Sequoia Capital Wants to Support Indonesia’s Startup Ecosystem
As one of the venture capitalists who is quite active in providing funding to startups in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, Sequoia Capital has a special strategy that is claimed to be a forum for the startup ecosystem.
Starting from the acceleration program called Surge to Sequoia Spark, all programs are designed according to the stages of each startup. And now it has given birth to several quality startups.
Sequoia Capital Managing Director Abheek Anand revealed that several programs initiated by Sequoia are aimed at helping startups that are still in their early stages to those who already hold unicorn to decacorn status in India to Southeast Asia.
When asked about the startup business category that Sequoia paid attention to when investing, Abheek specifically emphasized that around 80-90% of them have been paying more attention to startups to technology-based companies.
Starting from consumer internet, financial services, B2B software. to industries that are currently trending, namely crypto and web 3.0. However, it is possible if there is a business category that has the potential to develop and then they are eyed.
For example, Indonesian aquaculture startups such as eFishery. However, in particular, the sector that Sequoia is still paying attention to is fintech.
“And I see that there are still many opportunities for fintech services to continue to grow in Indonesia. We also want to partner more with startups targeting fintech services and are still in their early stages. This includes companies targeting crypto and related companies, we are interested in investing in them,” said Abheek.
Surge’s Flagship Program
One of Sequoia Capital’s flagship programs is the Surge acceleration program. Through this program, startups that are still in their early stages can get mentoring to relevant capital support.
Surge combines $1 million to $2 million in start-up capital with company building support, a global curriculum, and support from a community of mentors and startup founders.
“We see the Surge program as the first step for startups that are still in their early stages. We want to establish partnerships with more startups in Indonesia,” said Abheek.
For those who have entered the Surge program and managed to get funding, in the future if they have potential, Sequoia will provide investment in the next funding round.
Thus, the Surge program is an opening for them to be able to get further funding opportunities. Startups that initially graduated from the Surge program and managed to pocket advanced investments from Sequoia Capital, including Lummo and Qoala.
Currently, 9 startups have graduated from the Surge program. Meanwhile, Sequoia Capital itself has been involved in 22 startups in Indonesia. Among them are Traveloka, Gudangada, GoTo, and Kopi Kenangan.
Sequoia Spark, Build and The Guild Programs
One of the programs that has been launched by Sequoia India that supports women’s efforts is Sequoia Spark. This $100,000 grant program along with mentoring aims to invite more women in India and the Southeast Asia region to become entrepreneurs.
This program is held by providing in-depth direct assistance to 15 female-led startups each year and sufficient capital as an initial cost to start a business.
“What we provide is a grant, not investment or share of equity. Through this program we want to make the process of building a business for women easier, with our assistance.” said Abhik.
She also added that the program is also a way for companies to find smart and highly motivated women to build businesses that have value. The first cohort of the Sequoia Spark program spans a wide variety of fields, including edtech, fintech, SaaS, and crypto.
The cohort combines seven startups from Southeast Asia, seven from India and one from the United Arab Emirates. From Indonesia, Sribuu managed to get mentoring and initial funding from Sequoia Capital.