Startup-builder Antler expands to India

GLOBAL startup-builder Antler is expanding to India. The expansion will start in Bangalore and be led by Rajiv Srivatsa, who is joining as a partner.

He co-founded online furniture brand Urban Ladder in 2012. As co-founder and chief product and technology officer, he helped raise over US$100 million in venture capital from investors and helped build Urban Ladder into a leading e-commerce brand in India.

Antler's inaugural India program will kick off in the second half of 2020 and run over a six-month period in two phases. The first phase involves building teams with co-founders and helping them validate their business ideas. After the first phase of 10 weeks, Antler will invest in the strongest teams, which will go on to the second phase to build and scale the company.

Antler plans to back up to 40 companies within its first year of operations in India through an India-dedicated fund. It also has plans to expand to other major cities in India in the next three to five years.

Magnus Grimeland, founder and chief executive of Antler, said of the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem: "The quantity of exceptional talent, the ambition level of founders and the proliferation of high-quality venture capital and angel investors provides an incredible opportunity to build successful early-stage companies from scratch."

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Singapore, Antler has a presence in 11 locations around the world and has invested in over 160 startups.