Google India’s Rajan Anandan to join Sequoia Capital as MD

Rajan Anandan, managing director of Google India, speaks at the Android One launch event in New Delhi on Sept. 15, 2014. PHOTOGRAPHER: KUNI TAKAHASHI/BLOOMBERG

After a successful eight-year stint, Google India and South Asia vice-president and prolific angel investor Rajan Anandan is joining Sequoia Capital India as a managing director.

Anandan, who will join the leadership team at the marquee venture fund, will focus on developing Sequoia’s accelerator initiative ‘Surge’ for startups targeting India and Southeast Asia.

According to a statement issued by Sequoia India, “Rajan’s deep understanding of technology, significant operating expertise and track record of growing tech businesses across the region will help ‘Surge’ founders scale and build the transformational businesses of tomorrow.”

Surge, an accelerator and incubator programme was launched by Sequoia a few months ago to help early-stage startup founders scale up to the next level especially since that has been a challenge in India and South-East Asia over the past few years ever since the startup boom caught the fancy of investors in late 2014 / early 2015.

Even as a plethora of new-age startups have raised funds in the last 4-5 years, many of them have failed to take their business to the next level. Keeping this in mind, Sequoia, which is already known for nurturing startups, created a 16-week-long Surge programme to help founders make smart business choices at the inception stage so that it can become easier for them to raise Series A round thereafter.

The Surge programme targets startups both in India and Southeast Asia across sectors such as consumer internet, technology, enterprise software, healthcare, fintech, among others. It is set to invest over $100 million over the next four-five years and is expected pick up 10–20 early stage ventures every six months.

As the head of Google India & Southeast Asia, Anandan played a critical role in expanding the internet ecosystem and accelerating innovation, thereby helping the internet search giant build a multi-billion dollar business.

“The addition of Rajan, who is one of the top Internet leaders in the region, underscores our commitment to the early-stage ecosystem across the region,” Sequoia India managing director Shailendra Singh said in a LinkedIn Pulse post.

In his personal capacity, Anandan has been a prolific angel investor wherein he has backed a large number of successful startups at the very early stages. A slew of his investments have scaled to raise follow-on rounds from venture funds including Sequoia India. These include prominent names such as Rapido, Dunzo, Unacademy, Capillary Technologies, and Dhuva, among others.

Prior to joining Google, Rajan has also led Microsoft and Dell in India and was earlier a partner at McKinsey & Co in Chicago.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.