Sequoia India, SEA launch Pathfinders to connect early-stage founders with global operators

Sequoia India and Southeast Asia have announced the launch of Pathfinders, a platform that connects early-stage founders from India and Southeast Asia with global operators.
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Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia has announced the launch of Pathfinders, a platform that connects early-stage founders from India and Southeast Asia with global operators who can help startups succeed in new markets with a strong focus on the US.

The Sequoia blog post said: "The genesis of Pathfinders was in an internal Zoom brainstorm session in late 2020 that focused on a question we continually ask ourselves: 'What more can we do to help our founders succeed?' Company building is a core tenet of ours, and we challenge ourselves from time to time to go further to help founders build companies that endure. We were noticing an increasing trend in the number of companies we were partnering with that had global ambitions from day one, and the challenges faced by early-stage startups quickly became the focus of that call."

The platform connects founders with seasoned business leaders who can help them accelerate their company-building journey, shape their go-to-market strategy, land the initial set of global customers, help make key hires, and think through company design choices—all the while learning from leaders who have seen scale and world-class execution.

Pathfinders leverages the power of the international network that Sequoia has built over 50 years to give companies they partner with a headstart in their global ambitions. The blog further added:

"As founders in our region look to go global, they typically approach us for help on three questions: (1) how do I hire the best folks in a geography like the US where I have no personal networks, (2) how do I land an initial set of customers who will take a leap of faith on a fledgling India/South East Asia company, and (3) since I’m competing with the best in the world, what does world-class, in each functional area, look like?"

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

Founders will provide their feedback on working with individual pathfinders. This is shared with the next set of founders onboarding individuals so that they can make an informed choice that is predicated not only on the experience of the individual but also on how they have helped companies in the past. Pathfinders is also entirely pro bono, which means there’s no commercial benefit to Sequoia.

Pathfinders are founders/CXOs from some of Silicon Valley’s more innovative technology companies, including Amit Singh (President, Palo Alto Networks), Oliver Jay (ex-CRO, Asana), Param Kalhon (CPO, UIPath), Prasanna Sankar (Co-founder, Rippling), Pratyus Pattnaik (Sr Director of Engineering, Okta), Sandeep Johri (former CEO, Tricentis), and more.

“Pathfinders connects entrepreneurs with experienced operators living in these countries, who have built expertise over decades understanding western buyers,” said Amit Singh, President, Palo Alto Networks.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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