Sequoia Surge unveils the primary cohort of 17 ‘unimaginable’ early-stage startups – YourStory


The founders of the 17 startups chosen as a part of Sequoia’s Surge 01 program with Surge mentors William Tanuwijaya of Tokopedia and Shailendra Singh of Sequoia

In January, when enterprise capital agency Sequoia Capital India launched Surge – its accelerator program for early-stage startups in India and Southeast Asia – the VC agency was considering ‘small.’ Extra precisely, it had plans to pick simply 10-12 startups to kind the primary Surge cohort. Round two months and 1,570 ‘unimaginable’ functions later, Sequoia signed on 17 firms as an alternative – greater than it initially supposed to – as a part of Surge 01 2019.

The 17 Surge 01 startups are as numerous as they arrive. They’re headquartered in 5 totally different international locations: India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, and Bangladesh. Span a number of sectors, together with fintech, ecommerce, healthtech, and edtech. Vary from pre-launch stage to others which have sturdy weekly or month-to-month progress momentum. Embrace founders from eight totally different nationalities. And practically a 3rd of the Surge 01 startups have not less than one feminine founder.

However zeroing in on this listing was without delay ‘exhilarating, humbling, and painful,’ says Sequoia. Calling Surge, Sequoia’s ‘personal startup journey’ – one which includes studying on the go – the VC agency informed YourStory, “We had been overwhelmed by the response we obtained however sadly needed to say no to many great entrepreneurs.”

Surge, which can have two cohorts per yr, is designed to assist younger startups with their early-stage selections – be it hiring the primary engineer to constructing the primary product to touchdown the primary buyer. In the course of the four-month-long program, every cohort will obtain first-hand publicity to startups and tendencies within the world expertise markets, together with mentorship assist from achieved founders, enterprise leaders, and technologists.

The primary cohort of Surge 01 was finalised by March 11, and Surge 1 formally kicked off in Singapore within the week of March 25. Shortly after the functions for Surge 1 closed, Shailendra Singh, Managing Director, Sequoia India, wrote in a weblog submit,

“1,570 startups from throughout India and Southeast Asia have utilized (and) we’re utterly blown away… These functions have additionally proven us the depth and breadth of innovation that’s alive and thriving on this area, and the standard of founders pursuing daring and bold new concepts has humbled us.”

As a part of this system, Surge will make investments $1.5 million in every of the startups which are a part of a Surge cohort. Together with Surge, a few dozen seed funds and institutional co-investors are becoming a member of the Surge rounds – tying in a complete funding of $36 million throughout the 17 startups. 

For Surge 1, the one possession Surge will obtain will probably be in lieu of the capital it gives, the agency mentioned. Surge valuations, it added, had been consistent with expectations, which is in excessive single digits to excessive teenagers pre cash.

Additionally learn: Sequoia India launches Surge, a founder-focused program for early-stage startups in India & SE Asia

Right here’s the total listing of the founding startups of Sequoia Surge 01.

Azani Sport  

Co-investors within the spherical: Hearth Enterprise

Sequoia Surge Azani

Azani Founder Siddarth Suchde

India-based Azani, which was based by Indian squash champion Siddharth Suchde, is a DTC efficiency sportswear model that provides high-quality footwear, attire, and equipment which are each aspirational and accessible to mainstream shoppers in rising markets. Launched in November 2017, the corporate’s in-house design and manufacturing services are geared to cut back the hole between design and supply — from the trade commonplace of six months to only two weeks. Azani has launched over 300 new merchandise in simply eight months and is geared to set the tempo with an ever-fresh vary of product traces, ranges, and types. 


Co-investors within the spherical: AlphaJWC, Genesia, Agaeti, Everhaus

Sequoia Surge Bobobox

Bobobox Founders Indra Gunawan and Antonius Bong

Launched in June 2018 by Indra Gunawan and Antonius Bong, Bobobox is a tech-first Indonesian capsule lodge model constructed for millennial adventurers and good enterprise travellers. The primary lodge the corporate opened, boasts an 88 p.c occupancy price whereas 97 p.c of friends surveyed mentioned they’d return to remain there. Bobobox goals to create a brand new class of ‘on demand’ sleep that anybody who wants a top quality relaxation can e-book anyplace, any time.


