Sequoia Capital is looking to double down on India and SE Asia markets, as it announced two new funds, totalling to $2.85Bn for those two markets. Sequoia is already one of the most prominent VC funds in both these startup markets, having backed some of the earliest startup success stories in both these regions.
The combined value of the two funds is $2.85 billion – a $2 billion early-stage, venture and growth fund for India and an $850 million dedicated fund for Southeast Asia – at a time when stocks are crashing and startups are warned to be profitable.
In a blog post, the company wrote that these funds signalled its “deep commitment” to the region and the faith its Limited Partners (LPs) had in the long-term growth story of India and Southeast Asia. In the past 18 months, nine of Sequoia’s portfolio startups went public, which meant that Sequoia pocketed nearly $4 billion in realized and unrealized gains at the current market value.
Going forward, the company said that it intends to double down on the region at the seed, Series A, and growth stages, where it operates multiple programs other than simply making venture and growth investments. The new funds will continue to aid founders in creating “legendary companies from idea to IPO.”
“Valuations and velocity will move with markets. What endures is value creation in terms of revenue growth, profitability, and free cash flow rooted in real innovation, excellence in execution, and a maniacal focus on customers. At Sequoia India and Southeast Asia, we intend to double down on our efforts to help founders build healthy companies that will endure,” Sequoia wrote in the blog post.
While Sequoia has launched India funds before, this marks the maiden fund of the company that is dedicated to the South-East Asian region. It entered the region by betting on firms like Gojek and Tokopedia, and today, Sequoia India and South-East Asia manage over $9 billion in assets (combined) as they invested in over 400 startups across the regions (36 of which became unicorns and 13 went public).
The fund launches, though encouraging, also come at a time when Sequoia and some of its biggest portfolio companies are under intense scrutiny, due to corporate governance. BharatPe has been in the news for the public feud between the founder Ashneer Grover and Sequoia. Zilingo, another Sequoia portfolio unicorn recently came into light as co-founder Ankiti Bose was fired rather unceremoniously amid accusations of mis-governance.
Sequoia’s announcement on its 50th anniversary and 10th year in SE Asia will undoubtedly bring relief to the startups in the regions, especially at a time when investor interest is cooling and startups are struggling to raise funds. Y Combinator and Sequoia itself, have warned of tough times at hand, warning that the days of growing at all costs are ending.