Sequoia Unveils Fourth Group of Startups for Accelerator Program
An employee talks to a colleague while sitting on a swing in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Sequoia Unveils Fourth Group of Startups for Accelerator Program

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Sequoia Capital India has selected 17 early-stage startups for its fourth cohort of Surge, a program to help entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia and India expand their businesses.

The latest crop of startups, which have collectively raised $45.4 million, include the blogging platform Hashnode and online extracurricular academy Kyt. Three of the startups are in stealth mode so their identities are not disclosed.

Surge has gained prominence since its inception in March 2019 because of its approach to accelerating the development of promising seed-stage companies. Selected firms get between $1 million to $2 million in upfront seed capital, as well as a 16-week program of intensive workshops and mentorship sessions with successful founders in the region.

Surge is the brainchild of Sequoia Managing Director Shailendra Singh. He believed that founders in their early days were forced to spend too much time raising capital, rather than developing their workforces and strategy. The program is led by Singh and Rajan Anandan, who joined as a managing director of Sequoia Capital India in 2019 after serving as Google’s head of India and Southeast Asia.

Surge has evolved into a community of more than 150 startup founders, with an increasing number of entrepreneurs who have gained experience at large startups like Gojek and Grab Holdings Inc., Anandan said during a virtual investment conference on Wednesday.

“If you look at the current cohort, you see a quite a number of founders where this is their second, in some cases, third company,” Anandan said at the Asia PE-VC Summit 2020. “As a result, the pace of build-out in the zero-to-one journey is much, much faster.”

Read about the third cohort of Surge

Backers of startups in the program’s fourth group include Blume Ventures, Makers Fund and Info Edge India Ltd, as well as entrepreneurs Jitendra Gupta, Kunal Bahl and Kunal Shah.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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