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The Unicorn founder roadmap: Two decades of insights into the DACH startup ecosystem

Have you ever wondered who the most successful entrepreneurs are? What career paths they pursued, what network they tapped into, and whether these stereotypical rules still apply today if you want to build the next billion-dollar business?

Taking a systematic look at the most exceptional founders of the 21st century in the DACH region, we have observed similar patterns that led up to founding a unicorn.


Introducing, The Antler Quarterly: A content series exploring impact, risk, sustainability, and opportunity within the Global VC industry

This new quarterly series leverages the insights of Antler’s Global leadership team to uncover real impact, explore sustainable measures, and identify future opportunities across the sector for investors and entrepreneurs.


Founders Series: Zabrina Chew, Co-Founder and CEO of Soda

The founders series takes a deep dive into the journey of Antler portfolio  company founders and sheds light on the space they are building in. This week, we spoke to Zabrina Chew, Co-Founder and CEO of Soda. Soda is a social discovery platform to help millennial professionals find and engage with relevant and trusted communities around them easily. Soda is building the  future of discovery, co-creation, and collaboration, bringing its community together through streamlined content and small, intimate gatherings.


In the hot seat with Radu Achihai, a recruitment whiz for early-stage startups

Read on to learn more about what prompted Radu to start RePack, what he’s learned about himself since becoming an entrepreneur, and how to hire top talent. Check out his tips on the startup recruitment process and how to maintain a healthy working relationship with your co-founder.


The good, the bad, and the unexpected: What entrepreneurs learned from building a startup in 2021

Let's face it, entrepreneurship and building a startup from the ground up are hard work. Add a global pandemic with variant strains, unforeseen lockdowns, and nationwide vaccine campaigns to the mix, and what you get is a lot more uncertainty.

The highs and lows that startup founders have had to go through the last 18 months to start a company and get funding are the result of hard work, a robust complementary team, and the ability to persevere and be adaptable to various challenges.

Founders from the recent Antler Southeast Asia cohorts shared with KrASIA some of their experiences as they navigated through this year to reach a milestone in their early-stage journey-to present their companies to the world at the Antler Southeast Asia Demo Day on July 22.


11 startup founders reveal the significant advantage they gained by building a business with Antler

Building a business, whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or a first-time founder, is hard work.


Antler VC Cast Episode 21 — Embracing Diversity Through Entrepreneurship with Piers Linney

In Episode 21, we speak to Piers Linney, a British entrepreneur and investor well known for being a "dragon" on the BBC's business series Dragons' Den. Piers is also a content creator and keynote speaker focused on supporting individuals with ambitions to build a start-up, and is passionate about diversity and inclusion within the venture capital industry. In this episode, he shares his experience as a tech investor on BBC's Dragons' Den, doles out valuable advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, and speaks passionately about the importance of making progress in diversity and inclusion within the technology entrepreneurship space.


In the hot seat with Jessica Li, a guru in building an autonomous startup culture

Learn about what keeps Jessica motivated and inspired as a founder, and how she and her co-founder, Puteri Myrasandri, have built the startup culture of their dreams. Check out her tips on building an autonomous startup culture, and how to push through rejections, all while building a successful company.


Antler VC Cast Episode 20 — The Future of Events with Renaud Visage

In Episode 20, we speak to Renaud Visage, co-founder and former CTO of Eventbrite. Renaud has been at the helm and foundation of Eventbrite's technical architecture from its inception and has built it into the leading events platform of the world. Renaud is also an avid photographer, startup mentor and angel investor. In this episode, he shares how Eventbrite successfully and quickly pivoted to online events during the Covid-19 pandemic, his predictions for the future of hybrid events, and doles out valuable advice for entrepreneurs.


The mission (almost) impossible: how we raised £300K with no revenues in the UK

This article is for my fellow founders who are entering the journey of building a startup in the UK. We had many discussions on different slack channels and I eventually was asked to share my experience of pre-seed fundraising without having any revenue — something which takes far more effort in Britain than in the US.


