Sequoia Capital’s accelerator fund ‘Surge’ has backed 17 startups across India, Southeast Asia, and Australia in its fourth cohort, with a majority of companies focused on the Software as a Service (SaaS) domain.
This cohort spans sectors including ed-tech, fintech, SME tech, DevTools, consumer, health-tech and B2B marketplaces.
The batch includes ed-tech startup Kyt, LambdaTest, a testing infrastructure company; Hashnode. a blogging platform; PagarBook, a payroll and workforce management app; Shipsy, a logistics SaaS company and Plum, an employee insurance provider.
Surge is a 16-week accelerator programme wherein startups receive scaleup support, along with $ 1-$ 2 million in capital from Sequoia, besides co-investments from other investors.
Co-investors in this batch include Tanglin Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, Info Edge, and angels including Naval Ravikant, Gokul Rajaram and Kunal Shah.
The announcement comes at a time when investment momentum in the early-stages has picked significantly as more founders choose to startup and leverage the pandemic-induced structural shifts to build new digital businesses.
Surge 04 batch has collectively raised $ 45.35 million and will run entirely online through to March next year.
“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,” said Rajan Anandan, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India LLP.
Since Sequoia launched Surge, several other top-tier investors including Accel, Elevation Capital (formerly SAIF Partners), Lightspeed, Chiratae, and Matrix have upped their focus on scouting for early stage deals and built models to differentiate themselves and woo high quality entrepreneurs.
These funds also come with deep pockets. Lightspeed raised a dedicated $ 275 million fund, Accel raised about $ 550 million, while Elevation Capital raised $ 400 million. All these funds aim to cut the first institutional cheque in startups.
In less than two years since launch, Surge has evolved into an international community of over 150 founders spread across seven countries – USA, Belgium, India, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia.