Antler will invest in up to 5 teams and deploy up to US$500,000 in aggregate
Singapore-based global startup generator and early-stage venture capital firm Antler has received over 1500 applications from 100 countries in the two weeks since it launched its COVID-19 call to startups, according to a company statement released today.
Antler invited startups to propose solutions in Mitigation like masks, contact tracing, surveillance, data infrastructure, Medical Equipment including test kits, protective devices, ventilators, Remote Health like tele-health, remote patient monitoring, symptom checkers, and Digital Tools like remote work, smart delivery and e-learning. The purpose is to contribute toward the path to recovery from the crisis, the statement said.
Antler is currently shortlisting and interviewing the teams, and plans to invest in up to five teams and deploy up to US$500,000 in aggregate.
The VC has received applications from both new startups offering solutions to combat the global pandemic, as well as existing businesses adapting their existing products and operations to meet the current needs.
“Our approach for selection has been different compared to our usual Antler program. Due to the speed at which the solution needs to be implemented and put into action, we are selecting only existing teams and startups that already have a minimum viable product or a pilot project to show,” said Jussi Salovaara, Co-founder and Asia Managing Partner of Antler.
The startups will be judged on the relevance of their efforts to mitigate COVID-19 as well as their sustainability and scalability in the post-COVID-19 era, the statement added.
“From the breadth of applications received, we are seeing a coronavirus-induced acceleration of a digital-first mindset across many traditional industries, where entrepreneurs understand that COVID-19 will permanently change the landscape of our lives and are planning for the needs of a post-COVID society,” added Salovaara.
Beneficiaries of the investment will receive access to Antler’s global network of entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts, as well as coaching from Antler’s leadership team. Antler will help startups get their solutions off the ground and make them accessible to those who need them as quickly as possible. Given the overwhelming response, Antler is continuing to accept select applications on a rolling basis.
Since its inception in 2017, Antler has made more than 120 investments across a wide range of startup sectors, and is present in eight locations globally.
Since the pandemic started, VC funding has been on the decline with more and more startups facing a cash crunch. According to the Venture Capital Funding Report Q1 2020 by CB Insights and PwC, North America, Asia and Europe saw combined funding $50 billion in Q1 2020, while global VC funding witnessed a 10% year-on-year (YoY) decline. Moreover, funding to startups in Asia declined 19% YoY.
However, the report also lists digital health among the top three emerging areas attracting the most fundings in 2020.
Header Image Courtesy of Antler