Surge is Sequoia India’s rapid scale-up program for start-ups in India and Southeast Asia.
Surge combines $1 million to $2 million of seed capital with company-building workshops, a global curriculum, and support from a community of mentors and founders. The program’s goal is to supercharge early-stage start-ups and give founders an unfair advantage right out of the gate.
Vah Vah! is a part of Surge’s fifth cohort of 23 companies that have developed new digital solutions to help firms learn better in a rapidly evolving Southeast Asian landscape. The funding news was announced by Sequoia in their blog on June 30.
Vah Vah! was launched in Nov 2020 by founders Akash Senapaty, Eashwar Subbiah, and Shailesh Daxini. The start-up offers professional beauty courses to educate and prepare India’s young and dynamic population for their careers, training them in vocational skills so that they can find employment or run their own business.
“We want to bring the best teachers to every corner of India and raise the quality of education in overlooked sectors that have the potential to create the next 100 million jobs,” said Vah Vah! Co-Founder Shailesh Daxini.
“The shortfall of vocational schools means that vocational training is often inaccessible or too costly for many — making it especially challenging for those who live outside of metropolitan areas looking to upskill themselves. With Vah Vah!, anyone with a mobile phone and an internet connection can now access quality vocational education.”
The start-up is headquartered in Bengaluru, and its courses are designed for those looking to build a career or run their own entrepreneurial service business. 90 percent of the start-up’s cohorts are women who currently offer professional courses in makeup and hairstyling, with plans to expand to other vocational skill sets.
“The start-up’s mission is to educate and prepare India’s young and dynamic population for their future careers, training them in vocational skills so that they can find employment or run their own business,” Surge said.
“It is projected that by 2023, India will need over 70 million people in the skilled labor workforce, yet currently only has a training capacity for about 13 million students.”
The start-up’s courses are offered in small batches, and students are sent learning kits with all the material they need to complete the course. Students then learn from experienced beauty industry professionals, who undergo further training before they teach at Vah Vah!
“The platform, which has trained scores of students across India, has a consistently high Net Promoter Score (NPS) score of over 70 for every graduating batch. Vah Vah! plans to add more courses across a variety of industries to its platform in the coming months,” Surge said.
(With inputs from ANI)
(Edited by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan and Praveen Pramod Tewari)
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