The Singapore-based VC firm Antler has launched a $60 million Middle East North Africa and Pakistan (Menap)-focused fund to invest in the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The VC aims to boost the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by supporting exceptional founders at the earliest stage.
The support involves co-founders’ matching, personalized coaching, access to a local and global network of founders and advisors, MENAP ecosystem expertise, day zero investment, and support with follow-on funding.
Jonathan Doerr, a serial entrepreneur with 3 exits, and Romain Assunção, a former Associate Partner at McKinsey, are leading the firm’s activities in the region, and they will be partners in the fund.
Antler portfolio companies include Airalo, an eSIM services provider that recently raised a $60 million series B round led by e& Capital. As a day zero investor, Antler’s philosophy is to invest in people.
Recently recognized as the world’s most active early-stage investor with investments across 20+ countries in under 5 years.
Antler sees increasing applications to its founder programs with an end-of-program investment rate of 1%.
Antler invests US$10,000 for 11% equity in high-performing founders, selected based on 200+ hours of close interaction time throughout the 3-month program.
Antler also assists down the startup cycle with expansion support and follow-on funding from Antler’s global funds or top VC co-investors like Andreessen Horowitz or Northzone.
Antler portfolio companies include Airalo, a global eSIM provider which connects millions of users across 200+ countries.
Doerr says: “As an entrepreneur that has exited 3 companies and built businesses in the KSA and the UAE, I would have highly valued a program like Antler that not only puts me in a room of high-caliber potential co-founders but also supports me tangibly on my first steps and introduces me to relevant people within the ecosystem.”
Assunção adds, “National strategies show an unprecedented level of ambition to modernize and diversify countries’ economies and often coordinate efforts across public related entities, offering significant opportunities and support for founders. Startups are crucial – in particular in tech and digital space, being cross-sectorial, creating high-quality jobs, and moving countries to knowledge economies. And we see governments walking the talk.”
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