Founders Series: Shubham Gupta, Co-Founder of Ivory

The founders series takes a deep dive into the journey of Antler portfolio company founders and sheds light on the space they are building in. This week, we spoke to Shubham Gupta, Co-Founder of Ivory. Ivory is an employee engagement platform that harnesses anonymity to create transparency, empower collaboration and capture unheard risks.


Startup Series: Equality Check - accelerate equality in the workplace

Longtime friends Marie Louise Sunde and Isabelle Ringnes have always been passionate about equality and the power of technology in solving some of the most pressing issues of our time. Inspired by Emma Watson's powerful speech for the #HeForShe campaign, they joined the very first Antler cohort in Stockholm to build Equality Check - a platform for reviews about culture, inclusion and equality in the workplace.


Get ready to build, Berlin: 10 areas Antler sees as a prime opportunity for early-stage startups

This article is part of a new Antler Berlin content series called 'Call for Founders'. In this series, we will outline several exciting spaces in the local startup and VC ecosystem that we see as opportunities ripe for venture creation. These opportunities may emerge from an industry need, a trend, or indeed a prediction that we have had.


Founders Series: Josie Stoker, Co-Founder of Capture

The founders series takes a deep dive into the journey of Antler portfolio company founders and sheds light on the space they are building in. This week, we spoke to Josie Stoker, co-Founder of Capture. She and her co-founder Aziz Abdul have built an app to track carbon emissions.

Capture is a digital platform enabling organisations to mobilise one of their greatest assets in the fight for a sustainable future - their workforce. Through their app, integrations and dashboard, they run planet-friendly challenges and help companies live-monitor their CO2 savings.


The founders of 5 mental health startups share their advice for those looking to improve their wellbeing

The global pandemic had a profound impact on the mental health of many, so now more than ever, it is crucial to be aware of and apply good mental health practices.

At Antler, mental health is an important topic not only during Mental Health Awareness Month or the World Mental Health Day but throughout the whole year. As such, we've compiled advice from some of our portfolio companies that are tackling mental health: Stockholm-based VoiceHER, London-based Blueheart and Kalda, Singapore-based Innade, and Berlin-based clare&me.

Here's what they had to say.


Magnus Grimeland: The Visionary

Magnus met us with a friendly smile as if we had known each other for years. He immediately made us feel comfortable and transformed the conversation into a place where imagination and storytelling had no end. He created a perfect symbiosis between the two and painted a bright picture of a better world. It became clear that impact was his bread and butter. His electric energy was contagious, and at times we had to hold our horses as our question list kept on getting longer. An hour passed by in a split of a second. Delightful!


Antler VC Cast Episode 19 —  The Human Side of VC with Simon Schmincke

In Episode 19, we speak to Simon Schmincke, General Partner at Creandum, a VC advisory firm with offices in Stockholm, San Francisco and Berlin. Spotify, Klarna and Kahoot are among their portfolio of companies across Europe and the US. Originally from Germany, Simon built three companies for Rocket Internet and was part of the founding team of FoodTech startups Foodpanda in Singapore and HelloFresh in the United States. In this episode, Simon talks about the fundamentally human side of venture capital, his ideal founder-investor relationship and the differences in consumer behaviour he has noticed while working and investing across Asia, Europe and America.


Co-founder and CEO of Airtasker shares his journey from inception to IPO

Tim Fung is the co-founder and CEO of Airtasker, Australia's number one marketplace for local services.

Since its inception in 2012, Airtasker has gone on to enable more than $1 billion in working opportunities and acquired more than 4.3 million registered users. On top of that, in March 2021, Airtasker made its debut on the ASX and is now valued at $255 million.

During a virtual fireside chat, Antler Managing Partner Bede Moore spoke to Tim about his entrepreneurial experience thus far, Airtasker's growth to date, and advice he has for others looking to pursue a similar path.


