Sequoia Capital in the market to raise second India seed fund

Photo: DEALSTREETASIA

Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, an early investor in some of India’s biggest startups such as Byju’s, Zomato, and Oyo, is in the market to raise its second country-focused seed fund.

The VC firm’s filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission showed that it is raising Sequoia Capital India Seed Fund II Ltd, less than two years after it floated Seed Fund I.

The targeted size of the new seed fund was not disclosed. The first seed fund, which focuses on technology, healthcare, and consumer segments, reportedly raised $200 million in 2019.

The filing, signed by director Satyadeo Bissessur, also did not disclose the timeframe of the new fund.

The India seed fund is separate from the VC firm’s incubation programme Surge, which also focuses on early-stage startups. Surge aims to recruit 10-12 startups in India and Southeast Asia across sectors such as consumer internet, technology, enterprise software, healthcare, fintech, among others, and invest $1.5 million in each of them.

Surge was launched in January 2019 while Seed Fund I was launched five months later.

In June 2020, the Silicon Valley VC firm launched India Venture VII and India Growth Fund II. While the targets for the two funds were not disclosed, it was earlier reported that Sequoia was floating its largest India-focused fund with a corpus of about $1.25 billion.

India Venture VII, according to a media report, is 80% bigger than its predecessor fund, which closed at $695 million in August 2018. India Growth Fund II, meanwhile, raised $725 million in 2008.

It also launched last year China Venture Fund VIII, China Growth Fund VI, and China Seed Fund II. The firm had raised a total of about $2.35 billion for the predecessors of these three vehicles — China Growth Fund V ($1.8 billion), China Venture Fund VII ($550 million), and China Seed Fund ($150 million).

A subsidiary of Sequoia Capital, Sequoia Capital India was formed in 2000 and is headquartered in Bengaluru, with offices in Singapore, California, Israel, Hong Kong, Beijing, and China.

Its portfolio includes BYJU’s, Awfis, Grofers and Bira in India and Gojek, Carousell, Zilingo, ONE Championship, and Akulaku in Southeast Asia.

Established in 1972, the Menlo Park, California-based investment firm is ranked as the world’s most successful in terms of investing in and nurturing unicorns.

According to Hurun Global Unicorn Index 2020, released in August, Sequoia Capital has by far captured a total of 109 unicorns, which are private companies valued at $1 billion and more. That is an 18.5% increase from 2019 when Sequoia Capital also topped the list.

In a separate filing with the US SEC, Sequoia Capital also launched Sequoia Capital US/E Seed Fund IV. The firm, however, did not disclose details of the fund, such as size and timing.

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.