Antler to deploy $100 million in Indian startups


BENGALURU: Global early-stage venture capital (VC) fund Antler plans to invest more than $100 million across Indian technology startups in the next four years, it said on Wednesday.

The fund has appointed seasoned investor Nitin Sharma as partner and co-lead for its India operations. Sharma had founded FirstPrinciples VC in 2018, which has invested in more than 35 startups including Fynd, which has been acquired by Reliance Jio, and Niki, backed by Ratan Tata. Fynd provides omnichannel, online-to-offline platform to fashion retailers and Niki is an artificial intelligence company headquartered in Bengaluru.

Sharma will co-lead the India efforts with Rajiv Srivatsa, who is the co-founder of Urban Ladder and was appointed to the fund last year.

Prior to this, Sharma was a part of the founding investment team at Lightbox Ventures, a consumer internet fund, whose portfolio includes InMobi, Dunzo, and Cleartrip. He was also an investor in the US with venture firm New Enterprise Associates.

During its launch in June, last year, Antler said that it plans to invest in up to 40 companies within the first year of its operations in the country. The VC firm looks aims to makes investments right from the early stage all the way to Series A and B.

With the $100 million fund, it plans to back 150 Indian startups over the next four years.

“We believe the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem has massive potential. We want to lower the barriers for exceptional people to start a technology company, regardless of their background or geography. In addition, we want to provide India originating startups with Antler’s global platform to ensure startups from India can expand, scale, succeed, and tap into expertise on a global level,” said Magnus Grimeland, founder and chief executive officer of Antler, earlier during the launch of the fund in India.

Singapore-headquartered Antler is present in 11 locations around the world and has invested in more than 160 technology companies till date.

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