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Sequoia Capital India announces Surge 06 with total funding of $60M



Surge, Sequoia Capital India’s rapid scale-up programme, launched its sixth cohort, where Sequoia Capital India and its co-investors invested in 20 early-stage startups, with funding totalling $60 million.

The cohort featured startups belonging to SaaS, Dev Tools, cybersecurity, edtech, D2C, fintech, and agritech sectors, who are leveraging tech to solve some of the biggest challenges faced by consumers and businesses globally. 

According to Sequoia, this batch of startups is geographically diverse. While 50 percent of companies are based in India, it got new entrants from Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan, alongwith companies from Bangladesh and Australia.

Surge 06 will kick off on January 27, where founders will go through a rigorous 16-week virtual programme.

Some of the past speakers and mentors in the programme included Ankiti Bose (Zilingo), Ashwini Asokan ( Street Den), Binny Bansal (Flipkart), Byju Raveendran (BYJU’S), Doug Leone (Sequoia Capital), Girish Mathrubootham (Freshworks), Kunal Shah (CRED), Nithin Kamath (Zerodha), Sanjeev Bikchandani (InfoEdge), and Vidit Aatrey (Meesho).

“The exceptional calibre and talent displayed by the founders of each new Surge cohort continue to humble us. Every founder brings with them the kind of bold innovation and purpose the world needs to solve some of the most pressing problems today,” said Rajan Anandan, Managing Director, Surge and Sequoia India.

He added, “Many of our companies are building strong, digital foundations that are opening pathways to international markets. We’re excited to be part of our founders’ ambitious journeys as they work towards becoming global businesses of the future.”

Rajan Anandan, Managing Director, Sequoia India

Surge 06 Cohort

Surge 06 featured the largest number of software startups, who focus on cybersecurity, customer engagement, talent development, payments, digital learning, mentoring, retail investing, etc.

At present, two cybersecurity startups are in stealth mode.

Here’s a list of Surge 06 startups:

  • 10 Minute School: 10 Minute School provides affordable and accessible education for K-12 and college students, university admission test candidates, job-seekers, and people looking for specialised skills training in Bangladesh. 

  • Airavana: Airavana reduces privacy risks and improves data security while providing customer data discovery across more than 150 cloud applications. It enables enterprises to manage and protect customers’ personal data in consonance with privacy regulations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). 
  • Aqgromalin: Aqgromalin is building a full-stack agritech platform to help farmers diversify into animal husbandry and aquaculture. The Chennai-based startup provides a data-backed traceable supply chain to farmers, butchers, and meat companies for their poultry, seafood, and livestock needs.


  • BambooBox: AI-powered SaaS platform BambooBox helps companies build high-quality pipelines through engagement across an entire account than a single lead. 
  • BiteSpeed: BiteSpeed is building a conversational commerce stack for D2C brands, which will enable online brands to interact with customers and sell products on apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Using chat as the core communication channel, BiteSpeed solves for the entire ecommerce customer journey, from retargeting to providing shipping updates to customer support.
  • Blend: Blend is on a mission to turn every online seller into an ecommerce pro with an AI graphic design and marketing app that creates product visuals, social graphics, product descriptions, and ads in seconds.

  • Canary Mail: Canary Mail is reimagining email security for modern businesses and individuals. With easy to use email encryption, protection from inbound threats, and human error prevention, Canary Mail delivers 360-degree email security and helps achieve regulatory compliance without compromising on user experience. 
  • Checkbox: Checkbox, a no-code Expert Process Automation (EPA) platform, enables business users to develop their tools and software using intuitive ‘drag and drop’ technology.  
  • Cooby: Cooby is reimagining sales management for a messaging-first world by building the best-in-class engagement and team management solutions on top of popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and LINE. 
  • Grupin: Indonesia-based social commerce platform Grupin offers an interactive community-based shopping experience to consumers, along with the benefit of large discounts on bulk consumer products. 
  • HelloMida: Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) fashion brand HelloMida is built on a real-time retail model that empowers Southeast Asia’s digitally native Gen Z consumers to express and celebrate their individualism.
  • IIMMPACT: IIMMPACT is a one-stop platform for payments and data aggregation for Southeast Asian companies. It aims to help Southeast Asian companies build fintech solutions by providing a full suite of world-class APIs, ranging from mobile top-ups, utility bills, government services, insurance, and travel under one umbrella. 
  • Infina: Retail investing app Infina makes it easy for young tech-savvy Vietnamese to start their investing journey with minimal risk. 
  • Manatal: The end-to-end recruitment and onboarding SaaS platform is on a mission to transform how the world recruits. Using an AI-powered Applicant Tracking System, Manatal helps companies onboard in minutes, leveraging the latest technologies to win the war for talent.
  • Peakperformer: Peakperformer aims to democratise leadership coaching for managers at all levels and help them build behavioural skills in an engaging, measurable, and continuous manner. The digital coaching platform enables organisations to create strong leaders at all career levels.


  • ScanPay: ScanPay aims to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) accept payments from customers seamlessly using just a smartphone. 
  • Shajgoj Limited: Shajgoj is on a mission to inspire every woman to celebrate beauty with confidence by providing authentic products at reasonable prices from renowned brands and local distributors through its physical stores and online platforms. 
  • Toplyne: Toplyne helps revenue teams at product-led SaaS companies to convert freemium users to paid subscribers. The plug-and-play platform enables sales teams at product-led growth (PLG) companies to identify accounts most likely to convert by analysing user behaviours within a product and determining which users have shown high intent to buy. 

