Why Antler is the best place to start your company

Understand how Antler significantly increases your odds of success.

December 1, 2023
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Zero to One. Going from nothing to creating a company is the greatest leap possible. For entrepreneurs with the ambition to build large companies, setting up a solid foundation from day zero can dramatically increase the odds of their success. From concrete idea validation to the right kind of connections, support during this important phase will alter the trajectory of your startup, getting you from zero to success in the fastest way possible. 

At Antler, we help the world’s premier talent build great technology companies at scale from the earliest stage, enabling them to go from 0 to 1 and setting them on a path to build billion-dollar startups. Globally, founders find the Antler Residency to be the best place to launch a startup (Read how Abraham Burak launched Airalo, now a soonicorn), even if you are a repeat entrepreneur. 

Within 3 years of operations in India, over 45,000 founders have applied to different Antler India offerings (including the fellowship for student founders). As Day Zero investors, we have backed 65 startups at the earliest stage. 

With global learnings from 100+ cohorts and working with 8000+ founders to launch and invest in 1000+ companies, we launched the India Residency in 2022. The Residency has two parallel tracks for teams and individuals, thoughtfully designed for their specific needs. At the Residency, solo founders meet 80+ exceptional potential co-founders - tech, business, and domain experts selected from over 7,000 applicants. They join a supportive and like-minded community that is committed to building venture-scale companies. Post successful team formation and idea selection, individuals move to the Teams track, usually in 8-12 weeks. Early teams enter the Residency on a rolling basis via a separate track where they spend weekly office hours with dedicated Antler team members and Partners to stress-test the venture scalability and idea validation and get an investment decision within 4 weeks.

We have worked with over 450 individuals and early teams, and these are a few reasons why they believe the Residency to be the best place to launch a startup and build the foundations for a large company.

A COMMUNITY THAT ENABLES INTENSITY & CLARITY

As a solo founder, being in the company of 80-100 exceptional individuals, all committed to building massive startups sets the right environment that both supports and challenges you. The Residency is an intense program that will condense months’ worth of progress into a few weeks. It provides a platform to go from an idea to a global venture-backed startup in 3 to 4 months (as early as 4 weeks for early teams). 

Some ways in which the Residency has proved to be the ideal starting point for ambitious founders:

  • It helps understand your ‘WHY’ very deeply. The venture-backed founder journey is hard and the Residency helps you understand if and why this journey is right for you. This becomes a critical foundational piece as you build out your startup. 
  • The cohort enables not only a high-intensity environment to execute and launch fast but also a support system to help you think about the problem statement, customers, and market deeply so that you are not chasing after the wrong idea for months before realizing so. 
  • As a solo founder, the Residency helps you with all the above along with finding an ideal co-founder (based on values and not just complementary skills) and kickstarting your founder journey.

IDEATE, VALIDATE, ATTRACT AND BUILD

Ideate 

Ideas are plenty. However, deciding to build an idea that evolves into a large outcome is hard. The Residency helps stress-test venture scalability. Founders leverage Antler support (via office hours with the team, and expert knowledge sessions) to arrive at unique insights, articulate hypotheses, and crystallize an idea to build. 

Support from an investor and domain expert point of view can significantly increase your depth of understanding of your customers and the addressable market — two very critical foundational blocks of successful companies. We bring top industry experts to interact with the cohort on emerging spaces that are interesting for founders to problem-solve and build in. In addition, we host ‘idea-killing sessions’ that take a critical look at hypotheses to point out obvious gaps that may have been missed. These interventions save months worth of time. With the Antler team of 20, 80% of whom have founded/ worked in startups, we bring an operator lens and work closely with our founders. More importantly, time and again we’ve seen the power of serendipity – founders in the cohort helping other founders reach clarity, with several pivoting or markedly improving on their ideas within weeks of starting the program.

Validate

The biggest startups are painkillers, not vitamins. They solve a problem that addresses a ‘real’ pain point and materially impacts their customers. Most founders run into building vitamins or going after low-hanging fruits in an already crowded space due to a lack of solid customer validation. We often see founders leaning on their internal networks for idea validation, which may result in bias. The Residency not only helps the founders with tried and tested frameworks and playbooks for validating an idea but also opens up new networks (both ours and other founders’) that lead to important customer and industry connections to aid in idea validation. 

Post-formation of teams via the individuals track, every team is mapped to a dedicated coach within the Antler team for deeper 1:1 support in the form of weekly office hours. Early teams via the teams track will have this support from Day 1.

