It is a commonly occurring problem among early-stage startups to raise funds and scale, considering that there are very few resources and a small number of people aligning themselves with the idea behind the business. Raising funds can be particularly daunting for founders of early-age startups because they have to make many more crucial decisions.
To address these concerns, Sequoia India wants to provide these founders with an â€œunfair advantageâ€ with a motto – No stage is too early. Sequoia India created a 16 week-long program called Surge, a rapid scale-up program for early-stage startups to grow by facilitating smart business model choices right from the start, and raise Series A, after the process.
The problems Surge aims to address
Sequoia India did a series of Twitter polls in November last year to understand the obstacles faced in the startup scene around the Indian and Southeast Asian regions.
- While the average seed/angel round size is $1.3 million around the world, the funds raised by Indian startups are relatively smaller.
- Indian startup founders go through many small rounds before they can raise $5 million.
- Founders in India spend a lot of their time fundraising.
- By the time founders get into sizeable Series A, their shareholding is diluted.
The results Surge aims to accomplish
Based on the responses Sequoia India received on their Twitter polls, they came to the conclusion that early-stage founders are underserved. Surge targets the problems above to provide feasible solutions to accelerate startups. Here are some highlights.
- The program will invest $1.5 million in every startup that is a part of Surge, even before the beginning of the program, or just near the start.
- With 2 Surge cohorts in a year, each Surge cohort will have 10 to 20 startups.
- Surge has 5 modules which will be hosted across the globe, aiming to give founders exposure to startups and trends.
- Through a startup’s 4 month journey at Surge, the founders will participate in Sequoia’s AMP curriculum, which leverages decades of startup building experience.