Sequoia’s Shailendra Singh says start up now!

By Team YS
November 14, 2022, Updated on : Thu Nov 17 2022 05:51:02 GMT+0000
Sequoia’s Shailendra Singh says start up now!
Great founders typically see great opportunity in depressed market conditions, indicated the MD of Sequoia India and Southeast Asia, primarily as there’s likely to be less competition in such times and as hiring becomes easier.
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Happy Children’s Day!

The FTX saga seems never-ending. Now, Binance Chief Executive Changpeng Zhao has said the crypto exchange has stopped accepting deposits of FTX’s FTT token, shortly after pulling out of a deal to acquire the embattled company. 

This comes after over $1 billion in customer funds vanished from FTX—on the same day the company filed for bankruptcy protection—putting founder Sam Bankman-Fried in a soup.

From one virtual world to another, looks like Twitter will bring back its new blue subscription by “probably end of next week,” its chief Elon Musk said. 

This wrapped up the turbulent week at the social media giant that saw Twitter taking down $8 verification as parody accounts ran amok, a partial u-turn on layoffs, and Musk bracing employees for 80-hour work weeks, no free food, or remote working.

Meanwhile, if you missed out on YourStory’s definitive startup-tech event TechSparks 2022, that brimmed with fascinating conversations from across sectors of the Indian startup ecosystem, check out the full coverage here.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Funding winter not unusual: Shailendra Singh
  • BookMyShow's pandemic moves
  • Supporting women entrepreneurs

Here’s your trivia for today: Which animal takes the longest to digest food?

TechSparks 2022

Funding winter not unusual: Shailendra Singh

Though the world is facing a global recession and India is in the midst of a funding winter, Shailendra Singh, Managing Director of  Sequoia India and Southeast Asia, is pretty upbeat about the prospects for the startup ecosystem.

“These funding winters and cycles… they come and go. We’ve seen like 5-6 of them if not more,” he told Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory, at TechSparks 2022.

Beyond the hype:

  • Shailendra said fundraising cannot be used as a proxy for success or progress. 
  • He said it is critical to get the first few steps in setting up a company right, such as great vision, world-class product, and product-market fit.
  • He advised founders to have a purposeful vision and not be too caught up with the ‘how’ of fulfilling that vision.
Sequoia Shailendra

Sequoia Capital Managing Director Shailendra Singh

TechSparks 2022

BookMyShow's pandemic moves

The pandemic hit BookMyShow hard, with its core movie ticketing business completely shut, and the company slashing its employee numbers from 1,700 to 550.

But Founder and CEO Ashish Hemrajani didn't give up and transformed the company's tech stack to adapt to the changed circumstances. 

“We narrowed it down to four executable ideas—our right to win, total addressable market (TAM), blue ocean strategy, and where we can get-to-market really quickly,” said Ashish. 

Levelling up:

  • BookMyShow launched its live events business under the name BookMyShow Live.
  • It incorporated its Singapore business into a SaaS business model for entertainment.
  • Ashish said the company’s customer acquisition has dropped by one-eighth and revenues were up by 2.5-times.

Women entrepreneurs

Supporting women entrepreneurs

Senthamarai Gokulakrishnan started Yuukke, which means ‘catalyst' in Tamil, as a networking platform between Tunisia and India, connecting women entrepreneurs of both countries to the world.

“Yuukke was started with the purpose to empower women to shape the world, to move the needle faster and increase inclusivity. We need to strongly support women in business,” she says.

Connecting women:

  • Yuukke mobile app offers networking, access to go-to-market support, marketplace, collaboration with fellow entrepreneurs, access to coaching and mentorship etc.
  • Its target audience is women leaders aged 25-50 in India and abroad. Its beneficiaries include students, institutes, and women’s groups.
  • At present, 13,500 women are using its web application and mobile app.

News & updates

  • No openings: Disney is planning to freeze hiring and cut some jobs as it strives to move the Disney+ streaming service to profitability against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, according to a memo.
  • India leads: India is leading a push for the COP27 climate summit to conclude with a decision on phasing down all fossil fuels. It called on the Egyptian Presidency of climate talks for the expanded language to be included in the cover text.
  • Northeast's push: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Saturday launched “Venture Fund for Manipur Startup Scheme 2.0.” He said around 6,000 startups had been given financial assistance under the scheme so far.

Which animal takes the longest to digest food?

Answer: Sloths. They can take 2-4 weeks to digest food.

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