Sequoia India and Sequoia Southeast Asia have raised USD 2.85 billion across a set of funds — the venture capital (VC) firm's largest fund for the region and more than double its previous fund — to invest in startups.
Sequoia is for the first time launching a dedicated South Asian fund, totalling USD 850 million, while USD 2 billion will be allocated to the Indian venture and growth funds, it said in a blog on Tuesday. As per SEC filings and earlier fundraising announcements, this now takes Sequoia's total committed capital in India and South East Asia to USD 9 billion over the past 16 years.
Sequoia has been one of India's most aggressive venture capital investors. Sequoia India has invested in more than 400 startups across India and Southeast Asia, 36 of which are unicorns (valued at more than USD 1 billion), including Byju's, Zomato, Unacademy, Pinelabs and Razorpay. In the last 18 months, 9 companies it funded went public (through IPOs).
"This fundraise, which comes at a time when markets are starting to cool after a very long bull run, signals our deep commitment to the region and the faith our limited partners have in the long-term growth story of India and Southeast Asia," it said. The new funds will bolster Sequoia's mission to help "daring founders to build legendary companies from idea to IPO and beyond."
Stating that the region's startup ecosystem has grown rapidly in the last decade, it said last year India emerged as the third-largest startup hub in the world, after the US and China. Southeast Asia, meanwhile, is on track to become a USD 1 trillion digital economy by 2030, it said.
"The startup and venture capital ecosystem in India and Southeast Asia has made great strides in the last decade and will continue to mature. Valuations and velocity will move with markets," it said. Sequoia India and Southeast Asia intend to "double down" on their efforts to help founders build healthy companies that will endure.
"We are at an exciting juncture in India and Southeast Asia, with ever-deepening markets, higher consumption power, supportive regulations and high talent density," Sequoia said. There's a strong sense in the emerging economies and fast-changing societies across India and Southeast Asia that 'now is our time'.
Many large companies with regional or global footprints will emerge from this region in the decade to come, it said. "We remain committed to our mission to help founders build enduring companies." Of the USD 2.85 that Sequoia has raised, it will be deploying USD 2 billion across Indian startups — the largest-ever in venture capital funding for India.
This corpus is larger than funds raised by Accel (USD 650 million) and Elevation Capital (USD 670 million). Sequoia has been present in India for the past 16 years and in Southeast Asia for 10.
"The firm has partnered with more than 400 startups across multiple sectors, stages and market cycles and has 36 unicorns in its portfolio. Between 2021-2022, the VC firm saw nine IPOs, with notable ones like Freshworks and Zomato," it said in a separate statement. The company said its initiatives in the region contribute to building and supporting the ecosystem in ways that go beyond capital.
"Surge, a 16-week program of early-stage startups launched in 2019, has grown to a community of 246 founders from 112 startups across more than 15 sectors. "It also launched Sequoia Spark, a fellowship and mentorship program for female founders last year, as well as Sequoia Build, a program for growth-stage startups looking to scale sustainably," it noted.
With this fundraise, Sequoia India will continue to partner with the next generation of founders, building enduring companies across seed, Series A, and growth stages. It will also continue to double down on initiatives to collaborate across the ecosystem with founders, governments, co-investors, and partners. "The market in India is seeing increasing consumption power, supportive regulations and high talent density. Founders today are leveraging this to solve a diverse range of problems with the aim to create value for millions of people, both in India and for the world."And many large companies with regional or global footprints are expected to emerge from this region in the decade to come," the statement added.