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Getting to know the 11 Indian companies in Sequoia Surge 05
Photo Credit: 123RF.com

Sequoia Capital India on Wednesday announced the fifth cohort of its rapid scale-up program for startups across India and Southeast Asia. The cohort, which is the largest so far in Surge, has 23 companies spread across Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and companies registered in the US.  

The companies have collectively raised about $55 million as part of their funding from Surge and co-investors. According to a blog post by Surge, more than half the companies had already raised institutional and angel funds ahead of joining the programme. 

In its previous cohort announced in November 2020, Surge had selected 17 companies, which had raised a total of $45.35 million in funding from the program and co-investors.  

The cohort spans across SaaS and DevTools, companies which make up 40% of the cohort, apart from business-to-business (b2b) commerce, logistics, consumer technology, edtech, fintech and digital health.  

Of the 23 selected companies, 11 are headquartered in India.  

Here is a look at startups from India:

Absolute: Launched by Agam Khare and Prateek Rawat in 2016, Absolute is building a plant bioscience and AI-driven platform for precision agriculture. The company has developed a farm operating system which uses real-time data to provide actionable insights for growers. Headquartered in Delhi, the company is backed by Lets Venture and other angel investors.  

ApnaKlub: Founded in 2019 by Shruti and Manish Kumar, ApnaKlub provides an agent led B2B wholesale platform for fast-moving consumer groups (FMCG). The Bengaluru-headquartered platform provides kirana and general stores with consistent supply and assortment of SKUs.  

Belora: The vegan makeup brand was launched by Ainara Kaur and Akaljyot Kaur in 2019. The Gurugram headquartered company is backed by DSG Consumer Partners apart from Surge.  

Dyte: Founded in November 2020 in Faridabad by Abhishek Kankani, Kushagra Vaish and Palash Golecha, Dyte provides real time audio and video calling software development kit (SDK). This helps developers integrate these features into their apps. The company was also a part of Y Combinator and raised funds from them as well as Nexus Venture Partners and other angel investors. 

Mailmodo: The email marketing platform was founded by Apurv Gupta, Aquibur Rahman and Devyesh Tandon in Bengaluru in 2020. The platform helps marketers create app-like experiences within emails and increase conversions.  

OneCode: The app platform founded in 2019 by Manish Shara and Yash Desai connects companies with sales agents to sell products and services to buyers who need in-person interactions and physical touch points before committing to a purchase. The company is based in Bengaluru and has also raised funds from Nexus Venture Partners, Waterbridge Capital and other angel investors.  

Pankhuri: The online community platform for women was founded in 2019 by Pankhuri Shrivastava, former co-founder of home rental platform GrabHouse. The platform allows participants to discuss beauty and lifestyle queries, enables online shopping through livestreaming and facilitates micro-courses. The platform is also backed by India Quotient, Taurus Ventures and other angel investors.  

Powerplay: Backed by Accel and India Quotient, Powerplay is a construction site management app that enables project managers and workers to communicate in local languages. The app helps digitise construction sector and track progress, deliverables and payments across projects. The company was founded in 2019 by Iesh Dixit and Shubham Goyal in Bengaluru. 

VahVah!: Founded in Bengaluru in October 2020 by Akash Senapaty, Eashwar Subbiah and Shailesh Daxini, VahVah! Is a vocational training platform for beauty professionals. The platform provides courses in hair and makeup from trained industry professionals, apart from offering career counselling and Q&A with trainers. It also provides students with learning kits and certification. 

TWID: TWID or That’s What I Do allows users to redeem their loyalty points or rewards to payment instrument. Founded in 2020 by Amit Khosla, Amit Sharma and Rishi Batra in Bengaluru, TWID allows banks, fintech firms and companies issuing customer reward programmes connect with a larger merchant base to redeem points as a form of payment in offline and online world. It is backed by Beenext and other angel investors. 

Veera Health: The subscription based platform targeting women’s health was founded in August 2020 by siblings Shobhita and Shashwata Narain. The digital therapuetics platform currently offers a bespoke treatment plan for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) offering therapy, coaching and specialist support. The Mumbai based company is also backed Global Founders Capital, Harvard University, Y Combinator and other angel investors. 

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