Sequoia India and Southeast Asia Broaden Check Scope for Early Stage Surge Program


Sequoia India and Southeast Asia are expanding the reach of its checks for the Surge program as the legendary venture firm tries to make its startup investments “more relevant to a larger group of founders,” it said Thursday.

The size of the venture company’s check for the three-year-old Surge program, which previously invested $1 million to $2 million in early stage startups in the region, will now rise to $3 million, it said. There is also no floor space for the investment range, which can start at $300,000 or less, the company said.

The move comes as the company, the most powerful and influential venture capital investor, realizes that some of the early-stage startups it supports through the Surge program need more capital, especially during the current market conditions, while some companies are In such a nascent stage — where they don’t have any products, for example — who could work with smaller checks, Rajan Anandan, a director at Sequoia India and Southeast Asia, said in an interview with TechCrunch.

Anandan, who was previously the head of Google India and Southeast Asia and was one of the most prolific angel investors before joining Sequoia, rejected the idea that the decision is a response to current market conditions and said Sequoia had accepted the change. had formulated for several months, but said “in [the current] context, it would be even more useful.”

As the size of its investment changes, the company said it doesn’t want to take more ownership of the fledgling startups. The stock range relative to its investments will remain between 10 and 20% as the ceiling cap, while there will be more flexibility for the floor range, he said.

The Surge Team. Image Credits: Sequoia India and Southeast Asia

Sequoia began its Surge program in 2019, similar to Y Combinator’s model. The company selects about 15 to 20 startups every six months after evaluating hundreds of applications and in-person meetings, and groups them into cohorts. The cohort spends 16 weeks learning the basics of finding their voice, best practices, and building peer relationships.

The company, which has led six such cohorts to date, said it has supported 112 startups through its Surge program that have collectively raised more than $1.5 billion in follow-up rounds. “Over 20% of Surge startups were pre-launch when we partnered with them,” Sequoia said.

About 10% of Surge startups build products and services for the world. In the most recent cohort, about 40% of Surge companies built for global markets from day one, the company said. Some of the notable startups emerging from Surge include Doubtnut, Scaler Academy, Khatabook, Bijak, Classplus, Hevo Data, Juno, Atlan, BukuKas, Plum, and Apna Club.

But unlike YC’s batches, the size of the Surge cohort does not change. “We like the 15-20 number. Our cohort sizes will remain roughly the same. We have 30 members for Surge, ranging from people who help companies with technology, marketing and finance. One of the things we’ve learned is that by keeping the cohort at its current size, we can go really deep with each of our companies,” he said.

Each participant in the Surge program will have access to additional $2 million benefits, including cloud credits with Google, Microsoft and AWS, corporate maps, popular developers, analytics, marketing and communications tools, and insurance and compliance services. Sequoia also helps these companies find early customers and connects them with top investors for Series A financing.

Sequoia is also canceling a special fund for the Surge program. It previously raised $195 million twice for the early-stage program, but now it will raise capital directly from the mothership, which unveiled a record $2.85 billion for the region earlier this month. “You can rest assured that we will be investing more than ever through Surge,” he said.

Even with the current market downturn, which has seen technology stocks plunge to record lows in recent years and private company valuations plummet, Anandan reports that more young companies than ever are signing up to participate in the Surge program. and that he didn’t notice anything. delay in enthusiasm in the ecosystem.