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Sequoia Surge picks 20 startups for its sixth cohort; raises $60 mn from investors

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The sixth edition kicks off on 27 January, where founders will go through a 16-week bootcamp led by the VC firm. These startups can raise anything between $1 million and $2 million of seed capital during the program.

Sequoia Surge picks 20 startups for its sixth cohort; raises $60 mn from investors
Sequoia Capital India’s rapid scale-up program in India and Southeast Asia - Surge - today launched its sixth cohort with 20 early-stage startups, which have raised $60 million from the venure capital firm and its co-investors.
Surge has evaluated 10,000 companies over the past three years. With the sixth cohort, the Surge community now includes 246 founders from 112 startups across more than 15 sectors.
Forty-five companies from the first four cohorts comprising 69 companies have raised follow-on funding. The sixth edition kicks off on 27 January, where founders will go through a 16-week bootcamp led by the VC firm. These startups can raise anything between $1 million and $2 million of seed capital during the program.
“The exceptional calibre and talent displayed by the founders of each new Surge cohort continue to humble us. Every founder brings with them the kind of bold innovation and purpose the world needs to solve some of the most pressing problems today. Many of our companies are building strong, digital foundations that are opening pathways to international markets,” said Rajan Anandan, Managing Director, Surge & Sequoia India.
The early-stage companies in Surge 06 come from a diverse landscape, diving deep into tech-driven solutions across several markets and industries. The cohort includes two startups from Bangladesh, as well as its first companies from Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan. Thirteen out of the 20 companies are also building solutions for an audience beyond their home markets.
The cohort boasts of the largest number of software startups so far in the program. The startups are innovating on cybersecurity, customer engagement, talent development, payments and more. As products and services continue to move online, these entrepreneurs are playing a pivotal role in supporting SME growth and helping them navigate an increasingly borderless and digitised world, a statement said.
Some of the other sectors in the cohort include AgTech, EdTech, FinTech, direct-to-consumer and e-commerce. The idea is to leverage tech to transform "the way we live', work and learn, and solving fundamental, systematic issues across countries", Sequoia added.
Meet Surge 06: Selected startups
10 Minute School
10 Minute School provides affordable and accessible education for K-12 school and college students, university admission test candidates, job-seekers and people looking for specialised skills training in Bangladesh.
Airavana
Airavana reduces privacy risks and improves data security while providing customer data discovery across more than 150 cloud applications. It enables enterprises to manage and protect customers' personal data in consonance with privacy regulations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
Aqgromalin
Aqgromalin is building a full-stack AgTech platform that helps farmers diversify into animal husbandry and aquaculture. The Chennai-based startup provides a data-backed, traceable, supply chain to farmers, butchers and meat companies for their poultry, seafood and livestock needs.
BambooBox
BambooBox is an AI-powered SaaS platform that helps companies build high-quality pipelines through engagement across an entire account, rather than a single lead.
BiteSpeed
BiteSpeed is building a conversational commerce stack for direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands. Their platform enables online brands to interact with their customers and sell their products on apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Using chat as the core communication channel, BiteSpeed solves for the entire e-commerce customer journey from retargeting to providing shipping updates to customer support.
Blend
Blend is on a mission to turn every online seller into an e-commerce pro with an AI graphic design and marketing app that creates product visuals, social graphics, product descriptions and ads in seconds.
Canary Mail
Canary Mail is reimagining email security for modern businesses and individuals. With easy-to-use email encryption, protection from inbound threats, and human error prevention, Canary Mail delivers 360 degree email security and helps achieve regulatory compliance without compromising on user experience.
Checkbox
Checkbox is a no-code Expert Process Automation (EPA) platform enabling business users to develop their own tools and software using intuitive ‘drag and drop’ technology.
Cooby
Cooby is reimagining sales management for a messaging-first world by building the best-in-class engagement and team management solutions on top of popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and LINE.
Grupin
Grupin is a social commerce platform based in Indonesia that offers an interactive, community-based shopping experience to consumers, along with the benefit of large discounts on bulk consumer products.
HelloMida
HelloMida is a DTC fashion brand, built on a Real Time Retail model, that empowers Southeast Asia’s digitally native Gen Z consumers to express and celebrate their individualism.
IIMMPACT
IIMMPACT is a one-stop platform for payments and data aggregation for Southeast Asian companies. Their mission is to help Southeast Asian companies build fintech solutions by providing a full suite of world class APIs ranging from mobile top-ups, utility bills, government services, insurance and travel under one umbrella.
Infina
Infina is a retail investing app that makes it easy for young, tech-savvy Vietnamese to start their investing journey with minimal risk.
Manatal
Manatal, an end-to-end recruitment and onboarding SaaS platform, is on a mission to transform how the world recruits. Using an AI-powered Applicant Tracking System, Manatal helps companies onboard in minutes and leverage the latest technologies to win the war for talent.
Peakperformer
Peakperformer is on a mission to democratise leadership coaching for managers at all levels and help them build behavioural skills in an engaging, measurable and continuous manner. This digital coaching platform enables organisations to create strong leaders at all career levels.
ScanPay
ScanPay aims to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) accept payments from customers seamlessly using just a smartphone.
Shajgoj
Shajgoj is on a mission to inspire every woman to celebrate beauty with confidence by providing authentic products at reasonable prices from renowned brands and local distributors through their physical stores and online platforms.
Toplyne
Toplyne helps revenue teams at product-led SaaS companies to convert freemium users to paid subscribers. The plug-and-play platform enables sales teams at product-led growth (PLG) companies to identify accounts that are most likely to convert by analysing user behaviours within a product, and determining which users have shown high intent to buy.
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