The fifth (and largest) cohort of venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India’s accelerator program for India and SouthEast Asia, Surge has been announced, featuring no less than 23 early-stage start-ups and 10 women founders. The start-ups have collectively raised $55 million. The two-year-old Surge has backed 91 start-ups to date and has a community of 203 founders in 15 sectors.
What makes Surge all the more important is that it helps Sequoia Capital identify start-ups with potential at their early stages, helping increase the probability of broadening its portfolio with more winners.
“We are incredibly proud of all 23 companies who have joined Surge 05 and the founders who have forged their businesses in sectors that have seen tremendous tailwinds. These leaders have displayed grit, exceptional talent, and relentless purpose in shaping the world. At this inflection point of global regrowth, we are excited to be part of the journey of our founders and their companies,” said Rajan Anandan, managing director, Surge and Sequoia Capital India. The firm added that nearly half of the start-ups from the first three cohorts grew to raise their Series A financing rounds.
“At this inflection point of global regrowth, we are excited to be part of the journey of our founders and their companies, many of which we believe will grow into large, enduring businesses,” Anandan added.
Founders will receive around $1 million to $2 million of seed capital as well as company-building workshops, a global curriculum, and support from a community of exceptional mentors and founders.
13 out of the 23 start-ups in the fifth cohort are involved in fintech, payments, communications, logistics, and Software as a Service (SaaS). They have developed products and services to help other companies, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) work smarter, better, and seamlessly across borders, according to Sequoia Capital India.
Another five companies operate in the lifestyle market building solutions around advanced farming, gaming, and revolutionizing consumer wellness, spearheaded by shifts in women’s health, personal care and hygiene, mindfulness, and self-improvement.
Four firms are engaged in the education space, providing digital monitoring, training of skills, and virtual, borderless internships, equipping developers with big data and data science capabilities.
We now come to some of the start-ups which feature in the cohort:
Founded by Agam Khare and Prateek Rawat in 2020, the firm is focused on developing plant bioscience and AI-driven adaptive platform for precision agriculture, aiming to help horticulture growers radically transform yields, grade, and nutritional value of produce. It uses real-time data and matches it with proprietary personalized farm-level crop recipes to achieve optimal growing parameters throughout the production cycle.
The start-up counts among its investors names like LetsVenture and angel investors including Haldiram’s (Vevek Ventures), Nadir Godrej, and Sanjiv Rangrass.
Founded by Felix Lee and James Baduor earlier this year, the start-up offers mentees a global community of high-quality mentors, starting with designers and product managers. Mentors can list their availability on a shared calendar for mentees to select and schedule virtual sessions with them. The start-up aims to “democratize” mentorship itself, making it easier for everyone through a community platform where people can find, book, and meet mentors around the world.
An agent-led B2B wholesale platform for FMCG goods, the firm’s mission is to encourage and empower people to set up their own hyper-local micro-distribution businesses by providing them with better profit margins, access to a large assortment of brands and SKUs, and supply consistency. Founded by Shruti and Manish Kumar last September, the start-up connects kiranas to a wide range of consumer goods and brands.
Founded by Abhishek Kankani, Kushagra Vaish, and Palash Golecha this March, Dyte is a developer-friendly real-time audio and video calling software development kit (SDK). It counts among its investors Nexus Venture Partners and Y Combinator, and the SDK offers integrations within hours, and has a large number of plug-ins and configurations, providing developers with a quick and efficient way to embed audio and video calling, AI video augmentation, and collaboration features.
5. Veera Health
Founded by Shashwata Narain and Shobhita Narain in December 2020, the start-up aims to help women lead healthier lives. Its first offering is a digital therapeutics platform that allows women to identify and navigate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), with a comprehensive offering of therapy, coaching, and specialist support. Its investors include Global Founders Capital, Harvard University, Y Combinator, and angel investors.
Belora provides vegan makeup for an increasing population that’s turning mindful of how the products they use affect animals around the world.
A fintech startup operating a payments stack application.
Gumlet offers low code (or no code) integrations to help the media publishing pipeline.
Locad offers a distributed warehousing network to help facilitate e-commerce companies that want a smart solution to all their stocking needs.
An email marketing firm with smart solutions for this very popular form of customer acquisition.
Apart from these, there’s Mesh, Multiplier, OneCode, Powerplay, Pankhuri, RaRa Delivery, Revery, TWID, Vah Vah!, Vara, Virtual Internships and WATI, along with one operating in stealth mode at the moment.
Read more about these companies and the Surge platform here.