Sequoia India, the local arm of storied Silicon Valley venture investor Sequoia, has roped in former Uber Asia-Pacific head Amit Jain as its managing director.
Jain will be based out of Singapore, Sequoia Capital managing director Ravishankar G V said in a LinkedIn blog post on Monday. He will “join the firm’s growth team, advising on new opportunities and helping existing growth stage companies in India and Southeast Asia,” Ravishankar added in his post.
The appointment signals the marquee venture capitalist’s growing focus on Southeast Asia and its second high-profile recruitment in the region to spruce up investments in sectors such as technology, consumers, and healthcare. It recently closed its sixth fund at $695 million to invest in countries across Southeast Asia.
Earlier this year, Sequoia India made headlines when it appointed Google Southeast Asia and India vice-president Rajan Anandan to oversee its recently launched accelerator programme ‘Surge’ through which it plans to clinch seed-stage investments across Southeast Asia.
Ravishankar said Jain will give founders of fast-growing startups in the firm’s portfolio “a huge advantage”, citing the former Uber APAC boss’s track record of building and managing hyper-growth tech business globally.
Jain, who has over 20 years of operating experience, left Uber earlier this year in May, wherein he was succeeded by Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, who now oversees the APAC region in addition to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
“His addition to the team underscores our deep commitment to helping founders realise their dreams of building very large and enduring companies, many of whom will become key pillars of this region’s growth, prosperity, and innovation,” Ravishankar said.
With over 200 companies in its portfolio, Sequoia Capital India has been one of the most active venture capital funds across tech and non-tech investments for the last decade, although it is shifting towards more tech-based investments in recent years.
It has made 32 investments in the first half of this year alone, making it the country’s most active VC, according to a Mint analysis.
Its biggest investments in India over the past year include online car retailer CarDekho, logistics firm Blackbuck and Freshworks, which provides software for customer sales and marketing. In Southeast Asia, its portfolio companies include Indonesian giants such as Gojek, Tokopedia and Traveloka, besides Singapore’s Carousell.
Jain began his stint with Uber in 2015 and started the ride-hailing business in India. During his four-year stint, his portfolio expanded to cover APAC as Uber’s presence grew regionally. Today, Uber’s APAC rides cover India, South Asia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Australia.
Prior to Uber, he was President at Rent.com, a housing classified site based in Los Angeles and also worked at TPG Capital and McKinsey & Company.