Venture Capital: Singapore-Based, Global VC Firm Antler Has Plans For India

June 2, 2020 | News, Venture Capital

The VC firm will flag off its Indian operations from Bengaluru in the second half of 2020.

Global early-stage venture capital firm Antler is dropping anchor in India. The VC firm had eight offices across four continents as of September 2019. Since 2019, it has invested over $9 billion on 835 deals across the globe. (Inc42)


Magnus Grimeland founded Antler in Singapore in 2017 along with a team of entrepreneurs and investors. Its mission is to invest in early-stage, groundbreaking technology companies through the following template:

  • select the world’s most brilliant and determined people,
  • help them find the right co-founder,
  • validate their business model,
  • connect them to a top tier network of advisors and experts worldwide,
  • and invest in them.

Antler’s plans for India

The global VC firm plans to build over 150 start-ups in India over the next four years. An India dedicated fund will invest in 40 companies within the first year of operations in India.

Rajiv Srivatsa, co-founder, Urban Ladder, is already on board as a partner.

Operations will kick off with a six month long, two-phased program in Bangalore commencing in the second half of 2020.

In the first phase, comprising 10 weeks, selected founders will meet like-minded people to build a team and find co-founders. Entrepreneurs have to go through a personality and aptitude test including a telephonic conversation with Antler.

In the second phase, start-ups will receive funding from Antler to help them scale up. It will also help them prepare for subsequent investment rounds.

The attraction of India

“We believe the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem has massive potential,” said Magnus Grimeland, Founder and CEO of Antler. “The quantity of exceptional talent, the ambition level of founders, and the proliferation of high-quality venture capital and angel investors provide an incredible opportunity to build successful early-stage companies from scratch.”

Antler India Partner Rajiv Srivatsa observed that India was currently at a stage where China was a decade ago. He said there was potential to build hundreds of world-class start-ups at scale.

IVCA-Bain India Venture Capital Report, 2019

According to the IVCA-Bain India Venture Capital Report, 2019 was a banner year for the Indian VC industry. Investors deployed a record-breaking $10 billion, up 55% from 2018, with deal volume surging 30%. The average deal size rose by 20% in 2019.

“Despite the global economic climate, India’s start-up and VC ecosystems continue to thrive as investors take a long-term view based on the country’s growth potential. They see the current slowdown as more cyclical than structural,” the report said. “We go into 2020 with record-high levels of dry powder, counter-balanced with caution, and an underlying optimism in the long-term potential for the ecosystem.”

Related Story: Chinese VC Investors Home In on Indian Startups                                                  

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