Mountain View, California-based Y Combinator, one of the world’s most successful start-up accelerators, has announced that as part of its ongoing venture capital program, it will now invest $80,000 per startup instead of the earlier $150,000. The revamped program will partner with four venture capitalists — Yuri Milner, Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, and Maverick Capital — who will each invest $20,000 in the program. Investments will be made as convertible notes with no valuation cap and no discount. Since its inception in 2005, the accelerator has funded over 460 start-ups, including Reddit, Clustrix, Wufoo, Scribd, Disqus, Dropbox, Airbnb and Stripe.
In a recent interview to Venture Intelligence, Shailendra Singh discussed some of the firm’s newer investments in the early stage segment including in the online payments space, the progress at a few existing portfolio companies and the active role the firm is playing in helping its portfolio companies scale and succeed in India and globally. Prior to joining the firm in 2006, Singh was a strategy consultant at Bain & Company in New York and before that, an entrepreneur in the digital media industry. Venture Intelligence: How does Sequoia go about identifying potential early stage investments in India? Is there anything different you are doing today than, say, a couple of years back? Shailendra Singh: There is a lot more focus on technology investing and early stage investing. In general, as you might remember a few years ago, we were doing primarily growth investing but in the past 18-odd months, we have had a very strong focus on early stage and that’s continuing. In terms