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Antler Australia

Antler just invested $1.575 million in pre-Seed funding in 7 startups, from edtech to deep tech. Here’s who they are

- July 3, 2024 5 MIN READ
Antler in Australia has unveiled seven new pre-Seed startup investments as part of its Portfolio Spotlight event tonight.

The early-stage VC invests $225,000 at a $1.875 million post-money valuation for a 12% stake. The seven are part of the 29 investments Antler in Australia has made over the last 12 months.

Antler partner James McClure said it was a crucial time for startup investors to consider how their portfolio can be supported in the long-term to maximise success.

“As an extension of our founders’ teams, we don’t launch and leave. We provide talent, deep business model validation, a global platform for scaling, and capital—with a personal passion that goes beyond traditional investing,” he said. 

“Whether it’s pre-idea, pre-team, or pre-seed, we back founders like these from the beginning and look forward to supporting them as long-term capital partners as they grow to Series A and beyond.” 

The Portfolio Spotlight on July 3 is part of a new partnership with Google Cloud.  

Here are the seven startups involved and why Antler invested.

Authentified

Antler investment thesis: 

Resale and the circular economy have exploded and continue to grow at pace. However, customers are usually left to fend for themselves on marketplaces that struggle to strike the balance of quality supply and listings, whilst brands miss out on the opportunity to highlight their new offerings. 

Authentified connects brand purchases to marketplaces and handles resale on behalf of consumers in just a few clicks, as well as giving brands the opportunity to highlight new products to their customers. 

“This is a compelling and differentiated product vision on how to improve resale with a strong opportunity to drive affiliate revenue,” said James. 

Commenting on the Founder DNA of CEO Ben Chamberlain and CTO David Johnson, James added, “We are convinced this is the team to solve this problem. Ben brings a wealth of experience in the e-commerce and tech sector and David is a seasoned technology leader with expertise in building scalable platforms. Their approach is crucial to Authentified’s development and success.”

Enrola

Antler investment thesis: 

Despite the growing vocational market, inefficiencies continue to impede both students and education providers. Students frequently struggle with researching and selecting appropriate courses, often lacking information about quality, convenience, and total cost. On the other hand, providers grapple with administrative burdens and difficulties in attracting qualified candidates. 

Enrola bridges the gap between students and high-quality educational opportunities, enabling providers to concentrate on delivering exceptional education. Their vocational education comparison platform delivers personalised recommendations for students at scale. 

The company is founded by an exceptionally strong team, comprising a genuinely deep domain expert (Jo) with experience across education, comparison and marketing; and a strong technical leader (Yvette) with deep hands-on development experience. 

“They have shown sophisticated tactical knowledge that will help build the platform and have shown promising early traction and commercial trajectory,” noted Mike Abbott. 

“Through our DD process, the Enrola team consistently tested its market, product and model and adjusted accordingly. We believe they have the grit and drive to build a very valuable business.” 

Braiv 

Antler investment thesis: 

For creators, marketers and educators to cater for a global audience, they are required to manage multiple videos, languages and platforms. This isn’t just time-consuming and costly, but the complexity also leads to inconsistencies in messaging and reduced engagement. 

Braiv is an advanced online video hosting, editing and streaming platform that allows users to customise, caption, translate, and dub their videos using AI, allowing their audience to choose how, and in what language they consume their content. 

James commented, “The team is made up of complementary co-founders who have shown great resilience and hustle in testing and validating this business model, and building the business.”

We know this is a rapidly evolving, highly VC- backable space with Veed.io raising $35M from Sequoia, and we have conviction that Braiv can attract similar success.” 

Dark Patterns Lab

Antler investment thesis: 

As regulatory scrutiny increases, businesses face challenges in ensuring their digital interactions are compliant with emerging regulations. Dark patterns—deceptive design practices that trick users into actions they might not otherwise take—are becoming a significant concern. Businesses need a way to audit and rectify these issues to avoid legal repercussions and maintain customer trust. 

Dark Patterns Lab streamlines website compliance by auditing all regulated elements of digital interaction, from dark patterns to fine print. For legal professionals or product managers, this means they can ensure they can operate confidently in a rapidly evolving regulatory environment. 

“We believe this business may have their timing spot on,” remarked Mike Abbott. “Dark patterns are an emerging problem with government enforcement kicking off in many jurisdictions, and this startup is in a prime position to help businesses navigate the space.” 

Co-founder Swetha is a leader in what is an emerging problem for any e-commerce business.” 

Communiti Labs

Antler investment thesis: 

Organisations struggle to effectively engage with their communities across multiple channels and formats. On top of this, gathering and analysing vast amounts of data to understand community sentiments and behaviours can be resource-intensive and complex. This can hinder their ability to make informed decisions and improve engagement strategies. 

Communiti Labs is an AI-powered community engagement platform that collates these insights across all channels and formats and converts them into actionable strategies. 

“We have a strong opinion of the founding team who display expert knowledge of the problems of their users and who are genuinely passionate about this space,” says James

“What sparked our excitement about Communiti Labs was the solid traction they had gained with their sales pipeline and the overall trajectory of the business.” 

We believe this is a great opportunity to disrupt some long-standing, slow-moving legacy businesses in an underserved space.” 

Pactify

Antler investment thesis: 

As the creator and influencer economy continues to grow, talent managers often face challenges in creating and managing contracts efficiently. The manual process of contract creation and workflow management can be time-consuming and prone to errors, leading to delays, compliance risks, and increased costs. 

Pactify is building a contract creator and workflow management tool to help social media talent managers close deals efficiently and economically. 

“Over the course of the DD process, we’ve been impressed by the team’s drive and hustle, and have developed high conviction in their ability to engage directly with customers and sell their solution,” said Mike Abbott. 

“The need for this business is clear and there are no obvious kill-pills. At the time of our investment, Pactify had a strong set of LOIs, a paid sale of the MVP and strong engagement from potential clients.” 

We believe this business will be global from day one.” 

Enaxiom

Antler investment thesis: 

Energy consumption in water treatment is expected to more than double over the next 25 years, significantly increasing both the cost and environmental footprint of water production. Electricity accounts for 25% to 40% of a wastewater treatment plant’s annual operating budget. While

water treatment is responsible for 5% of today’s greenhouse gas emissions, excluding the additional impact of the 80% of untreated wastewater released into nature. 

Enaxiom is on a mission to decarbonise water, prevent dumping untreated wastewater and greenhouse gases on the environment, and improve water outcomes within Australian industries. 

It has invented a patent-pending solution called Hydrocool, which converts industrial wastewater into high-quality freshwater at half the cost. 

“We are bullish on these co-founders who have a combination of deep technical expertise, have developed proprietary IP, and have strong commercial acumen giving them an unfair advantage in the space,” says James 

“The team has consistently displayed they learn rapidly, have achieved significant early traction, with grants and exciting pilots in place.” 

We believe this is a huge market and topical space, and we’re excited to see where the team takes it.” 

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The Portfolio Spotlight was held on July 3. You can watch the livestream recording and get in contact with the founders here

Antler has over 130 portfolio companies in Australia and worked with over 700 founders across a broad range of industries, including fintech, healthtech, climate tech, deeptech, ranging from pre-seed to Series A stages. 

Antler’s next Australian residency kicks off on August 5 with applications open now. Budding and seasoned entrepreneurs can apply here

 

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