Singapore-based venture capital firm Antler is extending its international footprint into Malaysia through a partnership with the country’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah.

Both parties said in a statement on Thursday that Antler is aiming to invest in over 30 startups across Malaysia over the next three years.

It said that the partnership is to further establish Antler presence across six continents, which already includes Southeast Asia— with existing footholds in Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

It also said the strategic alliance serves to unearth and nurture Malaysia’s entrepreneurial talents and provide them access to Antler’s global platform and network, enabling them to establish themselves as the defining companies of tomorrow.

By drawing upon Antler’s global network of investors, founders, and advisors, it said this partnership will infuse new opportunities into the Malaysian entrepreneurial scene, and subsequently accelerate the growth trajectory of Malaysian entrepreneurs and startups, propelling them towards international expansion and success.

The partnership with Antler is the latest addition to Khazanah’s Future Malaysia Program, an initiative under its Dana Impak (Impact Fund) mandate, which aims to support the local start-up ecosystem of entrepreneurs, start-ups, venture capital, and corporate venture programs through collaborations with domestic and international partners.

Dana Impak is an MYR 6 billion ($1.3 billion) commitment over five years and is a key pillar under Khazanah’s Advancing Malaysia strategy.

“The strategic collaboration with Antler marks a new chapter in Malaysia’s entrepreneurial landscape, underscoring Khazanah’s unwavering commitment to introducing innovative and impactful solutions,” said Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir, Managing Director of Khazanah.

According to him, this is another step forward for Khazanah Future Malaysia Program, which aims to scale Malaysian ideas and businesses to be globally competitive.

“Going forward, we will continue to identify potential partners with proven track records, expertise, and strategic value proposition to join us in nurturing and empowering the next generation of Malaysian entrepreneurs through this programme, offering comprehensive support throughout the entire funding lifecycle, spanning from the pre-seed stage right up to the growth stage,” he added.

Antler is one of the most active early-stage investors globally and has invested in over 792 companies across 26 cities worldwide, amassing a cumulative portfolio value of $3.7 billion. The firm has a goal to back more than 6,000 by 2030.

Specializing in ‘Day Zero investing’, the firm takes a distinctive approach to fostering startup success, setting it apart from other entrepreneurial programs.

The firm is committed to supporting founders throughout their journey, starting from the pre-seed stage and extending all the way to Series A and beyond.

This includes support in co-founder matching, deep business model validation, provision of initial capital, expansion assistance, and securing follow-on funding.

With Antler’s comprehensive investment approach, startups are backed from their very earliest days through significant growth phases.

“We are on a mission to fundamentally improve the world by backing and investing in the world’s most exceptional people from Day Zero to greatness,” said Jussi Salovaara, Co-Founder and Managing Partner Asia, Antler.

According to him, founders scale their companies faster with Antler, where they can build remarkable teams, join a global community of founders, and access capital to accelerate growth.

“We are especially thrilled about partnering with Khazanah to unlock this opportunity for entrepreneurs in Malaysia,

“From its new Kuala Lumpur office, Antler is aiming to invest in over 30 startups across Malaysia over the next three years, with the inaugural Venture Generation Program set to begin in October 2023 and applications are currently open,” he added.

Antler currently has offices globally across most major entrepreneurial hubs in 26 cities, including Malaysia, Singapore, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh, Austin, New York, London, Berlin, Stockholm, Bangalore, Seoul, Tokyo, and Sydney.

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