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.
Digital economy in India+SEA: $125B in 2018. 30%++ yoy growth (revenues, not users). $500B addressable market by 2023. There simply has not been a better time to #startup in India and SEA! Super excited and honored to be joining the @Sequoia_India family! Lets @_surgeahead!! https://t.co/1M1WBjkBRn
— Rajan Anandan (@RajanAnandan) April 2, 2019
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.