Antler is an early-stage enterprise capital agency which might additionally be described as a “firm builder.” It helps founders construct complementary co-founding groups, supplies help with deep enterprise mannequin validation and a worldwide platform for scaling their companies. So far, Antler has invested in and helped construct over 250 corporations. Of those corporations, 40% have no less than one feminine co-founder, and the founders characterize greater than 70 nationalities.
Based in 2017 by serial entrepreneur, Marcus Grimeland, and a crew of skilled entrepreneurs, traders, and firm builders worldwide, Antler has raised greater than $75 million to assist entrepreneurs unfold throughout 9 of the world’s main entrepreneurial hubs. They embrace Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Nairobi, New York, Oslo, Singapore, Stockholm and Sydney.
Antler’s solely workplace in Africa is in Nairobi, and it’s run and led by girls.
Marie Nielsen, founding father of a paper recycling firm in Ethiopia referred to as Penda Paper Recycling, is a companion on the agency. She was an affiliate companion at Mckinsey & Firm liable for opening their Addis Ababa workplace. Melalite Ayenew is the agency’s tech companion. Her prior expertise consists of Oracle, Bain & Firm, and Princeton Consultants. Selam Kebede is the agency’s director and leads operations. Earlier than becoming a member of Antler, she labored for a few VCs and entrepreneurship help organizations.
Turning professionals to founders
Much like different areas world wide, Antler East Africa runs two cohorts in a yr. The agency is specific about adopting a people-first method, they usually carry collectively professionals with, on common, 10 years of expertise of their respective industries. These professionals who change into founders ideate, iterate and create options usually based mostly on insights they’ve gathered or issues noticed through the course of their previous skilled expertise of their respective industries. After six months of incubation, the agency invests within the groups they will help additional. Usually within the pre-seed stage, Antler cuts $100,000 checks for a 20% fairness in every chosen crew.
“Our course of may be very hands-on; by working with the co-founders over a number of months, we get the chance to assist form the enterprise fashions and carry out in depth due diligence earlier than investing,” Nielsen mentioned to TechCrunch.
The due diligence Nielsen talks about is supported by the worldwide Antler platform, the place they pull upon its community of greater than 400 specialists throughout applied sciences and industries. After the pre-seed investments, Antler East Africa claims to proceed to help the groups as they hit the bottom working and begin elevating funds from follow-on traders.
Ayenew provides that the agency can be exploring the chance to spend money on pre-existing, early-stage startups developed outdoors its program, however early sufficient for them to come back in and nonetheless present worth as well as to the financial funding.
On condition that Nairobi is Antler’s solely workplace in Africa, the crew seems out for founders engaged on pan-African issues and options. It has attracted founders from greater than 15 African international locations, which performs a big position in sustaining its cohorts’ outlook to be organically pan-African.
So far, Antler East Africa has invested in a broad vary of know-how corporations within the B2B, B2C and direct-to-consumer area, starting from rising sectors like robotics and AI to sectors comparable to well being tech, fintech, and proptech. From its final two cohorts, Antler East Africa has invested in six startups. They embrace:
Cooked, a subscription-based meal equipment supplier, helps shoppers seek for, store, and prepare dinner meals at residence higher. Cooked operates with weekly and month-to-month subscriptions and delivers merchandise residence to its prospects on pre-agreed days of the week. The founders have greater than 20 years of expertise in finance, meals, and eating places industries between themselves.
UNCOVER claims to be constructing the continent’s most trusted skincare model and content material platform by partnering with high skincare labs in Korea. The corporate carried out a skincare survey with responses from 1,000 Kenyan girls and claims the information obtained will assist develop viral information platforms and efficient custom-made merchandise.
Having spent its early days in FMCG, and notably with small merchants, ChapChapGo recognized that the dearth of straightforward and inexpensive instruments tailor-made to the native context was a significant problem for Kenyan companies to undertake e-commerce. ChapChapGo permits companies to transact on-line in a couple of minutes with easy invoicing, automated reconciliation, and sooner M-PESA checkouts.
Anyi Health needs to enhance entry to monetary help for main healthcare seekers. In Nigeria and lots of different African international locations, sufferers unable to pay their hospital payments are detained within the hospital or left untreated. Anyi Well being goals to resolve this by means of a mobile-based point-of-need credit score facility, the place sufferers can apply for credit score instantly on the hospital. The corporate simply began its MVP pilot with three hospitals in Lagos, Nigeria and is trying to increase a $300k seed spherical based mostly on pilot proof of idea.
AIFluence is an AI-driven influencer advertising and marketing platform. Based by promoting veterans, AIfluence permits manufacturers in Africa to make a greater resolution when launching, managing and evaluating their influencer advertising and marketing campaigns. The corporate has signed buyer contracts price greater than $600,000 with main worldwide and African corporations, together with Sony and Safaricom.
Digiduka positions itself because the digital service resolution for Kenya’s money financial system. Its thesis is that fee options in Africa have two issues shutting out thousands and thousands of potential customers. One is excessive transaction charges, ranging as excessive as 9% per transaction, and the opposite, inconvenient fee modes. With the CEO and CTO having between themselves over 15 years of expertise working with main African telcos and as a technical lead for varied startups, they intention to construct the unified digital providers resolution of selection for each shoppers and smaller retailers in Kenya.
Antler East Africa’s subsequent cohort is in April, and Kebede says by bringing good and skilled individuals collectively to create excellent companies in Africa, they hope that Antler “will assist foster organizations that change the way in which individuals assume, are sustainable and progressive in addition to encourage different individuals to comprehend their very own enterprise objectives.”