Sequoia's Surge unveils 15 startups from India and Southeast Asia in seventh cohort TechCrunch

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

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

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

The new cohort includes startups trying to introduce tools to simplify work processes as well as solve bigger challenges, including climate change.

Sequoia said its cohort includes some startups it partners with when they don’t have a product, as well as those 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 Uber’s first set of engineers in India.

“We continue to be deeply impressed by the ambition and diversity of ideas, as well as the caliber of founders in each cohort. The Surge 07 is no exception. We have partnered with all our companies at their earliest stage of company building, with almost 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 opinion.

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

The majority of startups in the new cohort are building for global markets and targeting audiences outside of their headquarters. Nearly half of these are present in the US and European markets, Sequoia said.

Founders in Surge’s seventh cohort will go through a 16-week hybrid program to receive training and mentorship from industry veterans and renowned entrepreneurs.

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

  • Careful, a vertical SaaS company, is building a sales automation platform for US outsourcers. (Info Edge Ventures is a co-investor.)
  • Ray is building a one-click payment solution that enables seamless payment for sellers and buyers in Southeast Asia. (Partech Partners is a co-investor.)
  • Boxes creates 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) align and collaborate effectively with their buyers along 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 in Slack and Microsoft Teams and provides seamless connectivity to back-end ticketing tools such as Zendesk, Salesforce and Freshdesk. (8VC is a co-investor.)
  • Gan uses AI to create personalized videos at scale, empowering brands to build personal connections with their customers. (Also secured funding from Emergent Ventures.)
  • Hatika aims to provide engineering managers and leaders with visibility and insights to help them build productive and healthy engineering teams. (Kae Capital is an investor.)
  • Metaschool says it makes it easier 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 improve their quality of life through better home and health products.
  • Semaai builds a complete technology solution for Indonesia’s agricultural 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.)
  • Guess the Carbon helps companies track and reduce their carbon emissions using its software. (Alpha JWC Ventures, Amasia, GFC, Rebel Fund, XA Network and Y Combinator.)
  • Phys is a fintech company in Indonesia where it aims to serve teenagers. (AC Ventures, Alpha JWC Ventures, Goodwater Capital, Ondine Capital and Y Combinator also backed the startup.)

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

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