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Seven ways founders can prioritize mental well-being as they build

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.


A doctor's journey and the serendipity of co-founder discovery at Antler Residency

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.


Early Days—Episode 8: Superside with Fredrik Thomassen

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.


How Sangti evolved from a ClimateTech idea to a VC-backed startup

A fitting pairing of Hitesh Bhuraria and Nishant Singh, one that was formed at the first-ever cohort of Antler India Residency, is set to build the future of how companies approach their decarbonization goals.


The criticality of cloud for fintechs: insights from IBM

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.


Heating up: Four things we learned about impact and profit in climate tech

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.


Early Days—Episode 7: Nerdwallet with Jake Gibson

Jake Gibson, co-founder of Nerdwallet, shares the story of how messing around with a friend to fix a problem getting a credit card scaled into a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ.


Investing in ApniBus

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.


Investing in Cricinshots and new-gen gaming experiences

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.


Investing in Finverv

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.  


Early Days—Episode 6: Glovo with Sacha Michaud

Sacha Michaud, co-founder of Glovo, shares the story of how this once humble delivery company grew into a billion-dollar logistics platform in Europe.


The 2022 Iberia Unicorn Founder Roadmap: A New Unicorn-Land Takes Flight

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.


Theory of Next by Antler India | Episode 04—The Next Era for Space Tech

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.


Investing in the $100 billion creator economy

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.


The 2022 Canada Unicorn Founder Roadmap: The People behind Canada's Flourishing Unicorn-Land

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.


Early Days—Episode 5: Magical with Harpaul Sambhi

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.


Will the golden age of innovation prevail?

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.


Investing in Adaptive

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 2022 DACH Unicorn Founder Roadmap: An Unprecedented Time in Unicorn-Land

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.


Real lessons from real founders: Antler’s Early Days podcast

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.


A fresh take on early-stage VC: Harvard Business School publishes a case study on Antler

Harvard Business School (HBS) recently published a case study about Antler’s fresh approach to early-stage venture capital. Antler Co-Founder Fridtjof Berge shares thoughts on how the case sparks discussion about the best ways to identify and support great people anywhere on earth.


Antler Launches 6th Cohort in Amsterdam

Antler Netherlands’ sixth cohort has kicked off in Amsterdam. Here’s more about who they are and what you need to know about this group of exceptional people.


Early Days—Episode 4: TravelPerk with Avi Meir

Avi Meir, founder and CEO of TravelPerk, shares his story of becoming a serial entrepreneur, and how his latest venture TravelPerk is changing the game in corporate travel.


Early Days—Episode 3: Airtable with Andrew Ofstad

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.


2022 ADE & Antler Startup Competition

Amsterdam Dance Event and Antler announced that the five-day long electronic music conference and festival and the early-stage venture capital investor have teamed up for the 2022 ADE & Antler Startup Competition.


Early Days—Episode 2: Superhuman with Rahul Vohra

Rahul Vohra, founder and CEO of Superhuman, shares how he first came up with this idea, and how he has successfully competed with one of the world's most powerful companies, Google.


Early Days—Episode 1: Strava with Mark Gainey

Mark Gainey, co-founder and chairman of Strava, shares the story of how he built the world's largest online athlete community.


How the right venture capital partner can help you grow and scale globally

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.


The New Creator Economy: unpacking Web 3.0 gaming

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.


Mental Healthcare is in need of disruption. Can tech startups keep India sane?

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.


How I met my co-founder and launched a plant-based meal delivery company

The following is a transcript of an interview between the co-founders of Faba and Antler. It has been slightly edited for clarity and length.


The founding bug — why I joined Antler

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.


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

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 New Creator Economy: A guide on Web3 creator platforms

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.


Antler Launches 5th Cohort in Amsterdam

Antler Netherlands’ fifth cohort has kicked off in Amsterdam. Here’s more about who they are and what you need to know about this group of exceptional people.


Marketplaces are a prime opportunity for early-stage startups - here’s why

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.


The Web3 Founder Journey: The Power of Communities

An interview with Austin Chaird, Chief product and technology officer at Alpha Impact


Podcasts That Every Entrepreneur Should Listen to in 2022

In the past years, podcast listening has become more popular than ever, but with so many out there it can be difficult to know what will be the best podcast for you as an entrepreneur and startup founder.

We have created a list of over 30 podcasts to inspire your listening habits curated by our network - from founders building their business with Antler to our team and advisors. No matter whether you are a first time founder or have done it all before, this list is guaranteed to offer something new.

Looking for even more practical resources for founders? Recently, we also shared our book recommendations for entrepreneurs selected by the Antler founders, advisors, and our team. Check them out!


Theory of Next by Antler India | Episode 03—Mental Wellness Tech

Theory of Next is a series by Antler India that decodes and contextualizes the spaces and ideas of the future. Using first-principles approach, it provides a window into the process by which a venture capital firm arrives at a particular sectoral thesis.