Co-investors within the spherical: Leo Capital

Sequoia Surge Bulbul

Bulbul Founders Sachin Bhatia, Atit Jain, and Sichen (Sianna) Liu

Launched in December 2018, Bulbul is India’s first vernacular live-streaming e-commerce platform. Based by Sachin Bhatia, Atit Jain, and Sichen (Sianna) Liu, Bulbul is redefining how merchandise are offered in India by offering a dwell, participating, and interactive expertise for consumers and sellers in most regional languages. Bulbul, which hit 500 transactions per day simply 40 days after launch, will move the 1,000 per day mark by finish April and is rising 2x month-on-month.


Sequoia Surge startup DancingMind

DancingMind Founder Jennifer Zhang

Based by Jennifer Zhang in September 2018, Singapore-based DancingMind has pioneered a VR-based ‘one to many’ distant remedy resolution for stroke, dementia, Parkinson’s, and cognitively impaired sufferers. The corporate is making remedy extra participating, inexpensive, and accessible in a sector the place therapists are, globally, in brief provide. The startup has signed up 15 healthcare services in Singapore and the UK in six months of launch.


Co-investors within the spherical: Water Bridge, Omidyar, AET

Sequoia Surge startups Doubtnut

Doubtnut Founders Tanushree Nagori and Aditya Shankar

India-based Doubtnut, which was based by Tanushree Nagori and Aditya Shankar, makes studying straightforward: simply snap a photograph of an issue to discover a resolution and watch movies that assist college students be taught the subject higher. Launched in October 2017, Doubtnut is a complete studying app that contains a easy person interface in a number of native Indian languages, and makes use of advanced AI and ML applied sciences to serve up solutions and video classes in response to images of particular issues. The corporate has over three.5 million month-to-month lively customers, and over 90 p.c are from Tier 2 and Tier three cities. The app is ranked amongst the highest 10 free schooling apps on Google Playstore in India.


Co-investors within the spherical: India Quotient

Sequoia Surge startup Flynote

Flynote Founders Abhinav Prakash, Devvarat Meena, Ankit Abhishek, Parth Pratik, and Shukant Agrawal

India-based Flynote, which was launched in April 2018 by Founders Abhinav Prakash, Devvarat Meena, Ankit Abhishek, Parth Pratik, and Shukant Agrawal, is constructing a worldwide neighborhood of journey fans, referred to as Flynote Fellows, who journey and expertise the world on the corporate’s sponsorship. They then leverage this expertise to monetise their ardour for journey, utilizing Flynote’s Expertise Platform to plan and e-book extremely tailor-made itineraries for his or her prospects, followers, and communities. The corporate has grown by 25 p.c month on month, since April 2018, and has earned a four.9/5 ranking from travellers

Hippo Video

Co-investors within the spherical: Kae Capital

Sequoia Surge startups Hippo Video

Hippo Video Founders Karthi Mariappan, Nilam Chand Jain, and Srinivasan Krishnan

India-based Hippo Video is a next-gen video advertising SaaS platform that helps entrepreneurs create, edit, and personalise video content material on a mass scale, in addition to analyse responses and convert extra viewers into prospects. The corporate, which was based by Karthi Mariappan, Nilam Chand Jain, and Srinivasan Krishnan in July 2018, has over 200 prospects worldwide, together with Freshworks, Essilor, and Goulet Pens. Its freemium platform has over 400,000 customers; the bulk are primarily based within the U.S., the place the corporate can be integrated

InterviewBit Academy 

Sequoia Surge startup InterviewBit Academy

InterviewBit Academy Founders Anshuman Singh and Abhimanyu Saxena

India-based InterviewBit Academy presents pc science schooling by way of dwell on-line courses to organize college students for jobs in main expertise firms. College students pay solely after they land a job past a goal wage threshold. Their first cohort, which went dwell on April 15, will practice 300 candidates chosen from 9,000 functions. The corporate, which was based by Anshuman Singh and Abhimanyu Saxena, began as an interview prep platform and recruitment company, and now has 500,000 registered customers globally, putting four,000 engineers in over 450 tier-one tech firms.


