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Antler closes £21.4m fund to back 70 UK tech startups

Antler UK fund

Antler, a global startup generator and early-stage venture capital firm, has closed a new UK fund at £21.4m to help develop 70 UK tech startups.

The VC firm intends to invest in talented individuals and pre-seed stage companies through its London cohort model, which will launch in February 2022.

Founded in 2017 Singapore, Antler has been investing in the UK since 2019. It has 35 UK companies in its portfolio, with 16 joined of those joining this year. UK companies include AI-powered healthcare marketplace Vamstar, virtual team venue Unlock and mortgage tech platform Mast.

The announcement comes two months after raising £226m from various investors, including Vækstfonden, Schroders, Phoenix Group, and others.

Antler plans to invest as much as £120,000 as the first cheque in all of its UK portfolio companies that complete the cohort. It holds capital in reserve for investing up to and including the Series C stage.

The UK team is headed by partners Ollie Purdue, Antoine Poirson, and Veronika Patkai and invests across sectors.

“With the UK fund now closed, we’re really excited to be in a stronger position to support even more young businesses,” said Ollie Purdue, partner of Antler London. “We are now aiming to double our capacity in the UK, helping more founders start their next business than ever before. We also have more exciting announcements coming soon – so watch this space.”

Veronika Patkai, associate partner at Antler London, added: “We’ve grown our UK team with the head of partnership and a program associate, and looking to grow further in 2022. We’re accepting applications for our fifth UK cohort, which starts in February 2022, and is looking forward to supporting the next phase of exceptional individuals, regardless of their background, origin, and gender.”

Investors and advisors in the Antler UK fund include Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s Light VC, the founders of Quantum Black, Monzo and Comply Advantage. It also includes backers from the senior teams at unbound, Babylon Health, Octopus Ventures, Collective Ventures, Blackrock, JP Morgan, PJT, Arctic Securities, and McKinsey

“As we witness a real generational wealth divide, we are convinced that startups will play a key role in closing it. As such, we are investing a lot of effort and resources to close it” said Antoine Poirson, partner of Antler London “First, by backing exceptional individuals, regardless of their background, origin, and gender. Second, by supporting our portfolio hire faster and more efficiently, giving them access to the wider Antler network. Third, by making investing in our funds more accessible to underrepresented groups, entrepreneurs, and women.”

Earlier this week Antler announced a separate initiative to back founders and developer teams that are building the nascent decentralised internet known as Web3.