Entrepreneur

Zalora Co-Founder's New Venture Secures US$3M To Groom Startups In Singapore And Asia

Singapore-based startup Antler announced today that it has closed a US$3 million seed round to fund its operations.

Investors include John Riady, Director of the Lippo Group in Indonesia, Ole Ruch, Managing Director at WeWork (previously Managing Director of northern Europe Airbnb), Birger Nergaard, founder of Verdane Capital, and Andreas Ehn, first CTO at Spotify.

Antler calls itself a ‘startup generator’, and has the aim of turning “the world’s best talent into great founders of great companies” by formalising the “first stage in the business building ecosystem of incubators and accelerators”.

They will provide funding from a “select group of aspiring entrepreneurs” from day one, help them find the right co-founder, and connect them to a mentor network.

The mentor network includes names like Karim R. Lakhani professor at Harvard University and Tore Myrholt, former Global Chairman of the management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company.

Shared Magnus Grimeland, Antler co-founder and CEO, who worked at McKinsey previously and co-founded fashion e-commerce company Zalora:

We believe that anyone in the world with the right talent, drive and resources can change our world for the better.

Magnus Grimeland, founder and CEO of Antler

“Antler’s founding team have all been involved in startups and have succeeded many times over, so we know what it takes to start and grow a business capable of positively impacting local and global economies.”

Its co-founders and advisors include Google, Spotify, and Stanford alumni.

“Antler fills the missing link in the new business continuum,” said John Riady, Director of the Lippo Group.

“Passionate aspiring entrepreneurs have just the start of a highly disruptive idea or tremendous skill but need a co-founder with a great idea. Antler will nurture and guide those people, help them build great companies.”

Antler expects to groom 20 to 30 “innovative companies per year in Asia”, and later launch in other regions as well.

Connecting Talent To Co-Founders, Funding, Mentors

Antler’s startup generator works in three stages over 5 months:

  1. Talent sourcing: Antler selects the best and most driven talent among applicants from across the globe to support the creation of strong founding teams.
  2. Conceptualisation and team formation: The selected program participants engage in business ideation sessions and form founding teams based on similar interests and complementary skill sets. Teams with viable business ideas go to the next stage and receive an investment by Antler in exchange for an equity stake in their companies.
  3. Company building: Working closely with the Antler team and venture partners, the teams build their companies. Teams focus on building the first product, get the first customers onboard and develop intellectual property and patents. They also learn critical skills such as product management, customer validation, marketing and communications, and fundraising.
Screenshot from Antler’s website

In addition to a monthly living stipend, co-founders also have 24/7 access to office space, and daily access to legal, IT and other administrative resources throughout the programme.

At the end of the programme, teams will pitch their business to a select group of leading investors to secure seed funding.

Antler co-founders will also received support like “introductions to the U.S. market and investors through annual visits organised with Antler partners on the east and west coasts”.

Find out more about Antler here.

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