As Southeast Asia’s tech landscape reaches a new peak, with more emerging unicorns and record SPAC mergers, global early-stage VC Antler is already looking to the future with investments in 14 new startups from its recent Singapore cohorts. These new companies—operating in sectors ranging from SaaS to edtech and cybersecurity—presented their ideas to investors and the world during today’s Antler Southeast Asia Demo Day.
“These startups are building for the new normal, where tech shapes and changes the way we work, live, socialize, invest, and learn. As they innovate, a trend they have kept in mind is the decentralization of everything—to make knowledge, work, capital, security, and the online world more accessible to everyone,” Jussi Salovaara, co-founder and managing partner for Asia at Antler, said in a press release.
As part of its sixth and seventh cohorts in Southeast Asia, Antler selected 190 founders from over 4,500 applications. About 72% of these founders had worked in a startup before, 59% of them had previously founded a company, and 12% of the participants had exited a company as founders of executives.
“We are incredibly proud of all 14 companies born from the Antler Southeast Asia program, who are now part of our global platform. These founders have shown tremendous agility, grit, and adaptability as they navigated through unforeseen lockdowns and general uncertainty in the global economy,” Salovaara added.
Antler has backed 90 startups in Southeast Asia since its first Singapore cohort in July 2018. In 2020, Antler Southeast Asia created 27 new companies. Antler’s program runs over a six-month period in two phases. During the initial stage of ten weeks, the Antler team helps founders to validate their business ideas, prove product-market fits, and build strong teams. In the second phase, Antler invests in the strongest team, who will go on to build and scale their startups in preparation for the Demo Day.
Despite the pandemic’s economic impact, tech has proven to be resilient globally. In Southeast Asia, VC funding experienced a huge pickup in Q1 2021, after a slowdown in 2020. Funding in the region is expected to hit a record high in 2021, with startups having raised USD 6 billion from VCs in just the first quarter of this year.
Here is a brief recap of the participating startups:
Wizly provides a platform for startup professionals who want to fast-track growth by allowing users to ask business-related questions and find curated solutions from trusted sources.
Found & Seek is an integrated mobile-enabled, cloud-based platform that helps businesses manage, share, and resell their valuable equipment.
Svested supports Southeast Asian startups in their entrepreneurship journey by providing advisory services for setting up employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). It also provides a user-friendly platform to manage ESOPs and capitalization tables.
Alpha Impact is a social network that allows users to view, follow, and copy the trades of qualified, high-performing crypto investors.
Soda is a social discovery app that enables users to find communities and other professional connections around them.
Cysense helps companies create and monitor information security programs automatically, empowering them to take control of cybersecurity with just a few clicks.
Qweebi is a virtual STEM platform where kids can engage in playful, collaborative, and hands-on building experiences. At the same time, they can learn how to apply fundamental STEM concepts to solve real-world problems.
Innade is a digital coaching platform that partners with organizations to nurture, support, and transform users. The platform matches users with coaches to guide them through a goal-based personalized journey.
Payd is a financial wellbeing platform that allows employees to receive a portion of their salary as they earn it. The Payd app also allows employees to see a live view of their earnings.
sudoHero is a SaaS platform and freelance marketplace that provides support and engineering resources to help companies solve their software development problems.
SellerLot allows brands, distributors, and merchants to access, centralize, and optimize sales across online channels. The firm also empowers customers to streamline cross-border strategies.
Slab is an automated platform that enables the distribution of mobile gaming content on a massive scale. The company claims its software can lead to a 10x boost in downloads.
Nife is an enterprise application deployment and orchestration platform provider that works with telcos, data centers, and hyper-scalers to provide optimized performance in latency, data privacy, and data processing for app developers and other clients.
Eateroo is a social discovery marketplace for micro, small, and medium-sized F&B businesses in Indonesia.
KrASIA is an official media partner of the event.