Sequoia Surge’s fourth cohort startups raise $45.35m seed funding

Founders of mod.io, the first startup from Australia joining Surge.

Sequoia Capital India’s Surge has launched its fourth cohort of 17 startups that have collectively raised $45.35 million both from the scale-up programme as well as other co-investors.

This is the largest combined fundraising by startups since the programme started, Surge said in a statement.

Surge 04 startups are headquartered in India, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and, for the first time, in Australia.

Half of the latest batch are software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, while the overall portfolio represents sectors such as edrech, fintech, SME tech, devtools, consumer, health tech and B2B marketplaces.

Among the startups, 11 companies are building for cross-border markets, while some are also disrupting traditionally offline industries like logistics, automotive and insurance.

Surge 04 founders are those “who have shown the courage to start up and persevere through an extremely challenging year,” said Rajan Anandan, managing director of Sequoia Capital India.

“This cohort is a reflection of how the region’s startup ecosystem will look and think for the next few years – possibly impacting entire economies. Businesses going beyond home markets, thinking digital-first, and leveraging technology to solve problems at scale for industries around the world,” he said.

Similar to the third batch, Surge 04 will run entirely online through to March 2021.

Surge, which was initiated last year as an accelerator for early-stage startups across South and Southeast Asia, typically provides $1-2 million seed capital early on in the programme.

Surge’s last three cohorts have nurtured more than 50 startups.

Here is the list of Surge 04 cohort:

1. Aampe, set up in July 2020, is a Singapore-based customer engagement startup founded by Paul Meinshausen, Sami Abboud, Schaun Wheeler and a female co-founder (who is currently in stealth).

2. Epsilo, set up in January 2019, is an e-commerce SaaS startup based out of Vietnam and Singapore.

3. Hashnode, set up in June 2020, is an Indian blogging platform. Angel investors joined Surge in the seed round.

4. Kyt, set up in June 2020, is an online-first academy focused on extracurricular learning for children, with dual headquarters in India and Singapore. Angels joined Surge as co-investors.

5. LambdaTest, set up in 2017, is a testing infrastructure company. Co-investors with Surge include Blume Ventures, Entrée Capital, Leo Capital and angels.

6. Let’s Dive, set up in August 2020, is a SaaS platform providing a social space for remote teams. Co-investors include Village Global and angels.

7. mod.io, set up in 2017, is a Melbourne-based service that helps game developers launch in-game, platform-agnostic user-generated content communities. Co-investors include Makers Fund, Play Ventures and angels.

8. Otoklix, set up in August 2019, is an Indonesian startup providing online to offline solutions for car services. Co-investors include GK Plug and Play, Kenangan Investment Fund 1, Lentor Ventures, Noble Star Ventures and angels.

9. PagarBook, set up in December 2019, is a mobile-first payroll and workforce management app in India. Angels joined the funding round.

10. Plum, set up in November 2019, is an employee insurance provider for India’s small businesses and middle class. Other investors are Tanglin Venture Partners and angels.

11. Richpanel, set up in January 2019, is an Indian customer service platform for e-commerce merchants.

12. Shipsy, set up in 2015, is an enterprise SaaS company in India that helps customers manage end-to-end logistics across multiple modes. Info Edge is a co-investor with Surge.

13. Studyroom, set up in September 2020, is an Indian edtech platform. Co-investors include Graph Ventures and angels.

14. Tazapay, set up in April 2020, is a Singapore cloud-based trade management platform for SMEs to conduct cross-border commerce. Saison Capital co-invested with Surge.

15. Three stealth-mode startups.

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.