Meet the 8 new startups backed by Antler in its second Berlin cohort

News article

Global early-stage VC Antler kicked off Q2 2022 in Berlin with their Portfolio Reveal Day on April 7th. As part of the second Berlin cohort, 8 teams took to the stage to showcase their innovation. The founders behind these startups work on addressing big challenges across Medtech🏥, Mental Health/Psychedelics🍄, HR Tech👩‍💼, Cleantech 🌊, Clean Energy⚡, Cybersecurity🔐 and in the Creator Economy🖼.

Introduction to Antler

The 8 startups are the newest members of the global Antler portfolio, which encompasses more than 400 companies across 30+ industries, working with various technologies and business models. 35% of Antler’s portfolio companies have one or more female co-founders leveraging a truly global platform, Antler has already supported over 3,000 founders from more than 70 nationalities across its 21 offices.
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Christoph Klink, Partner at Antler, adds: “One of our fundamental beliefs is that talent is global, we have thus established a global platform to work with the most talented founders across the globe. While we back founders for the long run, we are typically the first investors in their ventures and get to tag along their journey from the very beginning. The 8 newest additions represent a great mix of highly experienced and talented founders from diverse backgrounds.”

Portfolio Reveal Day in Berlin

The Portfolio Reveal Day is an exciting event for Antler and its portfolio companies alike. As part of the reveal, the founders presented their ventures to an audience of more than 2,000 people. Attendees included a blend of investors, advisors, tech enthusiasts, and executives. In addition to showcasing their businesses, the startup teams also took part in an interactive Q&A session, where they did a deep-dive into their products, customer insights as well as founders’ inspirations to build their companies.

The 8 portfolio companies were the product of the Antler process where more than 100’000 founders apply to join one of Antler’s cohorts per year. After hundreds of hours of interviews, ultimately 50 founders were selected to join the Berlin Fall 2021 cohort. These founders came together at the beginning of October and the Antler team worked closely with the founders to support them in forming strong and stable co-founding teams, refining their value propositions, and validating their business model before investing in 8 of the emerging teams. 

Alan Poensgen, Partner at Antler, summed up the intense work of the last months: “This has been a very exciting journey for us at Antler, seeing the co-founding teams form and their ventures grow. At the beginning of this cohort, we had the chance to embark on a journey with over 50 carefully selected founders. To experience the energy, see amazing products come to life, and work with founders as they move from 0 to 1 has been a great experience. Founders in this cohort are building companies in spaces that I personally find very exciting - many are addressing issues that are very challenging and where technology can make a real difference." 

Who are the new Antler portfolio companies in Berlin?

Indigo Hub - Creator Economy🖼

What does Indigo Hub do? With the exponential growth of social media, there are more than 50 million creators out there today. The majority of these creators are looking for ways to create more relevant products and monetize their audience. This is why Indigo Hub, a platform that helps creators become entrepreneurs and launch their own physical products, was brought to life. The offering covers sourcing suppliers, marketing and logistics services, plus a shopfront that can be set up in minutes. Indigo Hub empowers creators to build their independent brands through an exclusive selection of suppliers and the unique Indigo University which will guide creators along the journey with learning tools.

Who are the founders? Indigo Hub is founded by three female founders who have “been there, done that.” Katie worked for Intercos, the #1 beauty supplier, built a lifestyle platform from scratch and spent the last 5 years in investment banking covering the consumer sector. She is in charge of supplier sourcing and investor relations. Diana is a serial entrepreneur who built her own brand and e-commerce platform. She knows operations from the inside out and will be in charge of operations and digital products. Louise has been an entrepreneur in fashion and accessories for 7 years and spent the last decade building commercial and marketing strategies for giants such as L’Oreal and Hermès. She leads commercial, marketing, and learning.

Jetty - HR Tech👩‍💼

What does Jetty do? The current hiring practice is an emotional black box for candidates: anxiety due to uncertainty, being left behind in the process, rarely receiving feedback. Jetty wants to change this. Our product is a no-code web tool for talent teams to build inclusive hiring portals for candidates. The hiring portals are dynamic and offer candidates visibility into the hiring process, guidance on the interview steps, and insights into the role and company. Talent teams can increase talent engagement, gain data-driven insights into hiring practices, and ultimately win over more talent. Jetty seamlessly syncs with established hiring tools, so candidates have a centralized location to manage all their hiring processes, gain intel, and engage with hiring teams.

