Sequoia India Closes $195 Million Seed Fund to Foster Startups
U.S. one-hundred and ten-dollar banknotes are arranged for a photograph. (Photographer: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg)

Sequoia India Closes $195 Million Seed Fund to Foster Startups

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Sequoia Capital India raised $195 million to back Indian and Southeast Asian startups, doubling the capital the venture-capital firm is investing through an accelerator program created two years ago.

The program, called Surge and a brainchild of Managing Director Shailendra Singh, began in 2019 to give upstarts $1 million to $2 million in upfront capital as well as coaching and time with luminaries such as Sequoia partner Michael Moritz and Stripe Inc. co-founder Patrick Collison. Since then, 69 startups in four cohorts have received a combined $172 million, and 30 companies from the first three cohorts have gone on to raise a total of $390 million after the program.

“We set out with an idea to throw everything at helping young founders succeed, which meant giving them sufficient capital so they have a shot, tons of mentorship and hands-on help,” Singh said in an interview. “After seeing the traction, we are doubling down with a second fund.”

Sequoia India Closes $195 Million Seed Fund to Foster Startups

The program is co-led by Singh and Rajan Anandan, who joined as a managing director of Sequoia India in 2019 after serving as Google’s head of India and Southeast Asia.

The startups that came out of Surge include Khatabook, a mobile app that helps small-shop owners digitally keep track of daily accounts. The Indian company now has more than 10 million active merchants on its platform. In Indonesia, bookkeeping app BukuKas has more than 2 million monthly active users and annualized transaction volume of $18 billion, according to Sequoia.

More than 100 angel and seed investors have co-invested in the startups alongside Sequoia at the beginning of the program without fees, a new structure that the VC firm has introduced for collaboration.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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