How Antler East Africa is constructing early-stage startups with skilled professionals – TechCrunch

Antler is an early-stage enterprise capital agency which may additionally be described as a “firm builder.” It helps founders construct complementary co-founding groups, supplies help with deep enterprise mannequin validation and a worldwide platform for scaling their companies. So far, Antler has invested in and helped construct over 250 firms. Of those firms, 40% have not less than one feminine co-founder, and the founders symbolize greater than 70 nationalities.

Based in 2017 by serial entrepreneur, Magnus Grimeland, and a group of skilled entrepreneurs, traders, and firm builders worldwide, Antler has raised greater than $75 million to assist entrepreneurs unfold throughout 9 of the world’s main entrepreneurial hubs. They embody Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Nairobi, New York, Oslo, Singapore, Stockholm and Sydney.

Antler’s solely workplace in Africa is in Nairobi, and it’s run and led by girls.

Marie Nielsen, founding father of a paper recycling firm in Ethiopia referred to as Penda Paper Recycling, is a companion on the agency. She was an affiliate companion at Mckinsey & Firm accountable for opening their Addis Ababa workplace. Melalite Ayenew is the agency’s tech companion. Her prior expertise consists of Oracle, Bain & Firm, and Princeton Consultants. Selam Kebede is the agency’s director and leads operations. Earlier than becoming a member of Antler, she labored for a few VCs and entrepreneurship help organizations.

Turning professionals to founders

Just like different places around the globe, Antler East Africa runs two cohorts in a 12 months. The agency is specific about adopting a people-first method, they usually carry collectively professionals with, on common, 10 years of expertise of their respective industries. These professionals who turn out to be founders ideate, iterate and create options sometimes primarily based on insights they’ve gathered or issues noticed in the course of the course of their previous skilled expertise of their respective industries. After six months of incubation, the agency invests within the groups they can assist additional. Usually within the pre-seed stage, Antler cuts $100,000 checks for a 10-20% fairness in every chosen group. However for Antler East Africa, the stake is precisely 20%.

“Our course of could be very hands-on; by working with the co-founders over a number of months, we get the chance to assist form the enterprise fashions and carry out in depth due diligence earlier than investing,” Nielsen stated to TechCrunch.

The due diligence Nielsen talks about is supported by the worldwide Antler platform, the place they pull upon its community of greater than 400 consultants throughout applied sciences and industries. After the pre-seed investments, Antler East Africa claims to proceed to help the groups as they hit the bottom working and begin elevating funds from follow-on traders

Ayenew provides that the agency can also be exploring the chance to spend money on pre-existing, early-stage startups developed outdoors its program, however early sufficient for them to come back in and nonetheless present worth as well as to the financial funding.

Provided that Nairobi is Antler’s solely workplace in Africa, the group appears to be like out for founders engaged on pan-African issues and options. It has attracted founders from greater than 15 African international locations, which performs a big function in sustaining its cohorts’ outlook to be organically pan-African.

So far, Antler East Africa has invested in a broad vary of know-how firms within the B2B, B2C and direct-to-consumer house, starting from rising sectors like robotics and AI to sectors akin to well being tech, fintech, and proptech. From its final two cohorts, Antler East Africa has invested in six startups. They embody:

Cooked, a subscription-based meal equipment supplier, helps customers seek for, store, and cook dinner meals at dwelling higher. Cooked operates with weekly and month-to-month subscriptions and delivers merchandise dwelling to its prospects on pre-agreed days of the week. The founders have greater than 20 years of expertise in finance, meals, and eating places industries between themselves. 

UNCOVER claims to be constructing the continent’s most trusted skincare model and content material platform by partnering with high skincare labs in Korea. The corporate carried out a skincare survey with responses from 1,000 Kenyan girls and claims the information obtained will assist develop viral data platforms and efficient personalized merchandise.

Having spent its early days in FMCG, and notably with small merchants, ChapChapGo recognized that the dearth of straightforward and inexpensive instruments tailor-made to the native context was a significant problem for Kenyan companies to undertake e-commerce. ChapChapGo allows companies to transact on-line in a couple of minutes with easy invoicing, computerized reconciliation, and quicker M-PESA checkouts.

Picture Credit: Antler East Africa

Anyi Well being desires to enhance entry to monetary help for major healthcare seekers. In Nigeria and lots of different African international locations, sufferers unable to pay their hospital payments are detained within the hospital or left untreated. Anyi Well being goals to resolve this by a mobile-based point-of-need credit score facility, the place sufferers can apply for credit score instantly on the hospital. The corporate simply began its MVP pilot with three hospitals in Lagos, Nigeria and is trying to elevate a $300k seed spherical primarily based on pilot proof of idea

AIFluence is an AI-driven influencer advertising platform. Based by promoting veterans, AIfluence allows manufacturers in Africa to make a greater determination when launching, managing and evaluating their influencer advertising campaigns. The corporate has signed buyer contracts price greater than $600,000 with main worldwide and African firms, together with Sony and Safaricom.

Digiduka positions itself because the digital service resolution for Kenya’s money economic system. Its thesis is that cost options in Africa have two issues shutting out hundreds of thousands of potential customers. One is excessive transaction charges, ranging as excessive as 9% per transaction, and the opposite, inconvenient cost modes. With the CEO and CTO having between themselves over 15 years of expertise working with main African telcos and as a technical lead for numerous startups, they goal to construct the unified digital providers resolution of alternative for each customers and smaller retailers in Kenya.

Antler East Africa’s subsequent cohort is in April, and Kebede says by bringing good and skilled individuals collectively to create excellent companies in Africa, they hope that Antler “will assist foster organizations that change the way in which individuals suppose, are sustainable and modern in addition to encourage different individuals to appreciate their very own enterprise targets.”

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