interesting option.”


Elad Gil, former vice president of Twitter and an investor in Twice, adds: “Given the current state of Silicon Valley’s hiring environment, it’s a super smart move for Twice to acquire a talented team with proven execution ability but whose own products haven’t found traction.”


Twice said that it will hold a “rigorous” application process to find the right start-up, with the offer expiring at the end of the year or when a hire is made – whichever comes first.


For more information on the fund, click here.


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