At a time when worldwide funding pools are appearing to run dry, Sequoia India and Sequoia Southeast Asia have launched two new funds, including an early-stage venture and growth fund for India worth an impressive $2billion, and an $850million fund for Southeast Asia.
This funding is part of the venture firm’s enormous efforts to scale in the SEA region, at a rate almost unparalleled by any other firm.
But this kind of announcement isn’t the company’s first. The previous two years have seen the firm engaged with three additional funds, including March 2021’s seed funding round for India which generated $195million, and July 2020’s two growth and venture rounds; collectively worth $1.3billion.
However, according to a report by the ET, the firm was previously forced to postpone the closing of the funds amid a probe into ‘alleged financial irregularities and corporate governance misses at some of its portfolio firms.’
Following this period of dispute, Sequoia has now announced the completion of the fund.
“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,” read the firm’s official announcement.
“The new funds will bolster our mission to help daring founders to build legendary companies from idea to IPO and beyond. We are grateful to our LPs for their continued support of this mission, and to our founders for their dedication to driving innovation and change.”
Also in the announcement, the firm announced its intention to intensify its presence in the region, having begun investing in India some 16 years ago.
It already operates multiple programmes in the region, including its ‘Surge’ seed programme for early-stage firms, and a ‘Spark’ mentorship programme for the region’s female founders. These join its ‘Build’ programme for growth-stage portfolio startups and ‘The Guild’; the firm’s programme/community for growth-stage startup CEOs.
The region’s startup ecosystem has grown rapidly over the course of the last decade, thanks to the acceleration of digital adoption and rising consumer incomes. Last year, India emerged as the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world, after the USA and China. Southeast Asia, meanwhile, is on track to become a $1trillion digital economy by 2030.
Amongst all of this, Sequoia has become one of the region’s most active investors, working with a variety of brands across various different sectors. Of the 100 or so unicorns to emerge from India, the firm has invested in roughly a third. Its ‘Surge’ programme, as an example, has managed to amass 112 startups and 246 founders in the three short years since it was established.
The announcement continues with: “We are at an exciting juncture in India and Southeast Asia, with ever-deepening markets, higher consumption power, supportive regulations and high talent density. We have never seen such diversity and dynamism in the founders we partner with; we are awed by their vision and ambition.”