Good morning! Anmol here and it's Wednesday. Today is a Sequoia-packed day as the firm announced a new CMO (Gayatri Vasudeva Yadav), Head of Public Policy (Shweta Rajpal Kohli) & Operating Partner (Ajey Gore). There were also two companies who announced their latest funding rounds (DrinkPrime & Eduvanz) with Sequoia leading both rounds.
➡️ The water purification Internet of Things company DrinkPrime has raised $2.87M in a Pre-Series A round led by Sequoia Surge, with participation from ON Mauritius & a couple of angel investors.
➡️ The company was also recently part of Sequoia Surge's 3rd batch of companies and was founded in 2017. The company makes smart water purifiers and connects & monitors the quality of the water. The product operates as a monthly subscription with no upfront cost. ➡️ The benefit for the customer with the subscription billing plan is that they don't have to pay for the device upfront & the pricing seems quite interesting to me (you're billed according to how much water you consume/purify).
➡️ This is definitely a very Indian problem (access to clean drinking water), but I personally don't really understand the appeal of purchasing DrinkPrime vs a normal water purifier. On one hand, I guess you don't have to pay upfront for the water purifier but on the other hand DrinkPrime seems much more expensive in the long-term.
➡️ Surely the water purifier market is a pretty large industry, and DrinkPrime is tackling it in a unique way- it's still up to the consumers to switch to this product + service solving a "vitamin problem"
2. https://bit.ly/2Pqxdoo: Eduvanz is raising $3M from Sequoia & Unitus
➡️ Student loan startup Eduvanz is raising $3M in a Series A funding round led by Sequoia Capital India & Unitus Ventures. Eduvanz is a NBFC based in Mumbai that offers low-interest student, education, career, skill development loans.
➡️ The company was founded in 2016, obtained an NBFC license from RBI in 2017 and has raised capital from Blinc Advisors, Unitus Ventures & the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation in the last 3 years.
➡️ The company partners with over 120 institutes (incl. Times Pro, K11 Academy, Imarticus), has already disbursed over $2M in loans and provides people access to training for jobs in various sectors for which they might not have had access to credit for.
➡️ This is interestingly Sequoia's second bet in a education loan company, the other being Leap Finance (which to be fair offers multiple financial services to Indian students studying abroad). I do think the companies operate in completely different domains and wouldn't have a overlap of students at all.
Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/akm1410/status/1290677863838969859
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