Sequoia Capital announces 20 startups for accelerator Surge’s 2nd batch

Surge, the accelerator programme of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, has announced 20 startup companies for its second cohort.

With this, the accelerator has grown its community to more than 80 founders from 37 startups across six countries in South and Southeast Asia since its launch in January this year.

Surge 02 kicked off on September 23 and has selected early-stage businesses from diverse industry verticals including consumer Internet, edtech, agtech, clean energy, social commerce, fintech, SaaS, robotics and direct-to-consumer brands.

Six of these 20 startups in the second batch were at the pre-launch mode, Sequoia said in a statement.

“When we launched Surge at the start of 2019, we noted that it’s never too early to talk to Sequoia – and that no stage is too early for Surge. We’re doubling down on that with Surge 02.”

“Partnering early is core to our philosophy. You may be surprised, but many of Sequoia India’s early-stage investments barely resemble the business models that eventually made them large companies,” Sequoia Capital India’s managing director Shailendra Singh wrote in a blog post in January.

The first crop saw Sequoia invest $1.5 million in each of its 17 incubated companies from India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, and Bangladesh. The accelerator had initially received nearly 1,570 applications.

Coming to Surge 02, Sequoia will offer a flexible investment frame between $1-2 million. The VC firm was also said to seek limited partners’ support to raise $150-200 million for Surge.

In April, the investor roped in Google India and South Asia vice-president Rajan Anandan as its India-based arm’s managing director, who focuses on overseeing the Surge programme. “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,” Sequoia commented on the appointment.

The accelerator is working with dozens of co-investors, including angels and funds, in an ‘open architecture’ approach to better support the startups. These co-investors injected a total of $36 million investments into Surge 01 startups, according to the accelerator’s earlier announcement.

“Some 80 per cent of Surge 02 startups are coming onboard with co-investors, collectively raising upwards of $45 million in Surge rounds,” it said on Wednesday.

The 16-week programme has invited applications for its third cohort, which will kick off in March 2020. Starting next year, Surge will move to a six-month cycle where applications can be submitted from January to July for one cohort and July to January for the next.

Here are the 20 companies that are part of Surge 02:-

1 Airalo claims to be the world’s first eSIM store, providing travelers access to over 100 eSIMs from around the world. Co-investor: Antler

2 Bijak is a B2B trade platform for the agricultural sector in India. Co-investors: Omdiyar Network, Omnivore Partners and angels

3 Brick&Bolt is an e-commerce platform for home and commercial construction. Co-investors: Angels

4 Chilibeli is a community-based social commerce platform that connects farmers, suppliers and consumers. Founded in Singapore in May 2019, the company launched its first market in Indonesia in July.

5 Classplus is a mobile OS that lets coaching institutes take their brick and mortar setups online. The startup aims to streamline the massive but fragmented education market in India. Co-investors: Blume Ventures and angels

6 Cognicept helps robotics companies get their products out of the lab. Its goal is to make it easier and more economical for customers to deploy robots by reducing errors and downtime. Co-investors: Antler

7 Freewill claims to be the first beauty company in India to create custom hair products.

8 Hevo Data is an automated unified data platform that helps companies build a 360-degree view of their customers. Hevo targets the global market, with operations based across Bangalore, India and San Francisco, USA.
Co-investors: Chiratae Ventures, Tracxn Labs

9 InVideo is a DIY video creation platform that democratizes professional-quality video production. Co-investors: Angels

10 Juno is a neo bank that aims to give users across the world a high yield account to grow their savings.
Co-investors: ConsenSys Ventures, Dragonfly Capital, Polychain Capital and angels

11 Klub is a fintech play providing growth financing to high-affinity brands. The startup is currently in stealth-mode and is based out of Singapore and India. Co-investors: AngelList, EMVC Fintech Fund, Better Capital, Tracxn Labs and angels

12 Log9 Materials is a nanotechnology company that aims to revolutionize the energy sector with an innovative zero-emission, low-cost aluminum-air fuel cell. Co-investor: Exfinity Venture Partners

13 PerroMart is an O2O pet care company targeting the ASEAN’s $1.4 billion pet care market. Co-investors: Auric Pacific Group, DSG Consumer Partners

14 Quolum is a SaaS product, set up as an application to better manage risk and compliance for enterprises. The startup is currently in stealth mode. Co-investors: Nexus Venture Partners

15 Rheo TV is a game streaming platform that aims to make professional game streaming a mainstream career option in India. Co-investors: LightSpeed Venture Partners and angels

16 Rukita is an experience-focused co-living brand with a mission to make living better for urbanites in Asia’s fast-growing emerging economies, starting in Indonesia. Co-investors: Golden Gate Ventures, SeedPlus, Shunwei Capital, and angels

17 Storie is a one-stop lifestyle community platform that answers consumer questions with useful and inspiring content and user-generated reviews.

18 Trell is building India’s largest lifestyle-community platform for the next 500 million internet users.
Co-investors: Beenext, Sprout Ventures, WEH Ventures

19 Yours is a direct-to-consumer personalised skincare brand that uses technology to do personalisation at scale. All their products are made in Switzerland. The company has announced it raised $3.5 million in the seed round. Co-investors: Global Founders Capital, Kindred Ventures and angels

20 Startup in stealth mode