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Sequoia Capital India’s Surge Selects 23 Startups For 5th Cohort

Sequoia Capital India’s Surge Selects 23 Startups For 5th Cohort

Startups have raised $55 Mn collectively from Surge and co-investors

With 23 startups this is Surge’s largest cohort till date

The Surge community now has 203 founders, from 91 startups building companies across more than 15 sectors

Sequoia Capital India’s startup scale-up program, Surge, announced its fifth and largest cohort of 23 early-stage startups, with funding totalling $55 Mn.

“We are incredibly proud of all 23 companies who have joined Surge 05 and the founders who have forged their businesses in sectors that have seen tremendous tailwinds. These leaders have displayed grit, exceptional talent, and relentless purpose in shaping the world. At this inflection point of global regrowth, we are excited to be part of the journey of our founders and their companies, many of which we believe will grow into large, enduring businesses,” said Rajan Anandan, managing director, Surge and Sequoia India.

Out of the 23 companies, a majority of 13 companies are from the fintech, payments, communications, logistics and SaaS (Software as a Service) sectors which are creating products and services to help companies across borders. These include startups like ApnaKlub, DurianPay, Gumlet, Locad, MailModo, RaRaDelivery, PowerPlay, WATI and Twid among others. Five companies are in the lifestyle segment like Veera Health, Revery and Belora. 

It also includes edtech and skilling companies like ADPList, Pankhuri, Vah Vah! And Virtual Internships. The program, which kicks-off on June 30, also has 10 women founders, the largest in a cohort since Surge first started two years ago in March 2019, said the company. The Surge community now has 203 founders, from 91 startups building companies across more than 15 sectors.

Surge founders go through a rigorous 16-week virtual program with $1 to $2 Mn seed capital, company-building workshops and networking opportunities. Nearly 50% of companies from the first three cohorts have raised Series A, said Sequoia in a statement. Previous cohorts included startups like LambdaTest, PagarBook, Plum Insurance, Shipsy, Classplus, Juno and Trell among many others. 

Surge was originally launched in 2019. In March this year, Sequoia Capital announced a new $195 Mn seed fund specifically for Surge. 

The following startups made it to the fifth cohort:

  • Absolute – Launched in August 2020 (also funded by Lets Venture and angel investors) -It is building a plant bioscience and AI-driven adaptive platform for precision agriculture. 
  • ADPList – Launched in January 2020 (also funded by angel ibvestors)- It is attempting to “democratise” mentorship and make it accessible for everyone through a global community platform .
  • ApnaKlub – Launched in September 2020- It is an agent-led business-to-business wholesale platform for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). 
  • Belora- Launched in January 20201 (also finded by DSG Consumer Partners)- It produces clean, high-performance, vegan makeup — free from toxins and harmful ingredients. 
  • Durianpay- Launched in March 2021- It is building an integrated and comprehensive payments stack that enables businesses to grow and scale.
  • Dyte – Launched in March 2021 (also funded by Nexus Venture Partners, Y Combinator, angels)- It is a developer-friendly real time audio and video calling software development kit (SDK). 
  • Gumlet- Launched in March 2019 (also funded by angel investors)-It  provides a new-age media delivery infrastructure that provides low code or no-code integration plugins, which automates the entire media publishing pipeline. 
  • Locad- Launched in October 202 (also funded by Antler, Febe Ventures and others)- It is making multi-channel ecommerce fulfilment easier by offering a distributed warehousing network, which reduces shipping time and costs by storing products closer to customers. 
  • Mailmodo- Launched in January 2021- It is an email marketing platform that helps marketers create app-like experiences within emails and increase conversions.
  • Mesh- Launched in February 2021 (Also funded by emles Venture Partners, RTP Global and others)- It is a new-age people management platform that makes it easy for employees to manage goals, get timely feedback, and grow faster. 
  • Multiplier- Launched in March 2021 (also funded by Golden Gate Ventures, MS&AD Ventures and others)- It is a new-age employer of record that simplifies international hiring. 
  • OneCode- Launched in November 2019 (also funded by Nexus Venture Partners, Waterbridge Ventures and Angel investors)- It is an app that connects companies with sales agents, giving these agents access to sell the products and services to less tech-savvy buyers. 
  • Powerplay- Launched in October 2020 (also funded by Accel and India Quotient)- It is a mobile-first, vernacular construction site management app that enables project managers and workers to communicate and collaborate more effectively. 
  • Pankhuri- Launched in December 2020 (also funded by India Quotient, Taurus Ventures and others)- It is a social community platform where women can network, learn and shop online through live streaming, chat, and micro courses.
  • RaRa Delivery– Launched in July 2019 (also funded by 500 Startups, AngelCentral and others)- It is attempting to reimagine instant delivery for ecommerce in Indonesia through data driven logistics. 
  • Revery- Pre-launch (also funded by GGV Capital and others)- It is using game thinking to offer affordable and accessible mental health treatment via mobile phones. 
  • TWID (That’s What I Do)- Launched in October 2020 (also funded by Beenext and angel investors)- It is a rewards-based payment network that enables customer reward or loyalty points to be used as a payment instrument. 
  • Vah Vah! – Launched in November 2020 – It is a live, online vocational training platform that offers professional beauty courses.
  • Vara – Launched in November 2020 (also funded by Alpha JWC Ventures, Febe Ventures and others)- It is an easy-to-use and lightweight staff management platform for SMEs across Southeast Asia.
  • Veera Health – Launched in December 2020 (also funded by Global Founders Capital, Harvard University and others)- It is a digital therapeutics platform that helps women identify and navigate Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), with a comprehensive offering of therapy, coaching and specialist support. 
  • Virtual Internships- Launched in July 2018 (also funded by 500 Startups)- It is redesigning internships for the 21st century workforce, mirroring the future of work.
  • WATI – Launched in April 2020- It helps companies have personalised conversations with customers at scale with an easy-to-use customer engagement software that’s built on WhatApp’s Business API.

Note: The list comprises 22 startups because the 23rd startup is working in stealth mode.