Co-investors within the spherical: YCombinator, InfoEdge

Sequoia Surge startup Khatabook

Khatabook Co-founder Ravish Naresh

Launched in October final yr, Khatabook is India’s main multi-language cell utility for small and medium companies to report money transactions and observe funds. The corporate, which was based by Ravish Naresh, Jaideep Poonia, Dhanesh Kumar, and Ashish Sonone, lately crossed over 120,000 weekly lively retailers, are rising organically at 40 p.c MoM. Khatabook is ranked in high 10 enterprise apps on Google Play Retailer in India


Co-investors within the spherical: SeedPlus, MassMutual Ventures SEA, Golden Gate, MDI, CCV, Genesia

Sequoia Surge startup Qoala

Qoala Co-founder Harshet Lunani

Indonesia-based Qoala, which was based by Harshet Lunani and Tommy Martin in September 2018, is an Insurtech firm that works with insurers to supply revolutionary insurance coverage merchandise for brand spanking new use circumstances like flight delays, telephone display screen damages, e-commerce logistics and so forth, utilizing a mix of underwriting threat for prime frequency occasions, digital fraud detection, and a simplified, photo-based claims course of. 


Co-investors within the spherical: Flourish Ventures

Sequoia Surge startups ShopUp

ShopUp Founders Afeef Zubaer Zaman, Siffat Sarwar, and Ataur Rahim Chowdhury

Bangladesh-based ShopUp is a social commerce platform that helps micro-entrepreneurs in Bangladesh arrange and run their companies on Fb, which accounts for greater than 80 p.c of the nation’s on-line commerce sector.  Based by Afeef Zubaer Zaman, Siffat Sarwar, and Ataur Rahim Chowdhury, the ShopUp platform gives instruments for sourcing, cataloguing, funds, delivery, and entry to enterprise loans. There are presently over 95,000 micro-entrepreneurs on the ShopUp platform, and over 5,000 extra becoming a member of each week.


Sequoia Surge startups Skillmatics

Skillmatics Founder Dhvanil Sheth

India-based Skillmatics, which was based by Dhvanil Sheth,  is a D2C model that develops revolutionary academic merchandise and video games that allow youngsters to construct core expertise starting from math and language to science and logic by means of systematic play. Skillmatics, which goals to disrupt a $100 billion world trade, has hit $1 million in income run price. They promote throughout 15+ international locations, with a robust concentrate on North America and is the primary Indian model ever, to promote throughout Hamleys globally.


Sequoia Surge startups Telio

Telio group

Based by SyPhong Bui in November 2018, Telio is constructing Vietnam’s largest B2B commerce firm utilizing the facility of tech and knowledge. In Vietnam’s highly-fragmented $20 billion FMCG market, Telio permits small retailers to obtain items from its internet and cell platform, changing the necessity to take care of a number of wholesalers and offering extra selection, higher pricing and extra environment friendly logistics. In few months of launch, Telio is doing over 100 orders per day, rising 30 p.c week-on-week.  


Sequoia Surge startups Uiza

Uiza Founders Kevin Nguyen and Gareth Nguyen

Establishing a video streaming infrastructure is advanced and costly, whereas leveraging YouTube makes it more durable to monetize, enhance person engagement, and seize person knowledge. Launched in July 2018 by Founders Kevin Nguyen and Gareth Nguyen, Uiza – which relies in each Vietnam and Singapore – is an API platform for video streaming that permits builders and firms to stream movies immediately from their very own app in a quick and cost-effective method by means of a set of easy APIs. The corporate has constructed a complicated video infrastructure, which is presently utilized by over 250 apps, and serving viewers from over 100 international locations.


Co-investors within the spherical: DSG Capital

Sequoia Surge Startup Vybes

Vybes Founders Wei Qing Jen and Samuel Lipoff

Launched in January 2019 by Wei Qing Jen and Samuel Lipoff, Singapore-based Vybes is on a mission to allow influencer-driven commerce in right now’s social media powered world. Utilizing a proprietary AI engine, Vybes matches influencers with manufacturers, and gives them with a wide selection of merchandise and on-line instruments to allow gross sales to their giant follower base. Vybes has over 400,000 influencers in its database and has been onboarding manufacturers at a month-to-month progress price of 140 p.c.


Sequoia Surge startups Zenyum

Zenyum Founders Julian Artope and Frederik Krass

Singapore-based Zenyum is a fast-growing dental care model offering prime quality 3D-printed invisible braces to shoppers. The dental care market in ASEAN and India is rising quickly, particularly amongst Asia’s burgeoning younger, center class. Zenyum has launched in 4 international locations. The corporate, which was launched in October 2018 by Julian Artope and Frederik Krass, has already hit single-digit million dollars in annualised income, and is rising 55 proportion month-on-month.

The 17th and last Surge 01 startup, which operates within the fintech house and is targeted on the US market, is presently in stealth mode.

Additionally learn: From moguls to VC traders: They’ve all the time had their finger within the pie

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