Sequoia’s Surge reveals 15 India, SEA startups in seventh cohort

Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia disclosed 15 early-stage startups it has selected for the seventh cohort of its accelerator program Surge, pushing ahead with new investments even as the deal activity has considerably slowed in the region.

Since its launch in March 2019, the accelerator has helped its participating startups collectively raise over $1.7 billion in follow-on funding, the venture firm said, with over 60% of companies from the first five cohorts raising their Series A and beyond.

The Surge program, which has backed over 250 startups, initially wrote checks of about $1 million each in startups but has since increased the backing amount to up to $3 million. Some noteworthy startups from earlier Surge cohorts include Doubtnut, Scaler Academy, Khatabook, Bijak, Classplus, Hevo Data, Juno, Atlan, BukuKas, Plum and Apna Club.

The fresh cohort includes startups that are attempting to introduce tools to simplify workflows as well as solve bigger challenges including climate change.

Sequoia said its cohort includes some startups with whom it partnered when they had no product as well as those being run by repeat founders and entrepreneurs with extensive experience in their respective sectors. These founders include the former CFO of fashion e-commerce platform Nykaa, machine learning engineers who worked on conversational AI at Meta and the first set of engineers of Uber in India.

“We continue to be deeply impressed by the ambition and diversity of ideas, as well as the calibre of founders with each cohort. Surge 07 is no exception. We have partnered with all of our companies at their earliest stage of company building, with nearly half of them still in pre-launch at the start of our partnerships,” said Rajan Anandan, Managing Director, Sequoia India & Southeast Asia, and Surge, in a prepared statement.

“Our founders bring with them a wealth of experience and creativity, and we believe that these dreamers, innovators and category creators have the potential to change the future of our region and the world,” he added.

A majority of the startups in the new cohort are building for global markets and targeting audiences beyond their headquarters. Nearly half of them have a presence in the U.S. and European markets, Sequoia said.

Founders in the seventh cohort of Surge will go through a 16-week hybrid program to get training and mentorship from industry veterans and storied entrepreneurs.

Following is the list of startups available in the seventh cohort.

  • Attentive, a vertical SaaS company, is building a sales automation platform for America’s outdoor services contractors. (Info Edge Ventures is a co-investor.)
  • Beam is building a one-click checkout solution that enables a frictionless payment experience for sellers and shoppers in Southeast Asia. (Partech Partners is a co-investor.)
  • Boxs is spinning up a design-to-build automation platform for architects, interior designers and construction companies.
  • BuyerAssist aims to help B2B revenue teams with so-called mutual success plans (MSPs) to align and collaborate effectively with their buyers throughout the journey. (Emergent Ventures and Stellaris Venture Partners are co-investors.)
  • ClearFeed is a collaboration platform that uses AI models to enable natural language ticketing on Slack and Microsoft Teams and provides seamless connectivity to backend ticketing tools like Zendesk, Salesforce and Freshdesk. (8VC is a co-investor.)
  • Gan uses AI to create customised videos at scale, empowering brands to build personal connections with their customers. (It also secured funds from Emergent Ventures.)
  • Hatica aims at providing engineering managers and leaders with the visibility and insights to help them build productive and healthy engineering teams. (Kae Capital is an investor.)
  • Metaschool says it is making it easy for developers to learn, build and ship dApps to prepare them for opportunities in the emerging web3 ecosystem. (Luno, Global Ventures and Polygon Ventures are co-investors.)
  • PixCap is an animation platform that allows users with no design experience to create animations for 3D illustrations, games, and designs. (Cocoon Capital and Entrepreneur First are co-investors.)
  • Pratech Brands plans to help new-age Indian consumers upgrade their quality of life through better home and health products.
  • Semaai is building a full-stack tech solution for Indonesia’s agriculture sector. (Beenext is a co-investor.)
  • TrueFoundry is a developer platform that aims to help startups deploy and monitor machine learning (ML) models at the speed of big tech companies — in minutes or days instead of weeks or months. (Eniac Ventures is a co-investor.)
  • Unravel Carbon helps companies track and reduce their carbon emissions using its software. (Alpha JWC Ventures, Amasia, GFC, Rebel Fund, XA Network and Y Combinator.)
  • Whiz is a fintech company in Indonesia, where it aims to serve teenagers. (AC Ventures, Alpha JWC Ventures, Goodwater Capital, Ondine Capital and Y Combinator have also backed the startup.)

One startup in the cohort is currently in the stealth space, but has disclosed that it’s working in the travel space.

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