The Angle is a new content series from Antler, featuring perspectives from our team members on the biggest events and trends impacting founders and early-stage investors today. Every article is that person's unique angle on a hot topic—what they see from their vantage point in one of our 25 offices around the globe—not Antler's stance. In our first edition, Jeff Becker draws lessons from the demise of FTX and turbulent tech moments in recent years. This article first appeared in Jeff's Monday Morning Meeting on Substack.
November 28, 2022
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
As everyone anticipates the next wave of ultra-successful companies in Benelux, what does it take to get there? What do the successful founders of Benelux unicorns look like? This report is an in-depth look at the Benelux startup ecosystem and its brightest stars. And above all, it is for anyone who is helping build the next 50 unicorns in Benelux.
Our new content series—"It All Starts with People"—delves into the passions, motivations, and vision of the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering wtih around the world. In our second spotlight, we sat down with Jamie Bubb, co-founder of Twirl, a remote content studio powered by top-quality creators that helps brands scale their content engines rapidly and cost-effectively.
We are living two simultaneous realities: the uncertainty of the current downturn and the unstoppable wave of innovation disrupting every industry. Against this backdrop, Antler's Kevin Brennan shares perspectives on assessing your position in venture capital for the rest of 2022 and into 2023. Might 2023 be the best vintage for the coming decade?
Antler’s seventh Amsterdam residency has officially kicked off! Are you ready to meet them? Here is more about who we invited to join the residency and what you need to know about this group of exceptional people.
Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. To honor them, we are launching a new content series—”It All Starts with People”—spotlighting the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering with around the world. Each story is a window into their passions, motivations, and vision—the reasons they are building and the positive dent they are aiming to make on the world.
In our first spotlight, we sat down with Emilia Theye, the co-founder of clare&me—a mental health app that uses language-based AI to develop an innovative approach to virtual self-help.
After receiving initial investment from Antler, our portfolio companies work with the Antler US team in a rigorous sprint to build and prepare for their next round of fundraising. We’re so excited to see what these tremendous founders accomplish next!
A country of over 1.4 billion people and something as crucial as the medical emergency response system still remains unsolved. The numbers quantify the magnitude and gravity of this problem - over 50% of the ambulances do not arrive even after 60 minutes, 90% of ambulances do not have the basic equipment and 97% have no trained personnel. But here is the most staggering number of them all - over 50% of all deaths in India are preventable. While ambulances are a part of the problem, they are not the solution. The missing piece in creating a robust medical emergency response system is a solid digital infrastructure layer.
Did you know that nearly 45 million Americans don't have a credit score, and most are immigrant families that struggle with lack of access to basic financial services because of this? In Episode 9 of the Early Days, Samir Goel shares how watching his parents struggle with lack of access to basic financial services inspired him to build Esusu.
Founders are the life force of the startup ecosystem. They give their all, betting on their seemingly “crazy” convictions and executing on abstract ideas that can potentially make our lives and work easier, faster, healthier, and better optimized.
But sometimes they do this to the detriment of their health. Being a founder means being beholden to customers, employees, and investors while balancing personal life. Often founders trade their stable, well-paying jobs to prioritize the restless inquisitivity of their mind. In the quest to answer the question “what if?”, they sometimes sacrifice their mental and physical health, only realizing the effects on their state of mind once they have impacted their ability to function as a leader. We have also seen how the mental pressure on founders can cause distress to those who depend on them for their livelihood and direction.
Fredrik Thomassen is the founder and CEO of Superside, a fully distributed and remote design operations platform. Fredrik explains how he and his co-founder got Superside off the ground by manually hacking together an MVP without any tech or teammates who knew how to code. We also hear Fredrik's insights on prioritizing his scope of product offerings, fundraising, and running a truly global company.
Antler founders scale faster and more efficiently, backed by our truly global community that includes industry-leading companies. We are thrilled to collaborate with IBM to give our fintech founders access to world-class technology experts and cloud platforms.
