Published: 6/5/2020


And we’re on to Tuesday with a certain consumer app (cough Clubhouse cough) continuing to generate a lot of polarizing discord on twitter (and even in the Indian twitter community). My take on all the “hate” & “suggestions” are that it doesn’t make sense (to me) to make far-reaching statements without actually trying out the product, but this is a free-ish world.

Coming to the day’s news, a global tech co might be investing in India’s largest fintech & my favorite cos from Sequoia’s newest batch of early-stage companies.

  • https://bit.ly/3aHTw1b (Economic Times): Paytm possibly raising money from Microsoft
  • ➡️ So Paytm is in talks with Microsoft to raise about $100M from Microsoft, likely, as an extension of their $1B round from last November that included T.Rowe Price, SoftBank & Ant Financial.

    ➡️ Paytm has so far received $720M, and further funding from Ant Financial will require the government’s approval with the new FDI rules in place.

    ➡️ Microsoft has previously backed Flipkart and was in talks with Ola as well. The company also a partnership with Jio for it’s cloud services platform, Azure. And as a part of this move, Microsoft could try to convince them to move off of AWS and onto Azure and provide a more attractive pricing model.

    ➡️ Paytm’s core payments product has come under heavy competition from the likes of PhonePe and Google Pay, so having a well-capitalized & powerful company like Microsoft on the cap table could certainly help them to continue to subsidize their offerings.

  • https://bit.ly/2KRy0wB (YourStory): Sequoia Surge Batch 3
  • ➡️ Sequoia has just announced their newest batch of companies in their accelerator program, Surge. And here’s a couple of my favorites (and yes there is a slight pattern in my choices):

    ➡️ Atlan: They are building a platform for data teams within companies to manage, organize & collaborate on their processes. The platform seems really interesting, and seems like the company could go global relatively soon after cracking the Indian + SEA market (probably where Sequoia helps out)

    ➡️ Last9: The company is still somewhat in stealth, but they are building a product around Site Reliability so that their customers can build distributed systems at scale with great reliability and fewer outages. Yet another company with a product that isn’t limited to a single geographical market.

    ➡️ Pencil: Probably one of the more interesting companies I’ve come across in a while, they are building automated tools around creative processes in order to generate ads & copy that are predicted to generate better results. The company is based out of Singapore and already has some big customers.

    ➡️ In other Surge related news, a company from an earlier batch just came out of stealth. quolum.com is building a platform to help companies curb their spending on other SaaS tools and will help companies “eliminate excess spending and redeploy capital to grow more effectively.”

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated

    More on Monday :) BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/deepakshenoy/status/1254766268034322432