Sequoia India and Southeast Asia’s New Platform to Help SaaS Founders Scale Globally

Currently in Beta, Pathfinders allows Founders and Pathfinders to connect and learn more about each other.

The platform brings “exceptional operators and investors to connect with SaaS founders to shape their go-to-market strategy, get their first set of global customers, make key hires, brainstorm design choices for products” and, among other things, learn from world leaders, Sequoia said in a statement.

Bain projects that Indian SaaS companies will reach $30 billion in revenue and capture an 8-9% share of the global SaaS market by 2025. The market capitalization of all Indian SaaS companies combined is over $40 billion and the total capital invested in SaaS in the past 5 years is over $9 billion. India currently has 17 SaaS unicorns.

“Over the past year, we have onboarded 25 Pathfinders to the platform to include exceptional executives ranging from unicorns to large tech companies in areas such as sales, marketing, product management and engineering. Six of our companies have already received investment and mentorship from our Pathfinders and the feedback has been unanimously positive We intend to scale the platform significantly over the next year by integrating more Pathfinders and portfolio companies,” said Harshjit Sethi, Managing Director of Sequoia India.

Pathfinders are founders/CXOs of select Silicon Valley tech companies including Amit Singh (President, Palo Alto Networks), Oliver Jay (ex CRO, Asana), Param Kalhon (CPO, UIPath) Prasanna Sankar (Co-Founder, Rippling) , Pratyus Pattnaik (Senior Director of Engineering, Okta), Sandeep Johri (former CEO, Tricentis) and others.

For Pathfinders, the program represents an opportunity to invest in some of the region’s most promising technology companies alongside Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia, on the same terms and without advertising for Sequoia. the press release.

He added that Pathfinders is also entirely pro bono, which means there is no business advantage for Sequoia.

In a blog post, Sequoia Capital said the genesis of Pathfinders occurred during an internal Zoom brainstorming session in late 2020 that focused on one constant question: “What can we do more to help our founders succeed?”

Founders will provide feedback on working with an individual scout, which will then be shared with the next group of Founders.

“Pathfinders leverages the power of the international network that Sequoia has built over 50 years to give the companies they partner with a head start in their global ambitions,” he said, adding that supporting very early stages of building a business is invaluable for startups where an early hire or anchor client can change the trajectory of the business.

“The pioneers I have worked with have had a significant impact on the business thus far, adding value in areas such as product marketing, customer relations, analyst relations, hiring and other fundamental pillars of our American GTM.” said Nishant Modak, co-founder of Last9.

“The entire enterprise software market is being disrupted by the next generation of SaaS built using cloud, AI and mobile-first design principles. To be successful, Indian disruptors need to clearly understand Western buyers, their needs and expectations of their users, and design products that effectively match them. Pathfinders connects entrepreneurs with experienced operators living in these countries, who have acquired expertise over decades by understanding Western buyers,” said Amit Singh, president of Palo Alto Networks.

This is a great opportunity for me to reconnect with India and give back to the next generation, he added.

Part of the global venture capital firm, Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia helps founders build businesses from idea to IPO and beyond.

Some of its portfolio companies include Byju’s, Cred, Druva, Five Star Finance, Freshworks, GoTo, Groww, Kopi Kenangan, Mamaearth, Pine Labs, Polygon, Razorpay, Truecaller, Zomato and others.

Global companies supported by Sequoia include Airbnb, Alibaba, Apple, Dropbox, Google, LinkedIn, and Stripe, among others.

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