Antler closes oversubscribed first Benelux fund at €20M; will invest 50 tech startups

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Singapore-based Antler, a global early-stage venture capital firm, announced on Thursday that it has closed its first fund in the Benelux at €20M. Antler says the fund was oversubscribed. 

The fund comes from a mix of entrepreneurs, tech operators, and family offices, including former executives from Adyen, Mollie and Bunq, and global tech giants like Facebook and Google.

Antler says it will use the proceeds to invest in 50 new tech startups over the next three years.

Since its inception in the region in 2019, Antler has already invested in 46 companies, including 19 in the last year. 

These portfolio companies have gone on to raise follow-on funding from VCs like SpeedInvest, Connect Ventures, Kraken Ventures, Peak, Volta Ventures, Force over Mass, Mustard Seed Maze, and others.

Notable portfolio companies from the Antler Benelux Fund include Sprinque, Clear, GenieCloud, SOUS, Cooper Pet Care, Trabotyx, LemonPay, Sonomo, Insiber, Carble, Hero Labs, and JetLearn.

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Ronald Jan Schuurs, Partner at Antler, says, “Combining Antler’s approach with the extensive startup experience and knowledge gained over the last decade, we believe we can help produce the next 50 unicorns in the Benelux in the next five years as mentioned in the Benelux Unicorn Founder Roadmap report.”

“Antler offers the perfect environment to combine their insights with a set of diverse, highly talented, and seasoned founders and further boost the local ecosystems,” says Jan Schuurs.

“One such example is Sprinque, a B2B payments platform, of which the founding team came together during the third-ever Antler residency in Amsterdam, and was able to appreciate quickly by working closely with advisors in the Payments Mafia,” Schuurs says.

In June 2022, Antler closed three pre-seed investments of €100,000 each in the Netherlands as part of its Dutch portfolio expansion

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Image credits: Antler

Antler: What you need to know

Founded in 2017 by Magnus Grimeland and a team of entrepreneurs, investors, and company builders, Antler is a seed investment firm that supports founders from the pre-idea stage with coaching and the opportunity to meet co-founders during a residency programme. It has the ability to invest up to Series C. 

The VC firm provides founders with a platform to build their co-founding teams, get better access to venture capital funding, and scale their businesses faster.

With its day-zero approach to support early-stage founders, Antler claims it is fueling the creation of many scalable technology businesses across industries like fintech/payments, healthtech, climate tech, and edtech. 

Antler has invested in and helped build over 600 companies across a wide range of industries and technologies, and plans to back over 6,000 by 2030.

Many of the invested companies have a diverse founding team (28 per cent of teams with at least one woman founder and 59 per cent of founders with a non-Benelux nationality).

The firm has offices globally across most major entrepreneurial hubs, including London, Berlin, Stockholm, New York, Singapore, and Sydney.

So far, Antler’s Benelux Fund has invested in companies founded by ex-employees from well-known tech players like Uber, MessageBird, EVBox, and Felyx.

“Antler’s day-zero platform allows founders from any background – from experienced entrepreneurs to employees at tech companies to people making the transition from a corporate or academic career – to build strong co-founding teams and accelerate the growth of their new company. With Antler’s international footprint and network we are unique in the early-stage ecosystem, and have already shown to be a valuable launch pad for startups across industries,” says Youri Doeleman, Partner at Antler. 

“For us, diversity is not a nice-to-have. Offering a path to funding and scaling to any founder is a core part of our investment strategy–no matter the gender, nationality, and whether you are a solo founder or a team,” Doeleman says.

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