Who are the founders? Jo is a New Yorker living in Berlin, marathon runner, people-person, and foodie. As a co-founder of Jetty, she is leading Sales, Operations, and everything customer-facing. Jo’s experience is in early-stage and growth-stage startups and consulting. Robin is a German who has lived in the Valley, does river-surfing, and is deeply passionate about great products and user-centric design. As a co-founder of Jetty, he is leading Product, Design, and all things user-facing. Robin collected experience in consulting, company building, startups, and as a founder.

Physikit - Medtech🏥

What does Physikit do? Obtaining biochemical data in a traditional way (e.g., going to a doctor or to the hospital) breaks the user experience of eHealth. The solution that will enable a seamless user experience and unlock the next generation of eHealth is the at-home collection of body fluids, such as blood, saliva, and urine. However, the orchestration of at-home sample collection is complicated due to coordination with labs, finding the best test kits, taking care of logistics, and integrating with legacy IT systems. Physikit provides eHealth companies with a simple Application Programming Interface (API) and takes care of all of the above components of the at-home sample collection process in one single service.

Who are the founders? Physikit’s team is composed of 4 professionals with work experience from some of the world’s most respected institutions and employers. Kilian is a former McKinsey Consultant in charge of Physikit’s business development and strategy. Maros, who was previously Deputy Lab Head at Evonik, is responsible for product development and sales of the venture. The team is growing further with two hires responsible for research, content, sales, and operational topics.

Peak Power - Clean Energy⚡

What does Peak Power do? Peak Power is building the distributed energy balancing system by enabling smart and flexible usage of energy assets. Its time-series forecasting LSTM neural network provides crucial market insights as a basis for data-supported, operational decision-making. Peak Power helps to control and steer a smart network of distributed storage assets that reacts to energy-grid imbalances, stores excess energy from renewable energy sources and feeds energy back into the grid when it is most needed. Peak Power optimizes asset economics and at the same time contributes to enabling the energy transition by the accelerated deployment of renewables into the energy mix.

Who are the founders? Luis is a software developer with expertise in the back-end, strong experience in data science, building machine learning models and using different methods, such as neural networks and reinforcement learning. Timo is an industrial engineer with a focus on energy systems who has deep experience in the energy sector and strong expertise in global SCM and operations. Both co-founders have previous founding experience and led cross-functional, international teams in different settings. They have complementary skill sets and share the drive to be a driving force in the transformation of the energy sector.

infinit Bio - Mental Health/Psychedelics🍄

What does infinit Bio do? infinit Bio manufactures psychedelics through biosynthesis. Building the first, in-vitro (cell-free) biomanufacturing platform allows infinit Bio to unchain psychedelic therapy developers from the old pharma supply- and value-chain. First, the team is focusing on producing natural psychedelics, such as the ones found in magic mushrooms. As infinit Bio expands its platform further, it will be able to contract-manufacture proprietary psychedelic molecules. infinit Bio is currently building a GMP-compliant facility to supply the highest-quality medicinal compounds to compassionate use programs, clinical research organizations, and psychedelic therapy developers.

Who are the founders? Joining forces in Berlin, Federico and Rafael are bioengineers with a focus on biology and life sciences. Previously they have researched the core of infinit Bio’s technology together at EPFL’s Institute of Synthetic Biology. Together, Federico and Rafael successfully built and patented an in-vitro technology for the production of biosynthetic cannabinoids. Carlo complements the team’s technical excellence with the executive rigor to bring this technology to market. Holding a business degree, before co-founding infinit Bio, Carlo worked closely with Carsten Maschmeyer, co-founder of HMNC Brain Health.

