Venture capital major Sequoia has launched a new accelerator programme christened Surge for startups in India and Southeast Asia.
According to a Sequoia India managing director Shailendra Singh, Surge was created “to give founders an unfair advantage to scale and grow, make smart business model choices at the start, and raise a Series A round soon after.”
Surge will invest $1.5 million in each of the startups that are a part of the programme. “By ensuring Surge startups have capital at the start, Surge will enable founders to recruit a stellar team right away, make product and growth investments, and make significant progress during Surge,” said Singh in a blog post.
It is planned that there would be Surge cohort teams every year and each cohort would have around 10-20 companies. The selected companies would then be mentored by prominent names in the Indian and southeast Asian startup world including Byju’s Raveendran, Carousell’s Siu Rui Quek, Cred’s Kunal Shah, Freshwork’s Girish Mathrubootham, GO-JEK’s Nadiem Makarim, Google’s Rajan Ananadan, OYO’s Ritesh Agarwal and Uber’s Amit Jain, among others.
Aimed at providing global exposure, Surge would have five modules, which will be hosted in China, India, Silicon Valley and in Singapore. This will give founders first-hand exposure to startups and trends in the most important technology markets, said Singh.
Through a four-month period, the chosen founders will participate in Sequoia’s AMP curriculum, which leverages decades of startup building experience at Sequoia Capital. Founders will also participate in many other workshops, experience sharing sessions with mentors and experts from technology, marketing, recruiting, legal & finance to help the former build a strong business.
The announcement for the accelerator comes almost six months after the venture capital major closed its $695-million fund targeting early and growth stage investments across India and Southeast Asia.
“India and SEA are at an inflection point, and we are witnessing incredible quality of new investment opportunities. We are excited to think about the potential of our companies over the next many years – this combined region is projected to have GDP of over $14 trillion in 2030 and will likely have over 1.5 billion mobile internet users by then,” Sequoia had said at the time.
Since its foray into India in 2006, Sequoia has invested in over 100 companies across sectors such as healthcare, consumer and financial services. Currently, Sequoia Capital India manages over $3.2 billion of investments.
Southeast Asia, where Sequoia India set up its presence in 2012, accounts for 20-30 per cent of its investments, by value, and “we expect that to continue near term.”