Why is a cloud strategy so critical for fintechs and why can it spell success or failure for a startup? We sat down with Prakash Pattni, Managing Director—Digital Transformation, IBM Cloud for Financial Services, to learn more.
Investors and startups are increasingly making money and driving positive change at the same time, unwilling to make a trade-off. How are they achieving both? While IPO valuations and revenue multiples for VC-backed companies in Europe dropped significantly this year, investment in climate tech is growing faster than any other sector in the region. Energy prices and policy (e.g., the Inflation Reduction Act in the US) alongside changing consumer behaviors have increased pressure for innovators to accelerate the energy transition.
To learn more about how investors and entrepreneurs are striking a balance between impact and profit in climate tech, Antler Amsterdam recently hosted a panel discussion with four experts—Hampus Jakobsson, General Partner at Pale Blue Dot; Lukky Ahmed, CEO of Climate X; Melina Sanchez, Principal & VP Impact at AENU, and David Oudsandji, CEO and founder of Voltfang.
ApniBus, which has been operating in stealth mode, is now live in more than 350 routes connecting over 1000 destinations. In just 7 months, the platform has seen over 1 million transactions and is growing rapidly month on month. They have perfected an operating playbook that ensures superior unit economics from day 1 and at scale. We are proud to back Sumit, Ravi and the ApniBus team from day zero of their journey transforming intercity travel for the next 400M Bharat travelers.
We are thrilled to back 21-year-old award-winning game developers and designers, Harsh Savergaonkar and Aditya Kasibhatla, who, with Cricinshots aim to redefine gaming experiences for the next generation of gamers and cricket fans in India and beyond.
We at Antler are thrilled to back Finverv on day zero of its journey of building the critical infrastructure needed for enabling thousands of organizations to offer credit to their customers and suppliers while helping lenders build profitable and scalable partnerships.
The Iberian ecosystem is attracting attention in the startup world with a staggering number of unicorns—startup companies with a value of more than $1 billion—and new funds in the past year. The combination of talent, capital, and startup-friendly governance has created a breeding ground for innovation.
India’s space tech industry is witnessing a paradigm shift driven by a factor common to most tech disruptions: a dramatic fall in cost. How will the confluence of multiple trends define the next era for space tech in India? Nitin Sharma (Partner, Antler India) and Rahul Seth (Scouting Director, Antler India) tackle these questions in the latest episode of Theory of Next. In a special section, Awais Ahmed (Co-founder and CEO, Pixxel) joins the team to talk about Mars colonization, asteroid mining, and space factories.
In this article, we look at the creator economy from our perspective as investors. Drawing from learnings we have gathered over time, we offer guidance to founders on what to expect when they start, grow, and scale their creator economy platforms. In addition, we cover protecting the creator economy through the recession, go-to-market strategies, what creators think about when shifting to new platforms, and much more.
At Antler, we believe every massively successful business begins with an exceptional founding team. In our experience, factors and traits that make founders stand apart vary widely—from excellence in education and a previous place of work to an extraordinary personal journey.
Antler has taken a systematic look at the exceptional founders whose companies crossed the legendary US$1 billion valuation mark in ecosystems around the world—DACH (Deutschland, Austria, and Switzerland) region (2022 and 2021), Africa, and Brazil—with the goal of identifying founder patterns that led to founding a unicorn.
This month, we explore Canada, delving into the backgrounds of local founders, the higher institutions they attended, their work experience before launching their ventures, and more. Globally, 2021 saw a record number of venture capital (VC) investments with more than $650 billion invested, minting close to 1,100 unicorns across the globe. Canada has followed suit.
Harpaul Sambhi dives into how he built Magical, a company focused on reducing monotony and pain in everyday tasks through simple, effective automation. At the time of recording, Magical had just raised $41 million in funding and automated over one billion tasks for more than 10,000 companies globally.
