An invitation from Antler to the Wholesale Investor community
This Friday (24th May) from 5.30pm we are hosting founder, advisor and investor drinks. If you would like to meet some of the cohort, the Antler team, and some of our advisors or investors, please join us for informal drinks at our HQ – Level 7, 11 York Street (from 5.30pm). Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you will be joining.
About the cohort
In short, we’re blown away by the quality of people who applied to join the inaugural Antler program. We received c.1,000 applications and will be starting with c.70 founders in cohort 1. All of these people have either quit their job or given up what they were doing to join us full time from June 3rd to start phase 1 of the program. Not only is the quality of the cohort phenomenally high, but across the group, we have great individual diversity (age, gender, nationality ) and skill diversity.
Key stats are:
- 18 nationalities
- Average work experience of 14 years (Range 3-30yrs)
- 40% technical vs 60% non-technical founders
- 24% female vs 76% male (across cohort) or 38% female vs 62% male (when excluding builders) – this is particularly pleasing as it is well above benchmark.
I would encourage you to take a quick look at who’s joining us to found and build businesses here www.antler.dev. If you haven’t seen this before, you might be surprised at the calibre and experience of the individuals.
Some recent additions to the cohort include:
- Penny Locaso – having spent 9 years at Shell, Penny left to found her business BKindred, focusing on a mission to future proof happiness. This has led to her consulting and advising many blue-chip clients including Microsoft and Deloitte. Penny has developed a framework for measuring “Intentional Adaptability” highlighting key attributes such as confidence and courage which in a fast-changing workplace are increasingly important. Penny is also a guest lecturer at Singularity University, based at NASA’s Research Centre in Silicon Valley.
- Ian Yip – Departing McAfee as the Chief Product Officer in Asia Pacific, and previously Director of Cyber Security at EY, Ian is joining Antler to primarily explore security solutions around IOT devices.
- Aswathi Thandassery – having grown up in Kerala, India, Aswathi was identified as a high performing student and accelerated through the best schools in India. Post university she was recruited into the Indian Space Agency where she spent 7 years building sensors and systems for the Indian Space Mission to Mars. Ready to pursue a career in business, she moved to Australia and has just completed her MBA at AGSM.
Recent additions to the Antler Team
We continue to build out a strong internal team to support our founders through their journey through full-time advice, mentoring and global networking capabilities. We’re thrilled to have Harini Janakiraman join us this month, as Director of Technology. Harini has spent the last 9 years at Blackrock where she was VP of Data Engineering. Whilst our cohort is full of experienced technologists, Harini will act as an additional guide and source of advice to the cohort, as well as an important member of our internal Due Diligence team. Harini has and will continue to play a very active role in attracting exceptional technical talent to future cohorts.
Heath Jamieson who joined us from Bain in February has now been appointed Director of Venture Development and Program. We’re now a team of 10 full-time staff ready to support the cohort.
Kicking off in less than two weeks, the first 2 months consists of regular rapid design sprints in which the team try different constellations of working together to see where they combine well from a skills and values perspective. The first 3 sprints, we have partnered with some of Australia’s largest corporates to provide interesting challenges for the cohort to work on. From week 3 they will start forming their own teams and working on their own ideas. As a reminder, after 2 months, at the end of Phase 1 the co-founding teams will pitch the team, idea and business model to our internal investment committee. The teams who we think have the potential to build significant businesses will receive a $100k investment for 10% of their business from our ESVCLP fund (more on the fund below)
We started introducing the cohort to each other through fortnightly social events and a cohort slack channel. What has struck us very clearly is the amount of support they are able to provide to each other. As an example, an idea will be proposed in detail on the channel, often leading to 20 other people commenting on the validity, challenges and opportunities relating to such an idea. This is a highly motivated, but also experienced group of individuals who are not only co-founding their own businesses but able to support and help validate others ideas. The alumni network is already proving valuable.
The Antler fund
Ahead of the first cohort starting, we’ve had an exceptional level of interest in the fund. Our LP’s are a combination of entrepreneurs and exited founders, HNW’s and Family Offices.
The fund represents a compelling (and we believe only) way to invest in pre-seed with a high degree of diversification (c.200 companies) and also material and thorough due diligence (investing only at the end of Phase 1 and not upfront). The target returns are a very conservative 30% IRR after fees (our model which I’m happy to share is predicting 38% IRR), and a reminder this is an ESVCLP structure, so all returns are tax-free, and you receive a 10% tax rebate on deployed capital. This is only open to sophisticated investors.
Our investors are largely falling into 2 camps. Those who want asset allocation to this new private equity sub-asset class, possibly to complement existing VC positions, and will hold this as a passive investment, and those who wish to get more involved, adding value to the cohort and scouting follow-on opportunities.
Our chairman, Tore Myrholt has passed on some interesting rationale for both the Passive and Active Fund investors.
If you would like to discuss the cohort, program, mentoring or participating in the fund, then please don’t hesitate to register your interest below.