Sequoia top investor in Indian unicorns: Hurun Research


Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Sequoia Capital has topped the chart of investors in terms of the number of investments in Indian unicorns, according to Hurun India Top Unicorn Investors List 2020.

Sequoia Capital has pipped its contemporaries — Softbank and Steadview Capital — with investments in nine Indian unicorns. Softbank and Steadview have poured money into seven Indian unicorns, said a BusinessLine report.

According to Anas Rahman Junaid, managing director and chief researcher at Hurun Report India, the firm used regulatory filings and feedback from VC funds and the list is a compilation of all the investment firms that have invested in at least three India-based unicorns as of August 20, 2020.

In the top five, two Indian VC firms, SAIF Partners and Matrix Partners have grabbed 4th and 5th position with six and five investments in Indian unicorns respectively. Nexus Venture Partners, with five investments, also shared the 5th position with Matrix.

Sequoia has closed seven funds in India in its 14 years of operations in the country and its eight unicorns investments (indirect and indirect) include Byju’s, Zomato, Oyo, Ola, Unacademy, Druva, Freshworks, Druva and Mu Sigma.

India contributes 21 unicorns in total while the US and China have 233 and 227 unicorns respectively. The UK and India are at the third and fourth position respectively.

Last month, the Indian arm of Sequoia had announced two new funds – $525 million worth venture fund and $825 million growth fund. Both funds will focus on investing in India and the SEA region.

Besides venture and growth funds, Sequoia has an early-stage focused accelerator program for startups called Surge. In its three cohorts, Surge has selected over 52 startups out of which 27 are from India. 

The next cohort, Surge 04, is slated to kick off from November.

Meanwhile, Sequoia Capital India has also expanded its local team by hiring Gayatri Vasudev Yadav, Ajey Gore and Shweta Rajpal Kohli for key positions to help its portfolio companies with their marketing, technology and public policy strategies. 

Update: While the report says Sequoia is an investor in Byju’s, Zomato, Oyo, Ola, Unacademy, Druva, Freshworks, Druva, Paytm Mall and BigBasket, some of these investments were done indirectly. For instance, Sequoia is a stakeholder in BigBasket via DailyNinja and in Paytm Mall via Nearbuy. The story has been updated.

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