Singapore-headquartered early-stage VC firm Antler has announced that it will invest US$100 million in Indian startups over the next four years.
The fund will support exceptional founders from the idea stage all the way to Series A and B.
Earlier in June last year, Antler said that it plans to invest in up to 40 companies within the first year of its operations in India.
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“India is a priority market in Antler’s objective to create a world-changing impact. India is a hotbed of innovation and we are thrilled to double-down on the market with this leadership team,” Magnus Grimeland, founder of Antler shared.
Apart from this Antler has also appointed Nitin Sharma as the partner and co-lead for its India operations. Sharma brings in a strong background for the company as he is an active investor of the Indian startup ecosystem.
Prior to joining Antler, Sharma ran his own VC firm FirstPrinciples, which has funded over 35 startups including Fynd, OnJuno, Niki, Kutumb, SharesPost, XOKind and more.
He learnt venture investing in the US while at NEA Ventures, where he invested in multiple companies (Millennial Media, AddThis, OPower, EverFi, among others) with successful IPO outcomes, and also co-led the firm’s first edutech investment.
After this, Sharma joined Lightbox Ventures, whose portfolio includes InMobi, Dunzo and Cleartrip.
“Sharma is a unique investor who has invested not just across multiple stages and economic cycles but also ventured early in exciting areas like blockchain and digital assets. We look forward to his continuing impact in enabling exceptional founders from India’s digital economy, and also with new initiatives at the global level,” Grimeland added.
Despite the pandemic causing projections about India’s economy taking a significant hit, the region has shown signs of being a lot more resilient than expected.
According to data from Amsterdam-based Dealroom.co, investment in Bangalore city has grown from US$1.3 billion in 2016 to US$7.2 billion in 2020, approximately 5.4 times, outpacing London, in terms of investment growth.
Doubling down on this it is no surprise that many investors are pouring money into this region.
“While opportunities in India are boundless, what has also become clear from my extensive work with founders is that a few key gaps persist especially at the seed and pre-seed stage: a truly global partner that can bring institutional resources and significant follow-on commitment even at the idea stage. This is exactly why Antler can fill the gaps and have a transformative impact,” Sharma said.
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“These strengths become even more important as we enter an era of build from India, for the world, something I am extremely excited about. I am particularly enthused about the opportunity to co-lead this with someone as inspiring as Rajiv. Besides, all FirstPrinciples portfolio startups will now have access to Antler’s vast global network, capital and resources,” Sharma added.
Image Credit: Antler
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