Urban Ladder co-founder Rajiv Srivatsa to head VC firm Antler India

  • The India operations of Antler will start in Bengaluru and will be led by Srivatsa, co-founder of the online furniture startup
  • Antler plans to invest in up to 40 companies within its first year of operations through an India-dedicated fund

Nandita Mathur
First Published1 Jun 2020
Urban Ladder co-founder Rajiv Srivatsa.
Urban Ladder co-founder Rajiv Srivatsa.

BENGALURU: Global early-stage venture capital firm (VC), Antler, on Monday said it will launch in India and plans to build more than 150 startups in the next four years, enabling more entrepreneurs to leverage their platform, support and global reach.

The India operations will start in Bengaluru and will be led by Rajiv Srivatsa, co-founder of the online furniture startup, Urban Ladder, who will join as partner.

Srivatsa co-founded Urban Ladder (UL) in 2012. As co-founder and chief product and technology officer, he helped raise over $100 million in venture capital from marquee investors and helped build UL into India’s most popular online furniture brand.

Antler plans to invest in up to 40 companies within its first year of operations in India through an India-dedicated fund. Additionally, it will expand to other major cities in India in the next three to five years, the company said in a statement.

The inaugural India program will kick off in Bangalore in the second half of 2020. The Antler program runs over a six-month period in two phases. The first phase is about building the right team with co-founders who have complementary skills. After the first phase of ten weeks, Antler invests in the strongest teams, who go on to the second phase to build and scale the startup.

“We believe the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem has massive potential.. We want to lower the barriers for exceptional people to start a technology company, regardless of their background or geography. Over the next 5 years, India is expected to be the third largest market and grow into a 5 trillion dollar economy, fueling a much higher growth for the digital economy. In addition, we want to provide India originating startups with Antler’s global platform to ensure startups from India can expand, scale, succeed and tap into expertise on a global level,” said Magnus Grimeland, Founder and CEO of Antler.

“I am excited to launch Antler in India. Antler, with its stellar mix of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and operators, has built a tremendous technology-backed platform to launch global-ready companies, all in the span of just two years. Today, India is at the stage where China was a decade ago. In the coming years, we have the potential to take this ecosystem into the next orbit and build 100s of world-class startups at scale,” said Rajiv Srivatsa, Partner, Antler India.

"We will launch an India find and collaborate with VCs, angels and work closely with corporate partners and functional specialists as mentors, to power the Indian startup ecosystem," added Srivatsa.

Headquartered in Singapore, Antler already has a global presence in 11 locations around the world and has invested in over 160 technology-companies, making it one of the world’s largest early-stage investment platforms.

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