Now that the downturn is upon us, is it still the best time in history to build a business? Industry titans and Antler Board members James Anderson and Sheila Patel tackle crucial questions about the current markets, what they mean for founders and investors, and whether the golden age of innovation will persist through these rough seas.
At Antler India, we are particularly excited to back founders in areas such as SaaS, dev tooling, and Web3 infrastructure—with the vision of building critical infrastructure in India, for the world. To that end, we are thrilled to back Ronak, Debarshi, and the Adaptive team as they embark on a mission to empower technical and non-technical stakeholders at software companies globally.
The Early Days podcast launched in June, unwrapping how world-class founders built today’s most influential companies. Antler’s Tyler Norwood, creator and host of the podcast, talks about what inspired it, why the early days are so crucial, and why it’s important to humanize startups.
For the second consecutive year, we took a systematic look at the founders behind unicorn and soonicorn companies in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland). Just like in our inaugural DACH Unicorn Founder Roadmap released last year, we focus on the founders of the most valuable startups to better understand what makes these entrepreneurs and the companies they built so successful.
Andrew Ofstad, co-founder of the world's largest no-code platform Airtable, shares how three friends from college built an $11 billion dollar no-code empire that more than 80% of the Fortune 100 uses day-to-day.
A startup is like a child: in order to grow up big and strong, it needs proper nourishment — if the child is malnourished in its early years, its development can be hindered for life. Startups, too, need proper nourishment if they want to grow to their fullest potential. But instead of healthy food, startups need a capital pathway to sustain them and help them scale. When seeking initial investments, startups will often turn to venture capital (VC) firms. But while any willing VC firm can provide startup capital, each firm is different, and only some will be a good fit for your company.
Here, we cover how a VC can help your company grow and scale globally so that you can make an informed decision and carefully weigh your options when deciding which firm to partner with.
Three billion. That’s how many gamers there are globally who spend US$200bn a year on consoles and in-app purchases such as NFTs. The category is larger than movies and music combined demonstrating we are starting to spend more of our lives in virtual worlds. When we started to reflect on the days when millions of consumers played Mario Kart, Farmville and Club Penguin, we became captivated by how these planted the seed for the next generation of gaming platforms as we enter the new creator economy where all of us may become creators in the future and compensated based on our contributions towards platforms and communities. The next generation of emerging gaming platforms are putting the power in the hands of the players instead of confining them to one central authority.
It is always great to see more and more people willing to address mental health issues. Yet, as the conversation around mental health slowly expands, it also exposes the reality of crumbling support structures, lowered resilience levels, and the multiple failing points across our public and private healthcare systems. This is disheartening. The process of accepting that one needs help is difficult enough itself, the other steps needed in this journey should not add to the difficulty.
Teo Ortega is a contrarian builder who is not afraid of deviating from what is considered common knowledge. He likes to take things apart and understand how they work and put them back together in a new way as a way to understand their fundamentals — a form of reverse engineering if you will.
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🖼.
The power structures of the creator economy are rapidly changing - creators are now in the driver’s seat, being offered the opportunity to have greater individuality than ever before through Web3 creator platforms.
When we think of content creators, examples include YouTubers and TikTokers creating content for their fans. This often results in limited revenue opportunities such as merchandise, subscriptions, ad revenue or tipping which, in practice, is only sustainable for the top 1% of creators who have amassed large followings. Today, creator platforms are taking too much income away from the actual creator - they do not provide options for creators to be discovered through their algorithms and few provide direct ownership where all stakeholders have a financial upside based on their contributions. This is, we believe, the next iteration for the category - a substantial shift since we published our first edition of the creator economy report in 2021. Creators are no longer just the product - they are the new economies.
This article is part of an Antler Berlin content series called ‘Call for Founders’. In this series, we will outline several exciting spaces in the startup and VC ecosystem that we see as opportunities ripe for venture creation. For this article we focus on marketplaces. These opportunities may emerge from an industry need, a trend, or indeed a prediction that we have had. If you like this series and you, or someone you know, is ready to build their own startup, apply to Antler.