Sequoia Capital India on Wednesday announced the fourth cohort of Surge, which is its rapid scale-up programme for startups in India and Southeast Asia, with Australia being the latest entrant.
A total of 17 startups joined the programme, which began on November 19. Like Surge 03, Surge 04 will run entirely online until mid-March 2021, Sequoia said.
The startups are spread across sectors of edtech, fintech, SMEtech (small and medium enterprises), developer tools, healthtech, and B2B (business to business) marketplaces.
“This cohort is unique in that half of the startups are SaaS (software as a service) companies. What’s more, 11 of the 17 companies are building for global or regional markets, pushing beyond their geographical borders from day one,” Sequoia said in a statement.
Surge 04 startups, the statement said, collectively raised $45.35 million in their Surge round from both Surge and co-investors.
The startups are headquartered in India, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Australia, with founders based in seven countries – United States, Belgium, India, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Australia.
Here’s a look at the 12 chosen startups that have operations in India:
Hashnode: Launched by Sandeep Panda and Syed Fazle Rahman in June 2020, Hashnode is a blogging platform that helps developers and teams start blogs and share them with the broader developer community. The company, which was founded in 2015 in Delaware, is powered by a small remote team of employees based in Europe, India and Africa.
It is backed by angel investors -- Christopher Golda, Ed Roman, Girish Mathrubootham, Harshil Mathur, Nakul Aggarwal, Naval Ravikant, Ritesh Arora, and Shashank Kumar.
Kyt: Launched by Bhavik Rathod and Tripti Ahuja in September 2020, Kyt is an online-first global academy focussing on extracurricular learning for children. With head offices in India and Singapore, Kyt was founded in June 2020 by the husband and wife duo.
It is backed by angel investors -- Allen Penn, Amrish Rau, Jitendra Gupta, Kunal Bahl, Kunal Shah, Marin Li, Rohit Bansal
LambdaTest: Launched by Asad Khan and Jay Singh in April 2019, LambdaTest is a testing infrastructure company which allows users and developers to run both manual and automated tests on their websites and web apps on over 2,000 different browsers, browser versions and operating system environments. The company was founded in LambdaTest in 2017 in San Francisco.
It is backed by Blume Ventures, Entrée Capital, Leo Capital and angel investors -- Gokul Rajaram, Navroz Udwadia, Ramakant Sharma and Richard Matthew Gerson.
Let’s Dive: Yet to be launched, by a co-founding team of Nitesh Agrawal and Om Prakash Shanmugam, Let’s Dive is on a mission to build togetherness online. The SaaS platform provides a social space for remote teams to build their culture through fostering better human connections. The company was founded in August 2020.
It is backed by Village Global and angel investors -- Akhil Paul, Anand Chandrashekharan, Job Van, OnDeck, Ravish Naresh, Sai Srinivas, Sunita Mohanty, Utsav Somani, and Zvi Band.
PagarBook: Launched by Adarsh Kumar, Arya Adarsha Gautam and Rupesh Kumar Mishra in December 2019, Bengaluru-based PagarBook is a mobile-first payroll and workforce management app that aims to digitise human capital management for SMEs in India. It was founded by the same group of co-founders who previously started-up GyanApp, a knowledge-sharing platform for non-English speaking Internet users.
It is also backed by an angel investor, Kunal Shah.
Plum: Launched by Abhishek Poddar and Saurabh Arora in March 2020, Plum is an employee insurance provider on a mission to make group health insurance more seamless and affordable for India’s small businesses and middle class. It was founded in Bengaluru in November 2019.
It is backed by an angel investor, Ramakant Sharma.
Richpanel: Launched by Amit RG and GDJ Dorai in September 2019, Richpanel is a customer service platform, purpose-built for e-commerce merchants to deliver a buying experience better than leading online retail sites. It was founded in January 2019 with headquarters in both India and the US.
Shipsy: Launched by Dhruv Agrawal and Soham Chokshi by August 2015, Shipsy is an enterprise SaaS company that helps its customers manage their end-to-end logistics across multiple modes like ocean, air and road transportation. It was founded in June 2015 in Gurugram.
It is backed by InfoEdge.
Studyroom: Launched by Ashish Ranjan and Suhail Abidi in September 2020, Studyroom is an edtech platform that helps students learn better by empowering educators to create customised learning experiences for them. The Bengaluru-based startup was founded by the same duo who previously started-up Tinystep, a Flipkart-funded social network for mothers.
It is backed by Graph Ventures and angel investors -- Ajeet Singh, Anshuman Bapna, Chaitra Chidanand, Nishant Verman and Rajesh Yabaji.
Identities of the remaining Indian startups were not disclosed, as the three are working Stealth mode -- a digital health startup, a social networking app for “Bharat users,” and a sales engagement SaaS platform.
The rest of the startups, with no operations in India, included South Asian companies -- Aampe, Epsilo, Otoklix and Tazapay, and Australian company -- Mod.io.