Founders Series: Arun Sugumaran, Founder and CEO of ArtWallSt

The founders series takes a deep dive into the journey of Antler portfolio company founders and sheds light on the space they are building in. This week, we spoke to Arun Sugumaran, co-Founder and CEO of ArtWallSt. ArtWallSt is a global exchange for art where anyone can become collectors, exhibitors and investors. In addition to bringing art closer to people through everyday physical spaces, the startup is currently developing a platform where blockchain-authenticated physical artworks can be traded on the platform.


Chou Hoytt: Turning Vulnerability into a Superpower

When we interview visionaries, we want to get to know them. The one thing we love is when they open up about their failures and hard times. When we feel tears coming up, we know we’re on the way to a beautiful story.


The ultimate guide to the creator economy

220+ platforms that can help you turn your hobby into a paying profession


WATCH: Australian Energytech founder who raised $100 million during Covid shares her startup journey

Katherine McConnell, Founder & CEO of Brighte shares her journey to building her startup, as well as how she’s been able to achieve 912% revenue growth over the past three years and built relationships with investors such as Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of Atlassian.


NFTs and the rise of digital ownership

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have quickly become all the rage and a talking point around the remote water cooler lately. An NFT is a blockchain-based way of proving ownership, validity, and scarcity in unique digital assets. Although NFTs have been around for a while, they have recently entered the consumer mainstream as artists, creators and platforms are auctioning off everything from digital art, music, and NBA highlights. This could be a generational shift from physical to digital ownership.


3 key things investors scrutinize before closing the deal

I've been an active angel investor for about ten years now. Since we started Antler back in 2018 I've been part of many of our investment committees (IC) around the world. Every IC member and angel investor is different and will have different views on what makes a good investment. For me, there are three specific things I focus on when a team pitches to Antler for investment: The people, the product, and, of course, the potential.


Founders Series: Sophie Jokelson, Co-Founder & CMO of Cove

The founders series takes a deep dive into the journey of Antler portfolio company founders and sheds light on the space they are building in. This week, we spoke to Sophie Jokelson, co-founder and CMO of Cove.

Cove is a coliving company putting renters first. They make it easier, faster and more flexible to rent comfortable homes at honest prices. Their flatshare rooms, studios and apartments are hand-picked in top city locations, thoughtfully furnished and include utilities. The bookings process is digital and hassle-free, and the community of 'Coveys' get access to a network of like-minded people as well as exclusive events and perks.


Antler VC Cast Episode 17 — Working Backwards with Colin Bryar

For episode 17, we speak to Colin Bryar, an early employee at Amazon and co-author of the book Working Backwards: Stories and Secrets from Inside Amazon. Colin joined Amazon's leadership team in 1998 - only four years after its inception. He worked side-by-side with Jeff Bezos as his Chief of Staff (and "Shadow") for 2 years. Colin was instrumental in bringing several Amazon businesses to life, including Kindle, Amazon Prime and Amazon Web Services. After Amazon, Colin relocated to Singapore and served as Chief Operating Officer of e-commerce giant RedMart, which was subsequently sold to Alibaba. In this episode, Colin discusses the importance of always having a customer-first mindset, the benefits of Amazon's unique narrative meeting culture, his key lessons for early-stage founders, and lots more.


How to evaluate a product, from the perspective of an angel investor

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a group of aspiring angel investors in Australia. The theme of the presentation was about evaluating products. During the discussion, we explored the different ways to assess a startup, ways to evaluate ideas and products, and some resources that can help you along the way.


Antler VC Cast Episode 16 — Creating a Culture of Transparency with Kevin Lin

In episode 16, we speak to Kevin Lin, co-founder of Twitch, the world's leading social video platform and community for gamers. Kevin led the Twitch team as COO for a decade before serving as Culture, Strategy, and Innovation Officer, following the company's staggering $970 million all-cash acquisition by Amazon. In this episode, he shares his origin story as an entrepreneur, tips for early-stage founders and advice on how to create a culture of transparency in your startup from the early days. How do you stay true to your identity and culture as your company scales rapidly? What's the secret to success when building remotely and gathering customer feedback? Tune in to find out.


