Sequoia closes $195 million for its second seed fund to back promising tech startups in India and Southeast Asia
Sequoia Capital India announced today it has closed a $195 million seed fund to back promising tech startups across India and Southeast Asia. The announcement comes two years after the firm launched Surge to help daring founders from India and Southeast Asia build the foundations for enduring companies.
Surge is a brainchild of Managing Director Shailendra Singh. Back then, the firm raised about $200 million. The firm offered upstarts $1 million to $2 million in upfront capital along with coaching and mentorship from the top founders from the region.
In a statement, the firm said, “We’re excited to announce that Sequoia Capital India recently closed its second seed fund at $195M, to back the next set of mission-driven founders across India and Southeast Asia.”
Since 2019, 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 Surge program. The program spans more than 15 sectors and 164 founders from 17 different nationalities. One-third of Surge startups are building SaaS products, the majority for global markets; 25% are building Consumer Internet startups; 13% are building consumer brands, and 12% are in the B2B space. Sequoia India also has Surge startups in EdTech, HealthTech, Deep Tech, FinTech, and more.
Founded in 2000 by KP Balaraj, Raj Dugar, Sandeep Singhal, SK Jain, and Sumir Chadha, Sequoia India operates in Southeast Asia and India where the firm actively partners with founders from a wide range of companies, across categories, including BYJUs, Carousell, Druva, GO-JEK, OYO Rooms, Tokopedia, Truecaller, Zilingo, Zomato, and more.
In partnering with Sequoia, startups benefit from 47 years of tribal knowledge and lessons learned working with companies like Airbnb, Alibaba, Apple, Dropbox, Google, JD.com, LinkedIn, Meituan, and Stripe early on.
“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.”
India currently has 39 unicorn startups, including three that achieved their status in 2021, according to Venture Intelligence. To date, 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.