Bengaluru-based early stage venture capital firm Antler has collaborated with Nandan Nilekani, FIDE (Foundation for Interoperability in Digital Economy) and ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) to roll out an ONDC-focused venture platform.

The Antler ONDC platform brings together capital, content and community to help entrepreneurs build businesses on the open protocol.

The platform will offer preseed capital of $300,000, along with an additional investment up to $200,000 from key partners (including unicorn founders and strategic backers) in the Antler network, for ready teams with an idea.

The platform will also support pre-team and pre-idea founders with a curated community to help them in their early journey, by building alongside experts, operators and top network participants such as Namma Yatri, Plotch.ai, SellerApp, Magicpin, among others.

The community will also facilitate problem solving sessions and office hours with leaders in the digital public infrastructure ecosystem, such as Dr Pramod Varma (Co-Founder, FIDE), Vibhor Jain (COO, ONDC) and Abey Zacharia (ONDC Specialist).

Furthermore, a select number of founders building on ONDC and looking for founding teams have the opportunity to be fast-tracked to Antler India Residency, a community for founders and operators to build a team, germinate an idea, and get funded in three months.

“We are going to democratise ecommerce in India. It won’t be limited to a few players. Everyone, every supplier including kirana stores, grocery and electronics retailers, small vendors and restaurants should participate in the digital marketplace on an open platform,” said Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani.

“With ONDC, we believe this has the potential to grow to 30-40% over the next decade; boosting massive growth for India. As the first VCs to launch a platform to increase talent density and enable opportunities on ONDC, we are excited to partner with visionaries such as Mr. Nilekani and the FIDE, ONDC leadership. We are excited to see founders building at population scale in themes like complex commerce, vernacular commerce and flow-based lending, to name a few,” said Nitin Sharma, Partner at Antler in India

“The Antler ONDC platform will provide everything from the best resources to a vibrant community and seed capital for them,” he added.

In June, Antler raised $285 million for its Antler Elevate fund to support growth-stage startups.

ONDC, an open protocol aimed at democratising ecommerce in India, is clocking more than one lakh transactions in grocery and mobility daily.

Intercity logistics have also picked up pace in the fashion, beauty and electronics segments, ONDC said.

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