Antler VC Cast Episode 18 — Understanding Consumer Behaviour in a Hybrid World with Nicole Quinn

In Episode 18, we speak to Nicole Quinn, General Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. Lightspeed Ventures is an iconic Silicon Valley fund that has 10 billion dollars in assets under management. Nicole's focus is on early-stage consumer internet and fintech companies, with a portfolio that includes mental wellness app Calm, Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop, Lady Gaga's Haus Laboratories, cult shoe brand Rothy's, Zola and Girl Boss. Nicole talks about consumer behaviour that is going to stick post COVID, the incredible value of Influencer Marketing for customer acquisition, and shares her predictions for the next big trend in the consumer world.


Bleeding edge: HealthTech founders share their insights from the forefront of the industry

Welcome to Antler's circles series, where we bring industry leaders, founders, and experts working in the same  sector together to problem solve, share emerging trends and technologies. Through this series, Antler will provide unparalleled access to closed room discussions around the challenges and opportunities experienced by those innovating at the forefront of the industry.


How to get promoted to CTO, according to 4 successful tech execs

The step from software engineer or senior architect to CTO can feel like a quantum leap. Knowing when to make the transition, and how, is often a barrier that prevents people from taking the leap sooner.

With that in mind, Antler recently hosted a CTO panel to share first-hand advice of those who have done it, with those who are aspiring to get there.


Meet SpeechifAI — the Antler startup empowering people to speak about the things they love

A conversation with Tudor Mihailescu and Valentin Kassarnig, co-founders of SpeechifAI, Antler Amsterdam portfolio company.


Bahadir Ozdemir: The Dropout Who Revolutionizes Connectivity

Bahadir embodies the purest definition of entrepreneurship. From his early days in Turkey to living in the States in his youth and suddenly taking the leap and emigrating to Singapore, he has never given up on his dream: having a Global impact and improving the lives of millions. He left us thinking that we all have a role to play and that it is never too late to start dreaming big and change the world. Besides living and breathing entrepreneurship, he is a philosopher at heart, and ended this interview with life lessons that will stay with us during our entrepreneurial journey!

Founders Series: Mira Gleisberg, CEO & co-founder of RespiQ

The founder’s series takes a deep dive into the journey of Antler portfolio company founders and sheds light on the space they are building in. This week, we spoke to Mira Gleisberg, CEO & co-founder of RespiQ.


Charlotte Zhao: The Life-Long Learner

We love our visionaries because of their captivating and provoking stories. A visionary is extraordinary because of his/her unparalleled level of energy and enthusiasm. Charlotte filled the room with joy and electric energy from the first second, making it impossible for us not to smile. Her positivity and drive were contagious and made us realize that inner fire is the most crucial trait anyone can possess. What a force of nature Charlotte is!


Why I Joined Antler Berlin’s Cohort as a Former Founder

A conversation with Aleks Orlic, former co-founder of Penta


The Roaring 2020’s: How the SaaS industry is set to explode

Welcome to Antler's circles series, where we bring industry leaders,  founders, and experts working in the same sector together to problem solve,  share emerging trends and technologies. Through this series, Antler will  provide unparalleled access to closed room discussions around the challenges  and opportunities experienced by those innovating at the forefront of the  industry.


Are you an aspiring founder? The who, what and why of applying to Antler Southeast Asia

Our team of venture capitalists, domain experts and entrepreneurs at Antler are always on the lookout for exceptional talent with the potential to build the defining companies of tomorrow. Read on to find out what we look for in a successful founder and how you can kickstart your entrepreneurial journey.


