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Unpacking the $80+ billion ONDC opportunity: India’s next startup catalyst

India's approach to unbundle payments made the world look up and take notice. Now it's time to disrupt commerce with the Open Network for Digital Commerce or ONDC. In our latest Theory of Next deep dive we mapped, researched, and reached out to every network participant live on ONDC right now.


And we're excited to share with you a comprehensive what could be India's next unicorn catalyst with inputs from Vibhor Jain (COO of ONDC), Sujith Nair (Founding member of Beckn Protocol), and founders building on ONDC!

Co-authored by Nitin Sharma (Partner, Antler) and Gokul Kumaravelu.

India

Antler brings day zero investing to Munich

We’re thrilled to bring day zero investing to Munich as we open the doors of our new office and host our first founder residency in September 2023. After having been in the DACH ecosystem since 2021, it was clear that adding an office in Munich would only be a question of "when"-not "if".  

Antler's new Munich office will plug right into this dynamic ecosystem and be well-positioned to support the next generation of entrepreneurs in Central Europe. We look forward to seeing what exciting new ventures emerge from this city!

Germany

Why embracing equity matters to Antler

At Antler, we believe anyone with enough determination and grit can build a great business. But we also know the startup ecosystem’s playing field is far from level. This International Women’s Day, we spoke with five women leaders at Antler about why embracing equity matters so much to our work, and what advice they have to be more inclusive in our everyday work and lives.

Global

How Women Are Thriving In the Startup Ecosystem: Spotlight on Canadian Founders

It's 2023. Women should be able to pursue any career they choose and have an equal playing field to thrive in it.

While we would like to believe this is true, the reality is very different.

Canada

Neha Juneja: Closing the credit gap for India’s women entrepreneurs

“India has about 70 million unique women borrowers, which, to put it in context, is about a quarter of our households. Any ease of business here, any ease of credit here, any advancement here is our best shot at becoming a prosperous country.” —Neha Juneja, co-founder and CEO, IndiaP2P

Global

Filippo Nigro on his Startup Journey with Antler in Berlin

Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. In our content series—”It All Starts with People”—we spotlight 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.

This time we sat down with Filippo Nigro to talk about his journey and why he decided to build his company with Antler in Berlin.

Germany

Early Days—Episode 12: Cameo with Arthur Leopold

Cameo is the world's largest celebrity marketplace. With Cameo, you can access thousands of celebrities and request a personalized video message for any occasion from your favorite stars.

Arthur Leopold recognized the potential of selfies becoming the new autographs. He quickly joined Cameo as the first employee (COO) and invested in the startup's friends and family round. Arthur spent over 5.5 years with Cameo, serving as President through January 2023. While Arthur recently stepped down as President to start his own company, he remains a Senior Advisor and an ardent supporter of the team.

We recorded this podcast while Arthur was Cameo's acting President. In this episode of Early Days, Arthur talks about the first Cameo that started it all, combatting the chicken-egg problem in marketplaces, finding near instantaneous product-market fit with fans, and Cameo's distinctive celebrity acquisition strategy.

US

Early Days—Episode 11: Bubble with Emmanuеl Straschnοv

Have you ever had an idea for a really awesome product, but you get stuck because you don't know how to write code? Well, today's guest, Emmanuel Straschnov, is solving that problem as the founder and CEO of Bubble.io. Emmanuel and his co-founder, Josh, wanted to put the ability to write software at the fingertips of the entire world. In 2012, they started Bubble, and set out to build a no-code platform that equips anyone to write beautiful software. Listen to this episode of Early Days to learn how Emmanuel and Josh bootstrapped for seven years before taking external capital, building Bubble into a unicorn in the process.

US

Piet Hein van Dam: The seasoned data entrepreneur aiming to eradicate type 2 diabetes

Meet Piet Hein van Dam, co-founder of Clear, who is using data—not pills—to help millions of people with type 2 diabetes eliminate the disease within three months.

Global

Antler Reveals New Aussie Terms

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.

Australia

Investing in Cattle Guru to unlock efficiency for 75M dairy farmers in India

A team from the Antler India Fellowship cohort, Cattle Guru is building a one-stop shop for Bharat farmers.

India

Investing in Dimension to redefine social building

We are thrilled to back 16-year-old Tejas Ravishankar as he builds a robust productivity and experience platform for open-source developers.

India

Five steps investors can take to support more diverse founders

Despite growing calls to create a more inclusive venture capital ecosystem and remove the barriers to entrepreneurship, only a fraction of funding is raised by founders from underrepresented communities.

The first step towards change is quantifying the challenge. While in-depth research has been conducted about women founders and founders from ethnic minority backgrounds, data has never existed about tech founders from the LGBTQ+ community—until now.

Global

A record year for Europe's leading day zero investor

A look back at 2022, a record year for the leading day zero investor in Europe—showcasing investment activity and key predictions for the early-stage tech ecosystem in 2023.

Global

Antler and Microsoft for Startups partner to back women founders

Antler is proud to join forces with Microsoft for Startups to support rising entrepreneurs—starting with 23 non-dilutive grants to women founders in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and North America—and reduce the barriers to startup success. Meet some of these founders.

Global

Tanika McLeod: The educator empowering the next generation with an on-demand social learning platform

Meet Tanika McLeod, one of the three co-founders of MinuteSkill, a Toronto-based social micro-learning platform that uses bite-sized content and knowledge-sharing communities to empower the next generation.

