Antler Australia

The Antler Investor Memo Series: Acanthis is helping small business owners understand the fundamentals of their success

- November 29, 2022 3 MIN READ
Acanthis cofounders Troy Haddon and Dean Sammut

Early stage investment company Antler Australia recently backed a new cohort of startups as part of its ongoing program to build great local tech companies.

Startup Daily is sharing the details of each venture in the “Antler Investor Memos” series, which is designed to give you a quick, sharp understanding of the startups and people involved, with many seeking follow up capital following Antler’s initial pre-seed investment. 

Company: Acanthis 

Formation date: 2022

Stage of business: Pre-Seed

Founders: Dean Sammut and Troy Haddon 

Current investors: Antler

Currently raising: Yes


The business

Small business data is often fragmented across multiple platforms which costs time and money to analyse and derive insights. Acanthis, an integrated SaaS web application, provides small business owners with insights to monitor the impact of their strategies, and make informed decisions to further grow their companies, and ultimately track their company value in real time. 

By integrating financial and non-financial data from multiple systems, ranging from cloud accounting software, sales channels, and advertising platforms, Acanthis’ intelligent decision model provides clear and actionable insights for small business owners. As it scales, its machine learning model will be able to better understand the actions businesses are taking to provide more informed insights leveraging natural language processing. Typically, this level of insights is reserved for larger organisations with budget allowances for costly analytics platforms. 

By removing the time analysing operations or the cost of seeking out external advisors, Acanthis enables business owners to make informed decisions in real time and free up valuable resources to focus on day-to-day business operations. 


Antler investment thesis

As a chartered accountant, Dean is intimately familiar with the challenges small business owners face when integrating their data and receiving insights they can action. This, coupled with Troy’s technical expertise, gave us conviction that Acanthis is well positioned to help small business owners make informed decisions,” said Bede Moore, Antler APAC Managing Partner.

“We believe there is an opportunity to provide a tailor-made product for small business owners which is competitive from both a price point perspective and simplicity of user experience, especially for older businesses transitioning to cloud-based computing and current-generation software.

“As Acanthis strengthens its product offering with an MVP in the hands of users, we see a path for the business to be revenue generating within a short timeframe.”


Traction/milestones, to date

Within a matter of months, Acanthis has secured over 100 SME customers on its waitlist. Its MVP is in the hands of customers for beta testing, and to achieve this it has grown its development team. 


Due diligence resources

Explore Acanthis’ pitch video and investor deck via The Antler Portfolio Reveal Platform.


Latest funding

Pre-Seed from Antler


Use of funds

Antler Australia’s initial investment accelerated the growth of Acanthis’ development team increasing its headcount with two full stack developers alongside CTO Troy Haddon. This has resulted in Acanthis’ ability to rapidly develop its MVP and accelerated its time to market.


The founders say 

“For the better part of the last decade, I helped small businesses create more valuable companies. On the frontline of small business accounting, I saw the pitfalls owners face when making sense of their data alongside their limited resources, time and money. Our vision is to develop a scalable and affordable solution to help all small businesses create more valuable companies,” said Dean Sammut, co-founder of Acanthis.

“Millions of small businesses globally deserve the same level of visibility and insights that only larger organisations currently have access to. At Acanthis, we’re on a mission to change that.”

“The stars aligned in bringing this vision to life, when I met my co-founder Troy Haddon at Antler, a leading CTO with a deep understanding of data analytics and ML. Beyond Antler’s initial investment, its exceptional team has helped us to refine the idea to turn chaos into clarity. And, ultimately turn Acanthis into a global business backed by venture capital.”


What’s next?

Antler, a global early-stage VC, recently showcased the latest investments it’s made in ambitious Australian founders and startups. Acanthis featured as one of Antler Australia’s newest portfolio companies.

Explore how Acanthis provides visibility and guidance for small businesses via the Antler Portfolio Reveal Platform