Antler, a global startup generator and early-stage venture capital firm, aims to use its recently raised $50m funding to build higher caliber tech startups that will disrupt businesses in Africa.
Antler is currently recruiting for the second cohort of founders to join its program in Nairobi starting March 2nd.
“At our first cohort, we had 1300 applications where we selected only 37 founders to join our program and built 15+ tech startups in the first phase,” said Selam Kebede, Director at Antler.
Antler is now on the second phase of the program where 5 startups have received an investment of $100,000. The second phase will be closing with a Demo Day event taking place on Feb 12th.
Antler looks for people with inner drive ready to set high goals and achieve them. Founders also ought to have deep knowledge in an area where they can form a foundation of their company’s competitive advantage. It also looks for founders wit grit, whose energy never runs low.
Antler’s selection process includes questionnaire and/or screening call to identify one’s passions, ambitions and overall drive and values. There is also a problem solving test which gives interviewers an overview of your quantitative and logical reasoning as well as problem-solving skills.
Once a founder has made it to this stage, they will meet with the Antler team to assess them on the dimensions mentioned above, drive, problem-solving skills and spike.
The Antler 6 month program is divided in two phases. The first phase is dedicated to finding a co-founder, validating ideas and starting to build your business. The second phase, after Antler investment, is an acceleration track where you will use Antler funding to get enough traction to raise your seed round. Throughout the program Antler offers office space, a personal mentor from its team as well as presentations with external speakers and connection to its global network.
Since its launch in Singapore in 2018, Antler has invested in over 120 companies – many of which have already announced further funding from leading VCs such as Sequoia and Golden Gate Ventures. Airalo and Cognicept have both raised investment from Sequoia; Sampingan from Golden Gate Ventures; and Base from East Ventures.
Founders in the Antler program have ten years work experience on average, and most come from high-growth startups and world-leading companies, often with deep technical expertise. Around 3% of all applicants globally get accepted, and Antler invests $100-200,000 into select teams. The portfolio has a high diversity, with companies in 17 industries, founders from 36 nationalities and 52% of companies having at least one female co-founder.
In a statement, Magnus Grimeland, CEO and Founder of Antler, said, “The world is full of brilliant and determined people who have the potential to build world-changing business, but haven’t yet taken the leap into entrepreneurship. We are laser focused on helping great people create groundbreaking businesses. Raising funds across seven geographies means that we can spread our impact across the world. We are looking forward to seeing our existing portfolio of exciting startups expand; and launching further Antler programmes in 2020.”
Antler identifies and enables exceptional people to build groundbreaking tech companies – regardless of gender, socioeconomic background or ethnicity – from the ground up through its program. Antler then provides pre-seed and later-stage capital to the successful companies. In order to provide this funding, Antler has local funds in each geography.
Amongst the new investors are Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and Elaine Saverin; investor and philanthropist Christen Sveeas, through Kistefos; Canica International; and the innovative Japanese financial services company, Credit Saison; amongst many other independent investors, entrepreneurs and finance industry leaders.