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SmartCap invests €5M in Antler’s new fund to boost Estonian startups and Nordic cooperation

Estonian VC firm SmartCap has invested €5M in Antler Nordic Fund II, opening doors for local founders to join a global network and secure funding,

Estonian venture capital firm SmartCap has invested €5M in Antler Nordic Fund II, a fund focused on supporting tech startups across the Nordic region, which includes Estonia. This marks the second Nordic-focused fund for Antler, following their initial €30M deployed in 2021.

Antler, a global venture capital firm based in Singapore, has over 1,000 investments in its portfolio and is particularly active in Europe, having backed 400 startups in the last 5 years. It positions itself as “The World’s Day Zero Investor”, making bold bets across a variety of industries. Despite such a strong global presence, the firm is yet to tap into the vast Estonian ecosystem, which has one of the world’s highest number of unicorns per capita and leads the region in early-stage funding as well.

“Estonia has consolidated its position as one of the most exciting tech ecosystems in Europe. It has produced some of Europe’s fastest growing tech companies and Tallinn is home to more unicorn founders than established tech hubs like Manchester, Madrid and Copenhagen. Antler is a global investor committed to supporting the best founders around the world, and we are very excited to work with SmartCap to back a new generation of Estonian tech startups,” said Jussi Kallasvuo, Partner at Antler.

Thus, the investment from SmartCap will not only boost the Nordic tech scene but also create opportunities for Estonian founders. Antler’s unique 12-week accelerator program allows participants to form teams and build startups, with winning teams receiving up to €300,000 in investment. The first €100K is for a 10% equity stake, and the remaining €200K is a binding commitment to the startup’s pre-seed round on the same terms as other investors.

Sille Pettai, board member and fund manager at SmartCap, emphasizes the importance of this investment, stating, “This investment is a great opportunity to create cross-border deal flow across the Nordics and Estonia.” SmartCap has a portfolio of 117 companies and plays a crucial role in nurturing the venture capital ecosystem in Estonia from pre-seed to scale-up stages.

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