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Investor Outlook

Sequoia India Talks About its Early Stage Activity for the First Time Ever

In a captivating LinkedIn post, Singh gave answers to the many questions journalists are always asking. First of the most relevant ones - Is it too early to talk to Sequoia?
Sequoia India Talks About its Early Stage Activity for the First Time Ever
Image credit: Sequoia India
Entrepreneur Staff
Associate Editor, Entrepreneur.com
4 min read

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Name an investment type and Sequoia Capital India does it.

From investments in startup, seed, early, mid, late, series-A, expansion stage, public and growth stage, Sequoia Capital India looks to invest in maturing startups in the information technology sector with a focus on the emerging India-US cross-border companies in the big data analytics, enterprise software, and semiconductors sectors.

It is the dream of many India startups to be funded by an investment group such as Sequoia Capital India – why is crucial.

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

Sequoia’s Investment Areas

Sequoia India’s core interest area is technology, which it dabbles in different sectors. Some of them include the below.

Consumer Services - agriculture, distribution, education, hospitality, media, retail, packaged goods, and enabling technology.

Energy - alternative energy, conventional energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, and energy services markets.

Financial Services - banking, brokerage, payments, and enabling and financial technology.

Healthcare Services - diagnostic services, healthcare Information Technology, pharmaceuticals, genetics services, lab services, patient services, product development services, and enabling technology.

Internet - advertising, communications, cloud computing, e-commerce, gaming, media, search, social networking and enabling technology,

Mobile - advertising, applications, communications, devices, gaming, monetization, and enabling technology.

Outsourcing - business process outsourcing, hosting services, managed services, professional services and software development services.

Technology - engineer carrier infrastructure, data, enterprise infrastructure, open source, SaaS, security, semiconductors, services, and storage.

What Sequoia Looks For

The investment firm says there are no rigid rules that they follow for investment. Some guidelines that they refer to listed on their website read as below.

Work with a clear mind - We try to learn and adapt. And that only works when you are non-judgmental about others. If you are not fundamentally open-minded, you will refuse to see things that challenge blind spots. You will shut them out.

To be good at early stage investing – You have to be able to embrace the imperfections of a company, not judge it.

Culture - The most important things in life can’t be measured: love, happiness, integrity, humility, gratitude. The same applies to companies. The most important things – culture, vision, clarity, commitment – can’t be measured.

Impact - The founders who think about impact are better partners than those who do it for the money.

Authenticity – Sequoia’s one line advice to entrepreneurs is be clear and be real. We really dig authentic people.

Follow Your Gut – If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing big. You only go as high as the bar you set.

Cautious – Just because we were successful in the past doesn’t mean we will be again in the future. Every day when we wake up, we need to win all over again.

Sequoia India has recently closed its sixth fund, at $695 million, which will be used to double down on investments in both early and growth stage companies in the technology, consumer and healthcare sectors across India and Southeast Asia (SEA). 

It counts Indian founders such as Amit Kumat of Prataap Snacks, Ankiti Bose of Zilingo, Ankur Jain of Bira, Byju Raveendran of BYJU's, Chatri Sityodtong of ONE Championship, Deepinder Goyal of Zomato, Dhiraj Rajaram of Mu Sigma, Girish Mathrubootham of Freshworks, Jaspreet Singh of Druva, Kunal Shah of Freecharge, D Lakshmipathy of Five Star Finance, Lokvir Kapoor of Pine Labs, Nadiem Makarim of Go-Jek, Rajul Garg of GlobalLogic, Ritesh Agarwal of OYO Rooms, Shashank ND of Practo, VSS Mani of JustDial, William Tanuwijaya of Tokopedia as its most creative ones.

Its Asian companies’ investment includes Go-Jek, Tokopedia and Traveloka - which now rank among Indonesia's largest unicorns - as well as regional market leaders like One Championship, Appier and Carousell. South East Asia accounts for 20-30 per cent of Sequoia Capital India's investments.

Is it too early to talk to Sequoia?

Shailendra Singh has led Sequoia Capital India Advisors as the Managing Director since 2006.

In a captivating LinkedIn post, Singh gave answers to the many questions journalists are always asking. First of the most relevant to Editors like me - Is it too early to talk to Sequoia? Read the full post here.

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