Antler’s MENAP Expansion: Building Bridges for Innovation and Growth
Antler, a global early-stage investor and early-stage VC, has announced its ambitious expansion into the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan [MENAP] region to bolster the entrepreneurial landscape.
The core objective of this expansion is to fortify the MENAP entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing crucial support to exceptional founders at the nascent stages of their ventures. Antler aims to achieve this through a comprehensive suite of offerings including co-founder matching, personalised coaching, access to a robust local and global network of founders and advisors, as well as MENAP-specific expertise. This program also extends day zero investment, setting the stage for success from the outset, and assists founders with follow-on funding.
At the heart of Antler’s investment philosophy lies a steadfast belief in the potential of individuals. As part of its Riyadh cohort set to launch in September 2023, Antler is meticulously selecting over 60 pre-idea or pre-seed founders from a pool of thousands of applications. These selected entrepreneurs will embark on a journey to refine, validate, and accelerate the growth of their business models. Notably, this proven program has already nurtured over 6000 founders across the globe.
Following the intensive three-month program, Antler pledges a $180,000 USD investment in exchange for an 11 percent equity stake in high-performing founders. This selection process is informed by over 200 hours of close interaction time, ensuring a deep understanding of each entrepreneur’s potential. Antler provides ongoing support throughout the startup lifecycle, including expansion assistance and the opportunity for follow-on funding from their global funds or alongside top-tier venture capital co-investors like Andreessen Horowitz and North zone.
Dr. Jonathan Doerr and Romain Assunção will spearhead the initiatives in MENAP. Dr. Jonathan Doerr, a serial entrepreneur with three successful exits under his belt, and Romain Assunção, former Associate Partner at McKinsey, are at the helm of Antler’s activities in MENAP. Dr. Doerr remarked, “As an entrepreneur who has led three successful ventures and has extensive experience in the KSA and UAE markets, I can truly appreciate the value that Antler brings. Not only does it connect me with high-caliber co-founders, but it also offers tangible support during the crucial initial stages and facilitates meaningful introductions within the ecosystem.”
Antler’s track record speaks for itself, having recently secured recognition as the world’s most active early-stage investor. With a portfolio of approximately 850 investments spanning across more than 20 countries in under five years, Antler’s founder programs have been witnessing an increasing influx of applications. Moreover, the program boasts an exceptional end-of-program investment rate of 1 percent, a testament to its efficacy in identifying and nurturing promising startups.
Assunção added, “National strategies in the MENAP region exhibit an unprecedented commitment to economic modernisation and diversification. Governments are actively coordinating efforts across public entities to offer substantial support and opportunities to founders. Startups, particularly in the tech and digital domains, play a pivotal role in creating high-quality jobs and transitioning countries into knowledge-based economies.”
In the long term, Antler’s aspirations extend beyond individual startups. The company envisions a proactive role in enhancing economic competitiveness, job creation, technical and digital innovation, and the development of a knowledge-based GDP in MENAP. This vision closely aligns with the ambitious goals set forth in KSA’s Vision 2030 and Dubai Economic Agenda 2033 Vision, underscoring Antler’s commitment to fostering exceptional, rapidly growing companies and advancing regional ambitious.