Attract (People)

Every startup's trajectory hinges on the strength of the founders and the dynamics of the co-founder relationship. For an early team, the Residency enables them to stress test the co-founder relationship and further solidify it in accordance with shared values and vision. For a solo founder, the Residency is the best place to find a co-founder from a hand-picked cohort of 80-100 exceptional founders.

Build 

The Residency enables the founders to move fast, through quick iterations, build an MVP, and craft a compelling narrative. The founders interact with several domain experts and unicorn founders during the Residency and leverage the Antler team as a constant sounding board.

For existing teams, we will work with you to stress-test the venture scalability and idea validation to reach an investment decision within 4 weeks after the start of the Residency.

GO FURTHER FASTER, WITH ANTLER’S ARC AND PORTFOLIO PLATFORM

After finding a co-founder (for the solo founders track) and showcasing a fast execution trajectory, founders get an opportunity to pitch to the Investment Committee in 8-12 weeks or 4 weeks for pre-formed teams. Upon investment confirmation, we invest $250K for 9% of the company (at a $2.7M valuation). The founders can exercise Antler’s ARC within 9 months of the term sheet signing to raise additional capital. Under ARC, Antler will match 50% of capital raised from external accredited investors in the new round, up to $250K, at the new valuation. In a typical scenario, founders can raise additional capital of $750K comprising $500K from external investors plus $250K from Antler via ARC at the new valuation, totaling $1M in the first year of the company’s journey. Read more about ARC here.

Antler is the only pre-seed fund in India with a capital pool that can back you through the life cycle of your company via the $75M India fund and the $285M global growth fund.

Post investment, we work very closely with the portfolio through a dedicated support platform ‘Antler Forward’, to enable product launch, revenue acceleration, hiring, and problem-solving with an experienced team. This is designed to accelerate towards early PMF in 4-6 months. Further, Antler Spotlight offers a platform for founders to showcase their companies and connect with hundreds of potential top-tier investors. With constructs like ARC, Antler Forward, and Antler Spotlight, we are building a structure that supports exceptional Indian founders with not just capital but also a platform that increases the odds of success from Day Zero.

Here is how some of our India portfolio companies scaled fast:

New-age investment platform, IndiaP2P has disbursed loans to more than 15000 women entrepreneurs within 24 months of launch.

  • Intercity bus travel platform for Bharat, Apnibus has enabled ~2 million bus tickets per month for intercity travellers in Rajasthan through their POS solution within 24 months of launch.
  • ONDC Technology Service Provider (TSP), Plotch.ai, within 9 months of launch, has signed up 18+ enterprise clients for ONDC and has enabled enterprises to go live on ONDC in under 2 weeks.
  • Full stack carbon management platform, Sangti has tracked carbon emissions from 50 million shipments and measured 2.5 M tCO2e within 9 months of launch.

LAUNCH WITH A GLOBAL PLATFORM 

Antler’s global presence in 27 locations, including major startup hubs such as New York, London, Berlin, Singapore, and Sydney, enables the founders to access a network of over 8000 founders and over 600 advisors. This network can deliver real revenue, employees, and investors over time.

To learn more about how Antler powers founders' trajectories globally, read A Window into Progress or visit our Location pages in the top navigation.

WHAT ANTLER FOUNDERS ARE SAYING

“The depth of talent within the cohort helped me work through invalidating multiple ideas with different people before I locked down on what I’d work on. Without the Residency, I would certainly have made much less progress on my entrepreneurial journey.” - Yash Sheel Srivastava, Building in AI; Ex-Managing Director, Coda Payments
The Antler team feels like an extension of one’s own team. I have some experience raising money before, but this is unique to Antler. They don't see you as investors, you are like their own team. Antler team understands how founders think about building as they’ve done it before. - Neha Juneja, Co-founder, IndiaP2P.

We believe the Residency is the best platform to launch your startup, whether it be stress-testing venture scalability, validating an idea faster, or completing your founding team. Beyond the structured Residency approach, we strive to be your best Day Zero investor via significant post-investment support towards PMF, generous perks ($1.5M in potential value), and a vast global network. 

We are looking for solo founders and early teams committed to building game-changing venture scalable startups. Join Antler to validate your idea, build your team, and access capital to launch and scale your company.

Applications are open for early teams throughout the year for rolling intake and for the cohort starting August 2024 for individuals. The last date to apply is 31 July 2024. Apply here.

📌 Check out our upcoming virtual and offline events meetups here.

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