Antler Australia: 2022 Year in Review

As 2022 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the year that was.

antler-australia

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Antler Australia

History has shown times of uncertainty breeds innovation. As one of the most active early-stage investors in the country, and the world, Antler continued to back exceptional founders solving some of the world’s greatest challenges, despite headwinds of economic turbulence.

We saw almost 250 founders join Antler to build their companies with us, achieved our first return to Limited Partners, launched Antler Australia Fund II, and secured early commitments. Meanwhile, our portfolio companies raised significant later-stage funding rounds, some in excess of $4 million, reached significant milestones relating to growth and traction, and even achieved an exit!

Without further ado, let’s dive into a pivotal year for our founders, community and local Fund.

TL;DR

  • A record number of founders joined Antler to build their companies with us 
  • We invested in over 40 companies, including our initial investment and follow-on rounds
  • Our portfolio companies secured $37m in third-party capital
  • We launched Antler Australia Fund II and secured commitments for First Close
  • LaunchVic threw its support behind our Melbourne operations with $360k in funding
  • Over 75 angel investors joined Antler Advantage gaining unparalleled access to our deal flow 
  • We held our Antler Investor Summit with over 250 qualified investors attending across Australia
  • We redefined the way we positioned our brand and how we invest: Day Zero investing

Founders Came First 

Almost 250 founders joined Antler to build their companies with us across five cohorts throughout 2022. Our new rolling intake provided founders with more flexibility to secure investment when they need it most, created greater opportunities to match with their co-founder(s), and fostered collaboration across our community of early-stage founders.

Our local Fund welcomed 12 new team members to strengthen our support of founders over the lifecycle of their business. In doing so, we more than doubled our capacity in Melbourne and invested in more Victorian founders building the defining companies of tomorrow. 

Cath Rogers joined as Partner of the Australian Fund. As an experienced investor at AirTree Ventures, Anchorage Capital Partners and Masdar Capital, a former startup founder, and also having held previous roles at Credit Suisse and Accenture, she’s provided invaluable advice and guidance to our portfolio companies as they scale their businesses locally and globally.

Founders readying to build their business with Antler in Melbourne

Record Investments Made

Antler Australia invested in over 40 startups this year alone. At the Pre-Launch stage, we believed in and backed over 25 startups who built their companies with us. Beyond this, Antler expanded its investment mandate to invest in existing businesses seeking to scale their operations. In doing so, we invested in 6 companies at Pre-Seed.

We provide unparalleled capital pathways for founders and follow-on investment opportunities for our portfolio companies. This year, we’re thrilled to have invested in 8 companies’ subsequent funding rounds. 

Beyond Antler’s investment, our portfolio of over 90 companies secured a whopping $37 million in third-party capital this year alone. This is a true testament to the calibre of talent and strength of Antler’s portfolio companies to secure this funding despite the economic turbulence.

Antler Australia's Partners; Cath Rogers and Bede Moore

Unparalleled Deal Flow

In 2022, we were delighted to launch and secure a First Close for the Antler Australia Fund II, which will strengthen our commitment to the local startup ecosystem and continue our investments in the world’s most driven founders. 

As featured in the AFR, our second Fund was launched at our Antler Investor Summit with over 250 qualified investors attending across Sydney, Melbourne and online, where we explored:

  • Antler’s stronghold globally as an early-stage investor with over 600 portfolio companies, collectively valued at US$2.2 billion 
  • The early achievements of the Antler Australia Fund I with over 100 investments since 2019, and 12 portfolio companies now valued at over $10 million
  • Antler Australia having achieved its first return to Limited Partners following the successful exit and acquisition of QuickaPay 

Beyond Fund II, over 75 angel investors joined Antler Advantage this year gaining unparalleled and exclusive access to Antler’s due diligence process, early-stage deal flow and later stage investment opportunities within our portfolio companies.

Antler Australia Investor Summit

Around The Grounds

Many of our portfolio companies bucked industry trends and went from strength to strength this year, here is a snapshot of some of their achievements.

Funding rounds - 

Industry recognition - 

Pathzero's founders Carl Prins and Charbel Ayoub

Bolstered Our Community 

Victoria’s leading startup agency LaunchVic threw its support behind Antler to help us further expand our footprint in Melbourne. The Grants for World-Class Accelerator Programs awarded Antler $360,000 to support growth in headcount and cohort delivery capabilities for founders.

Since 2019, Antler has invested over $3 million into 25 startups with at least one Victorian co-founder. With the addition of external investors, these companies have collectively raised over $11 million to date.

With one of the fastest growing early-stage founder communities in the world, we bolstered our commitment to strengthening connections with our founders and broader founder community by hiring not one, but two, Community Managers into our local Fund. 

We held weekly founder drinks with our cohort, monthly portfolio and investor drinks, flagship founder forums, and to top it all off, celebrated our one year anniversary in Melbourne with over one hundred founders, investors, and ecosystem partners. And last, but certainly not least, we held our Unicorn Fireside Chat Series featuring the inception stories of Mr.Yum, Linktree, and Cover Genius.

Antler Australia team

As we look towards the New Year, Antler Australia is energised to support more exceptional founders to reach new heights.

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