Global early-stage venture capital firm Antler is looking at investing in at least 100 startups over the next four years through its new office in South Korea, according to a company announcement.
Antler is launching in Korea through its Seoul headquarter, led by Jiho Kang, a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Soomgo. The first South Korean investments will be made in early 2022.
The venture capital investor is already present in most major startup ecosystems globally and has recently expanded its operations to Toronto in Canada and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
The company said it will launch in South Korea to enable more entrepreneurs to build startups through their platform, raise investment, and take advantage of the unique ecosystem in the country.
Kang said there is a huge opportunity that the Covid-19 pandemic has presented in South Korea. It is an extremely dense country, where one can physically go anywhere in the nation within four hours by high-speed rail, therefore people are used to doing business in person.
“The pandemic has prevented this — which is leading to many exciting things happening in the SaaS, remote work, remote health, and delivery-related sectors. We are also seeing continuing disruption in more traditional businesses like legal services, finance, and energy, in the South Korean market,” Kang stressed.
Antler founder and CEO Magnus Grimeland said South Korea’s tech industry has deep roots in innovation and vast potential for future growth.
“It provides a very good launchpad for startups going global by providing the opportunity to build fast, grow fast, and use secured South Korean market share as fuel to expand into other global regions,” Grimeland said.
Founded in Singapore, Antler has a global presence in 16 locations around the world and has invested in over 300 technology startups, making it one of the world’s largest early-stage investment platforms. Its model is built around engaging with exceptional founders from a very early stage.
The focus on backing and investing in entrepreneurs from an early stage helps foster diversity among the entrepreneurs they support: Over 40% of Antler’s portfolio companies have at least one female co-founder and their founders represent over 70 different nationalities.
The inaugural South Korea cohort will kick off in Seoul in early 2022 and will be running over a six-month period, focusing initially on building the right team. During this period, the Antler team pulls on resources and expertise from across the world to enable founders to validate
their business ideas, prove product-market fit, and build strong teams.