Antler East Africa closes $13.5 million fund to invest in early-stage startups

Antler East Africa has closed a $13.5 million fund to invest in Africa's early-stage startups.

Antler East Africa closes $13.5 million fund to invest in early-stage startups

Antler East Africa has closed a $13.5 million fund to invest in Africa's early-stage startups.

Intending to raise $10 million at the initial stage, Antler East Africa received an oversubscribed round with an additional $3.5 million.

Investors in the round included Baillie Gifford, an independent investment manager and well-known Tesla backer; Canica, a privately owned investment company operating out of Norway and Switzerland; and institutional investors such as the IFC.

Founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneur Magnus Grimeland and a team of experienced entrepreneurs, investors and company builders worldwide, Antler has raised more than $75 million to help entrepreneurs spread across nine of the world’s major entrepreneurial hubs. They include Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Nairobi, New York, Oslo, Singapore, Stockholm and Sydney.

Antler’s only office in Africa is in Nairobi, and it is run and led by women. Antler East Africa was launched in August 2019. Five cohorts with 153 founders have passed through the accelerator programs so far, and the firm has made 14 investments.

To date, Antler East Africa has invested in a broad range of technology companies in the B2B, B2C and direct-to-consumer space, ranging from emerging sectors like robotics and AI to sectors such as health tech, fintech and proptech. From its last two cohorts, Antler East Africa has invested in six startups.

With this fund, Antler East Africa will back founders who want to build their startups from scratch and investing in already formed teams that need capital to scale. Globally, Antler invests from pre-seed to Series C, and has backed more than 400 companies from its $300 million fund.

As a female-led VC team, Antler East Africa will pay more attention to startups founded and led by women in the Africa. The firm also stated that it will receive applications on a rolling basis.