Early-stage venture capital firm Antler says it has commitments approaching A$60 million at the final close of its second Australian fund
Investors in Australian Fund II include Canberra Airport billionaire Terry Snow’s Snow Foundation, Flight Centre co-founder Geoff Harris through his family office and pioneering Melbourne early-stage investor Roger Allen.
Antler launched in Australia in 2019 with a first $46 million Australian fund. The Singapore-based global parent business secured a US$285 million emerging growth fund in June this year to invests scale-up capital from Series A on, with some of the Antler Global Access Fund also backing Australian Fund II.
Local Antler partner James McClure said the new fund is a “positive and encouraging signal” for Australian founders and early-stage startups.
“This is new and strategic capital available and ready to be injected into Australian early-stage startups,” he said.
“As the ‘day zero’ investor, we want to help drive growth and progress and, of course, support more talented, driven, and resilient people who have identified an opportunity and want to solve important problems.”
To support the second fund, Antler has recruited Mike Abbott a founding employee of Uber in Australia, who took the business from 3 people to 500 as head of operations, as a new partner in the VC.
Abbott was also co-founder of Kaddy, which he sold to WineDepot for $34 million in 2021.
“I’m so excited to be joining Antler in Australia,” he said.
“Having been in the tech space, as a founder and an angel investor, I have seen firsthand the impact this phenomenal brand and business as a Day Zero investor has had on the Australian startup ecosystem.”
Antler in Australia has now invested in more than 100 early-stage companies over the last four years, with 17 of them now valued at more than $10 million.
Around 70% of Fund I portcos when on to raise additional external capital within a year and have attracted more than $110 million in combined funding.
Failures have been rare at a time when high-profile startups with significant funding collapsed over the past year, although last month Antler-backed shares-for-shopping fintech Upstreet announced its demise.
Earlier this year, Antler announced it was upping the initial investment it makes in the startups to $225,000 for a 12% stake at a post-money valuation of $1.875 million, however Antler then charges participants a $68,000 program fee taken from the initial investment.
For comparison, rival accelerator Startmate invests $120,000 for an 8.5% stake at a $1.5 million valuation.
Antler is currently working with its tenth Australian cohort and is taking applications for the 11th, which kicks off in January 2024. Application details are here.
- Disclosure: Startup Daily is the media partner of Antler in Australia.