Global VC firm Antler Sets Aside $100-150 million for Backing Indian Start-Ups with Focus on Blockchain
Antler, an early-stage venture capital (VC) company that turned its attention onthe Indian market a few months back, stated that it would invest $100 million to $150 million in the next three years in more over 100 Indian start-ups. Antler said that it would spend up to a third of its total capital in India in Web3 and blockchain initiatives by supporting 25-30 start-ups in the field. This is because the team is convinced that Indian entrepreneurs will contribute greatly to a decentralized future.
With this announcement, Antler India — the Indian branch of the global venture capital platform — purported to be the initial early-stage venture capital firm in the nation to disclose a strong blockchain concentration. Antler is also doubling down on the decentralization theme internationally, with hopes to grow its portfolio to more than 100 blockchain startups over the next three years. The investment business said that by using its worldwide network, resources, and partner firms, it seeks to capitalize on a genuine opportunity for current Web3 entrepreneurs and those moving from Web2 to Web3.
Antler will collaborate with Solana and Polygon, two of the biggest developer environments in the world, and also Questbook, one of the fast rising Web3 developer communities. Additionally, over ten industry experts will provide their assistance, including the creators of Xanpool, Zilliqa Research, Mudrex, Mesh.Finance, OnJuno, Persistence One, Molecule, and Chainstack.
The Antler network’s founders will benefit immensely from exposure to these instructional tools, and also help across distribution and team-building, and also expanded financing relationships, the company said. Antler now owns 14 Web3 and blockchain businesses, such as Hodlnaut, Art Wall Street, Alpha Impact, and Xanpool, which just secured $27 million in a Series A round led by Valar.
According to the business, Nitin Sharma, Partner and Global Blockchain Lead at Antler and creator of Incrypt Blockchain, was the first Indian venture capitalist to take an active role in promoting India’s blockchain ecosystem. Since 2017, Nitin and his team have invested in 16 blockchain businesses, including Arweave (decentralized file storage), Mudrex (social trading and DeFi aggregator), OnJuno (payroll infrastructure connecting banks and crypto), BAT, Ocean, Molecule, and Persistence.
“I’ve had the good fortune to interact with some of the visionaries and “OGs” who established the space in India, and I am a firm believer that Web3 and DeFi are laying the groundwork for a new internet and financial system, with DAOs, digital assets, and NFTs serving as the building bricks. One in which people and communities will have a far greater say over value generation, identity management, and data sovereignty. I’ve also enjoyed participating in global policy talks and am certain that prudent regulation would enable India and Indians to define the destiny of the next generation of global platforms,” Sharma said.
Antler has been increasing its Web3 portfolio in the conviction that the world is now prepared for thousands of new startups to enter and build a decentralized Web3 over the next 4-5 years, he said. “This is a transformation that, as the sole early-stage investor with such a worldwide reach, we can assist catalyze. That is why we are beginning a concerted response across 17 locations with our worldwide appeal to allow new entrepreneurs to “level up to Web3″ with us. From Day 1, startups from India and other countries will have access to the full breadth of our network, as well as specialized protocol partnerships and consultants, in order to reach users, developers, and investors across five continents,” Sharma said.
Cathy Guo, Antler India’s Portfolio Manager, will co-lead the blockchain activities. Cathy was formerly the CEO and co-founder of Dunya Labs, a company focused on developing developer tools for decentralized application developers. She organized developer hackathons for Dfinity and EOS in India and was an early investor and mentor in the Indian blockchain environment. The Antler India team will be essential in managing Antler’s worldwide Web3 initiative, which will span 17 foreign locations. Antler India intends to continue expanding its team with blockchain and Web3 experts in order to accelerate investment in the industry in the future.
“Having studied the sector since 2015, I’ve seen an irreversible tsunami of talent and fundamental architecture being rolled out for Web3. I am certain that Indian entrepreneurs will play a significant role across the board, whether it be DeFi 3.0, innovative on-ramps and crypto-based products for Indian and Southeast Asian investors, or web3 infrastructure development tools. India has an edge in that it can use a large talent pool to work on global-first, modular initiatives,” Guo said.
Despite regulatory uncertainty, Antler India is enthusiastic about the country’s blockchain ecosystem’s future and its potential to become an international hub. In terms of legislation, Sharma said that he is opposed to speculative activity and believes in prudent regulation that may meet policymakers’ very legitimate worries.
“We have established our own policy suggestions to solve this while preserving developer and entrepreneurial activity.” We will concentrate our network of global funding on entrepreneurs developing critical infrastructure and tools from India for different parts of the coming Web3, in order to address scalability and usability issues,” he stated.