8 FinTech trends & insights that are shaping the future of the industry

Working in venture capital offers insights into the problems, challenges, and new markets today’s entrepreneurs are addressing at the very earliest opportunity, a window on disruption and innovation. Business models are being redefined at an ever-quickening pace, and this is particularly visible in FinTech. We recently sat down with the founders of all of our FinTech investments with the following key learnings and insights.


How to increase workplace diversity by aligning purpose and principles

Since 2017, Antler has created a distinct culture in the way it operates based on nine guiding principles. Women represent 42% of Antler's leadership team (including Partners, Associate Partners, and Directors), and we have over 30 nationalities represented in our 12 locations globally. Every Antler team member has a clear and easily identifiable strength --- the synergy of these diverse mindsets works really well together. Read about how we are striving to build this unique culture and how we apply it to thinking of diversity as a layered and multi-dimensional concept.


Wisnu Nugrahadi: The Humble Indonesian Changemaker

Wisnu is one of the humblest of our visionaries. During our conversation, he never mentioned that he just raised $5 million or that his tools were used by 850,000 workers across Indonesia. Wisnu doesn’t care about impressive numbers; he simply wants to create a positive impact around him. The calm and optimistic energy surrounding him is magical and made us forget all our everyday life concerns.


‘No matter if you are a man or a woman — reach out and help others take the next step’

Venture capital (VC) financing to startups founded by women exceeded $20 billion for the first time in 2019. This is up from $2 billion 10 years ago. Despite that, in Germany, just 16% of founders are female, while this number is steadily increasing, there is still much work to be done.


Speed Up Your Startup Journey With Antler

We invest in the defining companies of tomorrow. But we know it all starts with you. We help exceptional people build startups from the earliest stages. When you join Antler, you join a community of founders, get support from a global platform of experts, resources, and receive investments to scale your ideas.


The Creator Economy boom: What it is, what’s driving it, and trends you need to know

When the pandemic swept through the world in early 2020, many people were made redundant and forced to look for alternative revenue streams. Others had more time on their hands due to lockdowns and the radical shift in working from home. Born from a chaotic and deeply transformative event, these trends have resulted in people turning to their passions and interests in a career, and a boom for the Creator Economy.


Founders Series: Jiawen Ngeow, Co-Founder of DayOne

The founders series takes a deep dive into the journey of Antler portfolio company founders and sheds light on the space they are building in. This week, we spoke to Jiawen Ngeow, co-founder of DayOne.

DayOne is revolutionising offline operations for stores by providing a turnkey solution that optimises and streamlines frontline staff communication and collaboration. Their mission is to make offline businesses as easy to run as online ones.


Antler is expanding to Copenhagen to build and invest in sustainable tech companies

Following an investment of DKK 50 million into Antler's Nordic Fund from the Danish state's investment fund Vækstfonden, Antler is launching in Copenhagen to attract and support highly specialised founders from across the world and invest in the most promising 'green' companies of the future.


Northzone co-founder Karl-Christian Agerup joins Antler as Global Partner

We are delighted to welcome Karl-Christian Agerup as a Partner, focusing on the company’s investment operations and strategy Globally.


Seasoned investor Nitin Sharma joins Antler as Partner & Co-Lead for India; Antler aims to deploy $100M in India in the next 4 years

Antler welcomes Nitin Sharma, who is joining as a Partner and co-lead for all India efforts. To help accelerate the tremendous innovation and value creation in the Indian tech ecosystem, Antler aims to invest over US$100M in India across funds in the next 4 years. These funds will support exceptional founders from the idea stage, all the way to Series A/B. Nitin will co-lead the India efforts with Rajiv Srivatsa, co-founder of Urban Ladder.


Former Goldman Sachs APAC CEO Ken Hitchner joins Antler Global Advisory Board

Former Goldman Sachs Asia-Pacific CEO, Ken Hitchner, joins the Antler Global Advisory Board. He will also be the Co-Chair of the Greater China Advisory Committee.


Fundraising: How to Avoid the Common Mistakes When Raising Your Seed Round

In this article, we discuss the things that you should not be doing while dealing with investors.

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