Global

Investing in OnArrival | Antler India

OnArrival is building simple, plug and play APIs that enable travel sellers (e.g. OTAs, corporate travel managers, travel agents, Airlines, hotels, etc.) bundle high-margin travel ancillaries (e.g. visa, insurance etc) in over a billion trips worldwide.

India

Venture capital as an engine of positive transformation

Antler's second annual ESG and Impact Report shares learnings on how VCs can focus on creating sustainable value from the outset, and celebrates our portfolio companies' work in this space.

Global

Why we backed NOVO: speeding up energy renovation at scale—when a massive market meets the perfect team at the right time

Find out more into why we backed Novo, a Berlin-based company disrupting the energy renovation industry. NOVO automates analysis, planning, and financing of energy renovation for real estate, with the goal of decarbonizing homes and tackling climate change.

Germany

A golden year of innovation? 25 of the biggest trends shaping 2023.

More than 25 operators at leading tech companies share their top predictions for the year ahead.

Global

Antler in 2022: 365 days of drive, grit, and vision

No matter what the macro-economic backdrop, there is no force greater—and more essential—than founders determined to make a positive dent in the world.

A massive thank you to the entire global community—founders, advisors, investors, employees, and partners—who made the past year our best yet.

Here’s a look back at our 2022.

Global

Entrepreneurship and emotional intelligence

Exploring the link between entrepreneurship and emotional intelligence with Rafael Urdaneta, DACH Head of Finance at Antler.

Germany

AI: Humanity's Miracle Machine, Part II

In the second installment of our multi-part series we dive deeper into the different layers of AI value stack and how future founders can find their cutting edge in this rapidly evolving ecosystem.

Note: This is part 2 of a multi-part AI series. If you are interested in understanding why AI will be an era-defining technology and the key terms associated with it, please read part 1 (click here) before you begin part 2.

India

Mapping the Generative AI landscape

One of the hottest topics trending on social media platforms in 2022 exploded in recent weeks with the release of ChatGPT and DALL-E, prompting furious debate about the implications for people, careers, and industries worldwide. What’s at the heart of the controversy? Generative AI (Gen-AI)—systems that can quickly create new content such as college essays, songs, and digital pieces of art. These capabilities are impressive, but they also raise important questions about the future of work and the role of humans in an AI-dominated world. As generative AI continues to advance, it will be crucial to consider the ethical implications and potential impacts on society. What would happen if creative jobs were largely replaced by AI machines? 

Global

Investing in Generative AI with Hexo

Generative AI is opening up a world of opportunities and Hexo is building the underlying infrastructure to enable that. We are thrilled to partner with Vignesh Baskaran and Kunal Bhatia to help build and scale Hexo AI.

India

The 12 Days of Antler Gift Giving

At Antler, we're proud to back more than 600 companies across six continents doing great things in the world. During this season of giving, we are excited to highlight a selection of Antler portfolio companies whose products and services—from tech-enabled beauty products to luxury fashion mystery boxes—are sure to impress the most discerning trendsetters on your nice list. 

Welcome to the 12 Days of Antler Gift Giving!

Global

AI: Humanity’s Miracle Machine, Part I

In this multi-part series, we explore everything from the origins and evolution of AI to the future AI landscape and how future founders can be a part of it.

The 2nd installment of the series (click here) is also live for anyone interested in jumping right to how the AI landscape will pan out and what future founders need to know.

India

Yaumi Sugiharta: The brand builder revolutionizing skincare through tech and sustainability

Meet Yaumi Fauziah Sugiharta, a brand builder and growth marketeer on a mission to make people more comfortable in their own skin through Base, a digitally native personalized skincare company based in Indonesia.

Global

Writing your own success story

A conversation with Samira Scheerer, ex-consultant who’s following her vision of founding her own business.

Germany

The 2022 Benelux Unicorn Founder Roadmap: How to build unicorns in Benelux

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.

Netherlands

The Angle: Why the long-term view is the hard but right one

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.

Global

Finding the right solution

A conversation with Raj Kukreja, software developer, engineering manager and now working on finding the right solution.

Germany

Meaningful work: building products to empower people

Sitting down with Viktoria Prantauer: digital marketing expert, breast cancer survivor, and now working on making her mark on the world.

Germany

Jamie Bubb: The tech marketing venture developer connecting brands and content creators

Meet Jamie Bubb, co-founder of Twirl, who—on the back of defeating Hodgkin’s Lymphoma—built an SaaS-enabled marketplace connecting brands with content creators.

Global

Venture investing in the downturn

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?

Global

Meet Antler’s seventh residency in Amsterdam

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.

Netherlands

Emilia Theye: The psychologist using AI to democratize access to mental health solutions

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.

Global

Backing founders from day zero to greatness

Today we are sharing our new brand that reflects that commitment and the reason Antler exists: to stand behind our founders from day zero and to keep backing them on their paths to greatness.

Global

Announcing the Antler US Fall 2022 Showcase

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!

US

Early Days—Episode 10: charity:water with Scott Harrison

In Episode 10 of the Early Days, Scott tells the story of his 16-year journey building charity:water with the mission to give people access to clean water.

US

Early Days—Episode 9: Esusu with Samir Goel

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.

US

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.

Global

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.

India

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.

US

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.

India

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.

Global

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.

Global

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.

US

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.

India

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.

India

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Ellen Chan

Global Director of Digital Marketing

ellen.chan@antler.co
Kimberley Tait

Vice President, Head of Brand & Content

kimberley.tait@antler.co