Netbird - Cybersecurity🔐

What does Netbird do? Netbird is building an open-source platform that simplifies the deployment and management of corporate Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). IT infrastructure and networks have grown more challenging to manage and harder to scale as organizations embrace multi- and hybrid-cloud architecture. The traditional VPN “moat and castle” perimeter model of network security and access is becoming increasingly deficient. It takes weeks or even months for a specialized team to have a fully functional network up and running. Netbird is using an approach to network access and security that blends the best of the VPN with Zero Trust principles and a mesh design. Netbird’s technology enables secure access for any kind of user (human or machine) that is easy to manage and scale.

Who are the founders? Mikhail (Misha) is a software engineer by heart, education, and profession and he was previously a founder. In the past years, he has been managing software development teams while still being a hands-on engineer. Misha is the CEO of Netbird. Maycon has a background in cloud infrastructure engineering and computer networks with startup experience and various infrastructure setups. He is the CTO of Netbird. The co-founders have known each other for over 8 years and met in Brazil while working for a cyber security startup.

ApoFox - Medtech🏥

What does ApoFox do? ApoFox tackles the €100bn medical non-adherence problem by simplifying and enhancing the healthcare experience for chronic care patients. ApoFox is the connected care platform for ordering presorted medication into daily pill-packs, monitoring health symptoms, and gaining instant access to expert health guidance, with just one click. ApoFox will expand through a suite of digital health products that vertically integrate distinct and currently fragmented layers of the healthcare value chain such as medication plans, health check-ups and insights, medical expertise and healthcare system navigation, and pharmaceutical and insurance collaborations.

Who are the founders? Gina is ApoFox’s responsible for Sales & Operations. With an MBA from Esade she has deep industry knowledge from her family business in pharmaceutical distribution and she has led venture development efforts within the consumer healthcare space. Ali manages Strategy & Marketing and holds an MBA from INSEAD, as well as a CFA. He has 8+ years of M&A and healthcare advisory, as well as fundraising experience for high-growth startups. George oversees Product & Regulatory. He is a certified product owner (CSPO) and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and the University of Hong Kong. He has over a decade of experience in digital product innovation and has worked with many of the most customer centric brands in the world.

NeoCarbon - Cleantech 🌊

What does NeoCarbon do? NeoCarbon builds and markets the technology for Direct Air Capture (DAC), capturing CO₂ directly from the air. DAC is the only technology that enables removing carbon scale needed to slow down, stop and reverse global warming. However, today’s DAC systems are too expensive and time-consuming to build. NeoCarbon uses existing infrastructure in the form of cooling towers to perform Direct Air Capture at up to 10x lower costs and time, which makes the technology mass-market ready.

Who are the founders? NeoCarbon was co-founded by René Haas and Silvain Toromanoff, two engineers passionate about ClimateTech. René was previously Head of Business Development at Tink. He is an industrial engineer who takes on NeoCarbon’s strategy and sales. Silvain has a background in physics and, prior to NeoCarbon, he was the CTO of SayDuck. Silvain is responsible for the venture’s product and operations. The founders were recently joined by Andrew Shamu who holds a PhD in modular process design for CO₂ and serves as NeoCarbon's Head of R&D.

The Portfolio Reveal Day on April 7th took place online, followed by an intimate in-person Meet the Founders Event in Berlin. You can find the recording of the event here.

Sarah Finegan, Director with Antler, described the impact of the event: “The Portfolio Reveal Day is an exciting opportunity to see the portfolio companies as they emerge from stealth mode, present themselves to the wider ecosystem and gather interest from early adopters, potential partners, in addition to investors across the globe.“

The road ahead

The latest Berlin founder cohort is part of Antler’s deep commitment to investing in the best founders across the DACH region as well as Eastern Europe and back companies in areas where technology can make a true difference. That being said, the next cohort out of Berlin has just embarked on their journey of building the region's next group of disruptive technology startups.

The Antler team in Berlin is considering founder applications on a running basis for their upcoming cohorts. 

  • Are you an aspiring founder with a life-changing idea? 
  • Are you looking for a great co-founder to form a long-lasting dream team?
  • Would you like to build your next venture in one of Europe’s rocketship hubs?

Apply here for Antler’s next cohort in Berlin. Our team is looking forward to connecting with you!

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