Venture Capital

Sequoia Capital goes to market for second India seed fund


CEBU, Philippines — Silicon Valley-based Sequoia Capital, an early investor in some of India’s biggest startups, including Byju’s, Zomato, and Oyo, is in the market to raise a second country-focused seed fund.

The venture capital firm’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows that it is raising Sequoia Capital India Seed Fund II less than two years after it floated Seed Fund I.

It did not disclose how big the fund will be. The first seed fund, which focuses on technology, health care, and consumer segments, reportedly raised $200 million.

Neither does the filing, signed by director Satyadeo Bissessur, disclose the fund’s time frame.

The India seed fund is separate from Sequoia Capital’s Surge incubation program, which also focuses on early-stage startups. Surge aims to recruit 10 to 12 startups in India and Southeast Asia across sectors such as consumer internet, technology, enterprise software, health care and fintech, and invest $1.5 million in each of them.

It was launched in January 2019, while Seed Fund I was launched five months later.

In June 2020, the Silicon Valley firm launched India Venture VII and India Growth Fund II. While the targets for the funds were not disclosed, it was earlier reported that Sequoia Capital was floating its largest India-focused fund with a corpus of about $1.25 billion.

India Venture VII, according to a media report, is 80% larger than its predecessor fund, which closed at $695 million in August 2018. India Growth Fund II, meanwhile, raised $725 million in 2008.

Last year, Sequoia Capital launched China Venture Fund VIII, China Growth Fund VI and China Seed Fund II. It had raised a combined $2.35 billion or so for the predecessors of these vehicles — China Growth Fund V ($1.8 billion), China Venture Fund VII ($550 million), and China Seed Fund ($150 million).

A subsidiary of Sequoia Capital, Sequoia Capital India was formed in 2000 and is headquartered in Bengaluru, with offices in Singapore, California, Israel, Hong Kong, Beijing and China.

Its portfolio includes Byju’s, Awfis, Grofers and Bira in India, and Gojek, Carousell, Zilingo, ONE Championship and Akulaku in Southeast Asia.

Established in 1972, the Menlo Park, California-based investment firm is the world’s most successful in terms of investing in and nurturing unicorns.

According to Hurun Global Unicorn Index 2020, released in August, Sequoia Capital had captured a total of 109 unicorns, which are private companies valued at $1 billion and more. That is an 18.5% increase from 2019, when Sequoia Capital also topped the list.

In a separate filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Sequoia Capital also launched Sequoia Capital US/E Seed Fund IV. The firm, however, did not disclose details of the fund, such as size and timing.

For the original story from DealStreetAsia, click here.

DealStreetAsia is a financial news site based in Singapore that focuses on private equity, venture capital and corporate investment activity in Asia, especially Southeast Asia, India and greater China. Nikkei owns a majority stake in the company.


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