India: Sequoia Capital closes second seed fund at $195m

Photo: DEALSTREETASIA

Blue-chip venture capital firm, Sequoia India, on Thursday announced the close of its second seed fund at $195 million, to back the next set of early-stage startups, across Indian and Southeast Asian markets, under its accelerator programme, Surge.

Kicked off in 2019, Sequoia’s Surge is a pre-Series A programme which invests $1 million to $2 million of capital, and helps early-stage founders with mentorship to build their companies. The programme began with an initial corpus of $200 million.

“While we are early in our journey, we’ve been amazed at how quickly the ecosystem has deepened over the last 24 months, thrilled by the calibre of founders we’ve been privileged to partner with, and incredibly excited by how much they’ve achieved in such a short period of time. Inspired by their success, we’re doubling down,” said Sequoia Capital India in a blog post.

Until now, Surge has held four cohorts, and has grown to a community of 69 startups, spanning across more than 15 sectors, and 164 founders from 17 different nationalities.

According to Sequoia Capital India, one-third of Surge startups are building software-as-a-service (SaaS) products for global markets. Further, 25% of its startups are building consumer internet businesses. Close to 13% of Surge startups are building consumer brands, while another 12% are building in the business-to-business (B2B) space.

“Surge startups from the first four cohorts have raised a combined total of $172 million in their Surge rounds. We are delighted that over 100 co-investors have partnered with Surge in these rounds at the start of the programme. Thirty of the 52 startups from our first three cohorts have gone on to raise a total of $390 million in follow-on capital after the programme,” said Sequoia Capital India.

Earlier in September, last year, Sequoia India also launched its new community programme for growth-stage startups called The Guild. The Guild plans to bring founders together on a regular basis to share their experiences, learn from each other, and hear from other world-class speakers.

Last year, the blue-chip investor also received commitments totalling $1.35 billion from limited partners for two new India and South-east Asia (SEA) focused funds—a $525-million venture fund, and a $825-million growth fund.
This article was first published on livemint.com.

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.