Four years and one Fund on, a lot has changed at Antler Australia. In this new series, the global early-stage VC reveals how it's working with founders from day zero, path to its first 100 Australian investments, introduces two new Partners, and announces some of the best terms for founders in the country.
Grace is responsible for strengthening and bolstering Antler’s brand presence in Australia. With a passion for tech and innovation communications, Grace has over six years of experience in helping Aussie and global disruptors tell their stories. Prior to Antler, she worked at GoFundMe Australia and award-winning tech PR agency, Sling & Stone. She competed in SpaceX's Hyperloop Pod competition in 2016.
February 20, 2023
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While much has changed since we launched Australia four years ago, our mission to back the world’s most driven founders from day zero remains.
Our vision is more ambitious than ever, to make progress inevitable, recognising that a better future will not happen automatically rather it takes driven, talented, and resilient people to build it.
To achieve this founders launch and scale companies that address some of the world’s most meaningful opportunities and challenges.
We back these founders from the earliest stage: day zero. Pre-idea, pre-team, or Pre-Seed, and support them for the life of their business.
Because at Antler, we are fuelled by a personal passion that goes beyond traditional investing. We want to be part of moving society forward, making progress inevitable.
To do this, we operate across all six continents and have built a global community of thousands of founders, advisors and investors. This network supports startups with co-founder matching, deep business model validation, initial capital, expansion support, and follow-on funding, empowering Antler portfolio companies to scale faster and more efficiently.
This is our superpower in Australia: We are the country’s only truly global early-stage VC and we exist to increase our founders’ speed and success rate in solving important problems.
By surrounding founders with this global network of exceptional individuals, we believe it will focus their vision, elevate their aspirations and encourage them to move faster. From winning their first 100 customers to raising their next round of funding, or leveraging insights and advice from world-leading experts in varying business sectors, Antler is uniquely committed to founders’ success.
The evolution of Australia’s only truly global VC
After launching in Singapore in 2017, Antler has rapidly transformed into a global VC with a staggering total portfolio valuation of US$3 billion operating in 26 locations with investment in over 700 companies, and a community of over 5,000 early-stage startup founders.
Antler’s first Australian Fund of $46 million, closed as an oversubscribed raise in 2019. Within this time, it has:
Grown its portfolio to 100 early-stage startups
Worked with over 500 founders across Australia
Received over 8,500 applications from aspiring founders to join Antler
Beyond the achievements of Antler’s local Fund, its portfolio companies continue to reach new heights:
15 companies have a valuation over $10 million
80% secure third-party capital within 12 months of Antler’s initial investment
$100 million in third party capital has been raised collectively
The first founders to build their businesses with Antler walked through our doors in Sydney back in June 2019, only months after our first boots were on the ground.
Some of the first founders we worked with have gone onto lead: Pathzero a leading carbon emissions tracking platform which recently closed a $8.6 million Series A round attracting US investors, Xailient recognised as "the world's fastest Computer Vision AI” by Sony and Intel, and small business insurer UpCover which closed a $4.7m raise last year.
In only four short years, and through a global pandemic no less, we have now worked with over 500 founders to build the defining companies of tomorrow. As one of the world’s most active early-stage investors, the companies we invest in are helping solve some of the world’s greatest challenges such as: Sapyen tackling the inaccessibility of male-fertility diagnostics, Lived supporting those overcoming addiction, Vyro accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, among many others.
And, we’re only just getting started. Another 90 founders joined us across Australia in the last month alone.
To provide the best possible support for founders to build their startups with us over the past four years, Antler Australia has scaled its operations with a local headcount of 20 across our offices in Sydney and Melbourne and bolstered our VC and operator credentials, welcoming Partners Cath Rogers and James McClure.
Unlike typical VCs, we provide the launchpad for aspiring founders to build exceptional companies, then we invest, and partner with founders over the life of their business.
We know that the best minds to build the next Australian unicorn require a diversity of life experiences and professional backgrounds. Antler is proud that we are breaking down the barriers for entrepreneurship especially for those previously overlooked by the industry due to professional and education experience, demographics and more.
We level the playing field by providing a path to entrepreneurship for many founders for whom it may otherwise not be feasible, by building within a community, a near term path to capital and a stipend to help cover expenses through the cohort. We’re also proud of our ESG, Impact and Diversity & Inclusion measures that are deeply embedded across our business and investment approach.
Founders typically join Antler at the Pre-Launch phase. This is where exceptional individuals join a cohort of entrepreneurs ranging from tech leaders and product builders to domain and functional expert and business savvy operators. From here, Antler provides support with co-founder matching, idea validation, business development, and a clear pathway to capital.
The teams built with Antler then have the opportunity to pitch for investment at the Antler Investment Committee, if successful, the newly minted startups become Antler portfolio companies. Our next Pre-launch cohort starts in May, followed by September. Apply today.
Antler portfolio companies then receive ongoing support through their next milestones and stages. Whether that be launching products into market, acquiring customers, global expansion or scaling operations, we continue to partner with these founders for the life of their company.
Antler has the capacity to make follow-on investments from the first post-Antler round and beyond. We have invested over $1 million in select portfolio companies, including Pathzero and Xailient.
We have two investment vehicles to do so: firstly through the local Fund, and secondly with global support from Antler Elevate which invests in later stage rounds typically to Series C. Antler does not lead these investment rounds, however we prefer to co-invest alongside other local or global investors which has so far included AirTree, Blackbird, Carthona Capital, Square Peg, family offices, angels and our own LPs, among others
We also invest in the best and brightest Pre-Seed businesses across Australia. These are typically existing companies with a product in market and growing customer base. So far, we have backed climate tech startup Carbonaught using enhanced weathering processes to tackle climate change, and MyGigsters supporting gig economy workers to maximise their income, among others.
New Australian terms revealed
We are thrilled to announce new investment terms, among the most competitive in the country.
Antler Australia’s initial investment will increase to $225k from $190k, for the same equity stake of 12%.
These new terms value Antler Australia’s investees at a post-money valuation of $1.875 million, up almost 20% on the previous terms.
As Antler supports founders from day zero providing access to the tools to build a business, expert mentoring, industry masterclasses, global community of early-stage founders, introductions to angel investors and top-tier VCs, it has a one-off Program Feeof $68k, which is deducted from its initial investment.
“Market conditions have evolved since Antler first launched in Australia and our updated terms consolidate Antler’s leading position in the early stage VC segment. We obsess about attracting the best founders and helping them succeed. The increased investment amount provides founders with critical additional first capital, extending their runways and the higher valuation is a sign of the continuing confidence and optimism we have in our founders”, said Cath Rogers, Partner at Antler Australia.
Beyond the first cheque, Antler Australia will continue to provide follow-on investment for portfolio companies to help them scale from Pre-Launch to Series A. With global support from Antler Elevate, we have the ability to continue on investing in its portfolio companies up to Series C.
“Once a nascent startup ecosystem, Australia’s market has rapidly matured, breeding the most ambitious founders, and globally sought-after technology companies. We believe exceptional founders build exceptional businesses, our new terms will provide the ambitious entrepreneurs we work with to build the next generation of leading technology companies,” said James McClure, Partner at Antler Australia.
Applications to join Antler Australia in May are now open! If you're an individual looking for a co-founder(s), seeking to validate an idea and build an MVP, apply to Antler Australia today.
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