The Antler Quarterly: What can football scouts teach VC about risk management?

Football scouts search all corners of the world to find exceptionally talented individuals. They look for skill, vision, mental strength, and character, which you could argue are similar to what VCs look for in entrepreneurs.


6 women at Antler winning in life by breaking the bias of their self-limiting beliefs

Believing in our unlimited potential is one of the most powerful mindsets that one can possess to own our impact and ultimately win in life. It all begins with reframing limits and scarcity as opportunities for growth. At Antler, we invest in people by enlarging their capacity to not just be competent founders but also rise up as great leaders. In honour of International Women’s Day, we asked female founders at Antler and Antler team members how they overcame challenges to live out their true potential.

We hope you’ll find these stories as inspiring as we do!


DAOs and Web3 Governance: The Promise, Implications and Challenges Ahead

The past two years in crypto have been absolutely astounding. From “DeFi summer” (now $250bn+ of total value locked) to “NFT craze” ($3.4bn monthly GMV on Opensea alone in August 2021) to Solana’s epic rise and various memecoin’s ultimate downfalls – the sheer pace of adoption and activity across the crypto ecosystem has been an incredible force.

Every venture fund in the world is currently deepening or developing a crypto thesis. Talent from traditional industries is pouring into crypto. And we now have an overarching, epochal narrative to define the movement: web3.

Amongst all the areas to focus on, I have chosen to write about Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). The reason for this is as follows:

  • Incentive Innovation Rules All. Bitcoin provided a practical solution to the Byzantine Generals Problem by introducing an incentive innovation. In fact, much of crypto is about remixing existing technology with new incentives to create powerful new paradigms. DAOs are the natural frontier of incentive design in web3.
  • Capital Power. The DeFi ecosystem, with $250bn total value locked (TVL), is the current “super-app” of web3. While only ~$10bn of DeFi TVL (~4%) is currently held in DAOs, this number will likely increase exponentially as more and more DeFi protocols progressively decentralize governance. More money, more power – DeFi Treasury DAOs have the potential for massively influencing web3 in 2022 and beyond as capital power grows.
  • Web3 Promise. If the promise of web3 (versus web2) is to reduce centralized power in private, opaque corporate structures, then functional, community-led DAOs are a key prerequisite for the web3 promise to be fulfilled.


Volopay: The full expense management stack that every business needs.

Businesses need financial help — badly. That’s the core of what Rajith Shaji and I were trying to address when we founded our expense management platform — Volopay — in 2019. What started with the intent to help Singaporean businesses manage their money better, has now turned into a service scaled across the APAC region.


Top 5 VC-backed startups that will spice up your Valentine’s Day 2022

Love is in the air! Yup, it’s that time of the year again. While some impatiently await its arrival because of all the fun things they have planned out, it is a day of confrontation with involuntary romantic loneliness for others. Valentine’s Day 2022 is here, which we took as the occasion to find five startups that will help you celebrate Valentine’s Day, with or without a partner.


Jaramba: The app that’s pulling all the stops for a safer & more reliable daily commute in emerging markets.

Several years ago, one afternoon in Hanoi city center, I sat on the terrace in a cafe, watching people pass by with their various activities. A city bus passed, and I want to try it on but I couldn’t understand all the information on the bus. It was written in the Vietnamese alphabet. I finished my coffee quickly and ordered a taxi through a costly ride-hailing app as I had no other choice because I didn’t want to gamble by renting a motorbike there.


Theory of Next by Antler India | Episode 02—Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)

Theory of Next is a series by Antler India that decodes and contextualizes the spaces and ideas of the future. Using first-principles approach, it provides a window into the process by which a venture capital firm arrives at a particular sectoral thesis.


Antler Australia rings in the New Year welcoming 90 founders to build early-stage tech companies

Global early-stage VC Antler has kicked off 2022 by welcoming 90 Australian founders into its latest cohort to build the defining companies of tomorrow. With ambitions extending across SaaS, FinTech, AgTech, HealthTech and GreenTech, here’s what you need to know about this mix of aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs.

With their eyes set on solving some of the world’s biggest challenges by building new category-defining companies, these ambitious individuals are embarking on their founder journey with Antler Australia to secure Pre-Seed investment.


Web3 Insights Call hosted by Antler

Tune in to our Web3 Insights Call to learn about the new internet: Web3!


Watson Living makes rent rewarding

Rent hasn’t changed for several decades. In 2019, 36% of the 122.8 million households in the United States were renting their homes which is more than at any point in the past 50 years. The median price of a home is up nearly 70% in the last decade while median income has grown less than 30% in the same period. Homeownership and building wealth are increasingly out of reach for Americans. When homeownership isn’t feasible, more people rent, and rent prices skyrocket as they have done for the past 20 years. The multifamily housing industry is known for being slow to adopt new technology. However, increasing competition and the COVID-19 pandemic paired with generational shifts in apartment ownership to a younger more tech-savvy group has created many opportunities for technology companies to enter the multi-family housing market.


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