Sequoia India announces second cohort of Surge accelerator programme

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Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia has started inviting applications for the second batch of its accelerator and incubator programme, Surge, which is focused on startups in India and Southeast Asia.

“Since the application volume for Surge 01 was far greater than we expected, it led to a very intense and short selection process. So we are going to do a ‘rolling acceptance’ for Surge 02 with the intent that it will give us a chance to engage startups early. This means we will meet founders and offer funding terms to strong startups before the final deadline on July 15,” Sequoia said in a blog post on Monday.

Surge 02 will also now offer a flexible investment amount of $1 million to $2 million, versus a fixed amount of $1.5 million per startup in Surge 01, it added.

Surge was launched in January this year, and targets startups across sectors such as consumer internet, technology, enterprise software, healthcare, fintech, among others. The first batch of the programme was announced in April 2019.

Sequoia is also reportedly in talks with limited partners (LPs) to raise $150-200 million for Surge. Last month, the firm also announced that it had roped in Google India head and prolific angel investor Rajan Anandan to lead the initiative.

Surge has a separate team that works independent of Sequoia.

“Our initial idea in providing a standard Surge round of $1.5 million was to simplify the process for the founders. But we realized that different companies had different funding requirements and objectives for their seed rounds. The size of rounds in Surge 01 ranged from $1.5-3.3 million based on co-investor participation,” Sequoia said.

“We have decided it is better to be more flexible to allow us to appropriately size the round for the stage of company and co-investor interest in the round. We hope this will simplify an already fast process for founders and allow us to move even faster, and collaborate quickly with co-investors. We expect the startups to raise the same average dollars in Surge 02 as compared to Surge 01,” it added.

In addition, the venture capital firm has also waived off the programme fees for Surge 02 batch, which is expected to start in September 2019. The 16-weeks programme is designed to have five modules, and will be hosted across the globe in China, India, Silicon Valley and in Singapore.

The firm had selected 17 startups in the first cohort, of which eight were based out of India. It received applications from nearly 1,570 startups for its inaugural programme.

Each Surge programme is targeted to induct 10 to 20 companies.