Blue-chip venture capital firm Sequoia India and Southeast Asia has thrown the second cohort of its Sequoia Spark Camaraderie, a $100,000 equity-free grant and mentorship program to encourage more women to develop entrepreneurs.
The second batch comprises 12 female originators who are looking to solve problems across sectors and trades, including climate tech, health tech, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Web 3.0, shopper internet, and direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, thought in a statement.
Eight of the 12 founders are from India besides four are from Southeast Asia.
Some of the Indian corporations include Zerocircle, which is helping brands replace single-use plastics; Hoop, a well-being platform for young Indians; and Plodo, which helps digital-first products launch operations in India.
Rendering to Sequoia India, the first batch of Spark, which comprised a cohort of 15 companies and 20 female originators have gone on to raise follow-on institutional funding totaling $51 million afterward the program. This also includes one exit, which was learned by Wipro.
“We are electrified about the success of the first cohort and extremely excited about the potential of the Spark 02 founders. The Sequoia Spark companionship program is born out of the desire and commitment to surge the number of female founders in the region and play a role in enabling the early phases of their journey, especially when access is such a challenge,” said Sakshi Chopra, management director, Sequoia India.
During the program, Spark originators are also provided one-on-one mentorship with Sequoia’s portfolio creators and from a senior Sequoia India and Southeast Asia investment advisor.
Over the past years, venture capital firms have thrown initiatives to help women entrepreneurs scale up.