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Identity in the metaverse: Creating a global identity system



With the advent of the metaverse, the need for a global identity system has become apparent. There are many different ways to create an identity in the metaverse, but no single system is universally accepted. 

The challenge is usually two-fold: first, how to create an identity that is accepted by all the different platforms and services in the metaverse, and second, how to keep track of all the different identities a person may have.

There are many proposed solutions to these challenges, but no clear consensus has emerged. Some believe that a single, global identity system is the only way to ensure interoperability between different platforms and services. Others believe that multiple identities are necessary to allow people to maintain their privacy and security.

The debate is ongoing, but it is clear that the need for a global identity system is becoming more urgent as the metaverse continues to grow.


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In this article, we will explore the various options for creating a global identity system in the metaverse. We will discuss the pros and cons of each option, and try to identify the best solution for the future.

Option 1: A single global identity

The simplest solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to create a single, global identity system. This would be a centralized system that would be responsible for managing all identities in the metaverse. 

The advantages of this approach are obvious: It would be much easier to keep track of identities, and there would be no need to worry about different platforms and services accepting different identities. In addition, a centralized identity system would allow for better security and privacy controls, as well as the ability to track identity theft and fraud.

However, this approach also has several disadvantages. First, it would be very difficult to create a global identity system that is accepted by everyone. Also, a centralized system would be vulnerable to attack and could be used to track people’s movements and activities. Third, it would be difficult to protect the privacy of users in a centralized system.

Option 2: Multiple identities

Another solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to allow each person to have multiple identities. This would mean that each person could have one or more identities that they use for different purposes. 

One of the main advantages of this approach is that it would allow people to maintain their privacy and security. Each person could choose which identity to use for each situation, and they would not have to worry about their entire identity being exposed. In addition, this approach would be more resilient to attack, as it would be much harder to take down multiple identities than a single one.

The limitations of such an approach would be that it could be difficult to keep track of all the different identities, and there would be no guarantee that different platforms and services would accept all of them. In addition, multiple identities could lead to confusion and could make it more difficult for people to build trust with others.

Option 3: A decentralized identity system

A third solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to create a decentralized identity system. This would be an identity system that is not controlled by any one centralized authority but rather is distributed among many different nodes. 

This might seem like the ideal approach, since decentralization is a common theme in the metaverse. However, there are still some challenges that need to be overcome. For instance, it would need to be ensured that all the different nodes in the system are properly synchronized and that the system as a whole is secure. In addition, it might be difficult to get people to adopt such a system if they are used to the more traditional centralized approach.

One solution would be to get the nodes in the system to be run by different organizations. This would help to decentralize the system and make it more secure. Another advantage of this approach is that it would allow different organizations to offer their own identity services, which could be more tailored to their needs.

Another would be to incorporate an edge computing solution into the system. This would allow for more decentralized processing of data and could help to improve performance. It would also make the system more resilient to attack since there would be no centralized point of failure.

The best solution for the future of identity in the metaverse is likely to be a combination of these approaches. A centralized system might be necessary to provide a basic level of identity services, but it should be supplemented by a decentralized system that is more secure and resilient. Ultimately, the goal should be to create an identity system that is both easy to use and secure.

The ideal identity standards of the metaverse

Now that we have explored the various options for identity in the metaverse, we can start to identify the ideal standards that should be met by any future global identity system. 

It is no easy task to create a global identity system that meets all of the criteria, but it is important to strive for an ideal solution. After all, the metaverse is still in its early stages, and the decisions made now will have a lasting impact on its future. 

Current iterations of the metaverse have used very traditional approaches to identity, but it is time to start thinking outside the box. The ideal solution will be one that is secure, private, decentralized, and easy to use. It will be a solution that allows people to maintain their privacy while still being able to interact with others in the metaverse. 

Most importantly, it will be a solution that can be accepted and used by everyone. Only then can we hope to create a truly global identity system for the metaverse.

The bottom line on identity in the metaverse

The question of identity in the metaverse is a complex one, but it is an important issue that needs to be addressed. 

The challenges associated with creating an implementation that is secure, private and decentralized are significant, but they are not insurmountable. For one, it will be important to get buy-in from organizations that have a vested interest in the metaverse. These organizations can help to promote and support the adoption of identity standards. 

It is also important to keep in mind that the metaverse is still evolving, and the solution that is ideal today might not be ideal tomorrow. As such, it will be critical to have a flexible identity system that can adapt as the needs of the metaverse change. 

Ultimately, the goal should be to create an identity system that is both easy to use and secure. Only then can we hope to create a truly global identity system for the metaverse.

Daniel Saito is CEO and cofounder of StrongNode

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How to Eliminate Scheduling Inefficiencies in Your Business



What do salons, consultancies, and home service providers all have in common? This question may seem like the prime setup for a joke, but there’s no punchline to look forward…

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Why You Should Start a Business Only While You Have a Job



Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many people that I meet tell me that they dream of starting their own . I always ask them, “Then why don’t you?” They typically respond by saying that they have so many financial and personal responsibilities, that they can’t just quit their job to start a company, etc. Then I tell them my story …

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Related: How to Use Your Current Job to Start Your Next Business

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