Byju’s backer Sequoia raises $1.35 bn across two new India funds

Byju’s backer Sequoia raises $1.35 bn across two new India funds
Photo Credit: VCCircle
7 Jul, 2020

Menlo Park, California headquartered venture capital firm Sequoia Capital has announced closing two new India funds totalling $1.35 billion.

This includes a venture fund of $525 million and an $825 million growth fund,  which it will use to invest in companies across India and Southeast Asia.

Sequoia, which has backed several Indian technology unicorns including ed-tech platform Byju’s, mobility company Ola and hospitality player OYO, last raised $695 million as part of its Sequoia Capital India VI in 2018, its largest corpus to date for the India market.  

In 2019, the firm had announced the close of its maiden Sequoia Capital India Seed Fund I with a corpus of $200 million according to data sourced from VCCEdge. The firm had also appointed former Google India chief, Rajan Anandan around the same time to lead its incubator and accelerator program, Surge

The firm has been readying a $7 billion war chest through new funds for deployment across multiple markets, according to reports. 

“Due to frequent cycles of intense competition, startups in our region have struggled to grow rapidly with good unit economics, often posting very high losses for the scale of business. This has prevented very large profitable technology businesses in our region from emerging,” Shailendra Singh, managing director at Sequoia Capital wrote on LinkedIn, announcing the close of the funds. 

“Dozens of founders in our region have demonstrated outstanding leadership and agility in adapting to the pandemic. Costs have been trimmed, product roadmaps have been prioritized, new revenue levers have been unlocked and wonderful new talent has been hired,” he added.

In a memo to the founders of its portfolio companies in March, the firm said that the Covid-19 pandemic will lead to a slump in funding. 

The storied firm had raised a $725 million growth fund for India in 2008, making the recent announcement the largest corpus for its follow-on investments and participation in growth round. 

Earlier this year, Menlo Park, California based venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners announced a $1.5 billion Opportunity Fund to back its portfolio companies across India, China, Israel Europe and Southeast Asia. In December 2019, Palo Alto based Accel also announced its sixth India-focused fund with a corpus of $550 million to back early-stage companies in technology.