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Who are the 16 women entrepreneurs in Peak XV’s third Spark cohort?

Spark provides over a $100,000 equity-free grant and one-on-one mentorship from the Peak XV team and founders

Who are the 16 women entrepreneurs in Peak XV’s third Spark cohort?
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

Venture capital firm Peak XV (formerly Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia) has launched the third edition of its fellowship program Spark, announcing a cohort of  16 women entrepreneurs and founders of 14 startups.

With this third cohort, the Spark program has boosted 41 Asian startups from more than ten sectors.

Spark provides over a $100,000 equity-free grant and one-on-one mentorship from the Peak XV team and founders. As part of this program, startups will receive over $1M in perks from other companies in cloud credits to dev tools and analytics. They will have a four-month hybrid curriculum for the selected women entrepreneurs.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and healthtech dominate this year’s cohort with five AI solution-providing companies—ranging from travel to fraud detection, wholesale trade, and e-commerce sectors—in the list. Four startups are from the health tech category, while the remaining are from SaaS, B2B, and consumer business.

Here is a brief introduction to 16 women entrepreneurs and start-up founders selected from Southeast Asia under this program:

Sisi Song

Company: To be Launched

Sisi Song’s AI-powered consignment platform is in the pre-launch stage. This platform will remove the need for middlemen wholesalers and help retailers source and customize products directly from manufacturers at factory prices.

Familiar with startup ecosystems, Sisi was previously a vice president at Bessemer Venture Partners, where she worked closely with commerce, AI, and cloud software companies. She also spent four years at Alibaba, spearheading its cloud investing ecosystem in the West, as well as at JP Morgan.

Her passion projects have included launching an online pet accessories store and leading overseas retailer acquisitions for a friend’s jewelry factory.

Deeksha Seguttuvan

Company: BabyMD

Launched: January 2024

BabyMD caters to parents of small children who often land in a distressing situation when they want to have the best healthcare for their children but don’t know where to begin. Parents then reach out to their social media networks to resolve these queries related to their child’s healthcare. However, they feel unsure when it is time to act upon the advice they receive due to doubts if it is medically validated.

For all such parents, BabyMD offers a full-stack pediatric service, complete with primary-care offline clinics supplemented with 24×7 AI-assisted access to a team of doctors and a focus on low-penetrated specialties for holistic child development, including behavioral health.

Parents can tap into the system using this pediatric service to ask experts queries as and when required.

Dr. Renita Rajan

Company: CHOSEN

Launched: January 2020

The beauty and self-care industry continues upward despite a turbulent macroeconomic environment. The skincare industry, in particular, is projected to experience an annual growth rate of 3.08%.

With the boundary between wellness and beauty blurring, the global market is worth about $2 trillion for brands, retailers, and investors.

The skincare segment’s growth is widely attributed to the increase in spending power and the availability of products catering to diverse needs.

While recognizing the need for well-tested products in the skincare domain, CHOSEN addresses the need for high-performance skin care products with its cosmeceutical and nutraceutical offerings sold through its e-commerce platform.

Aashta Pitalia & Dr. Shraddha Pitalia

Company: Evenly

Launched: April 2023

Run by management professional and dermatologist sister duo Aastha and Dr. Shraddha Pitalia, Evenly runs a chain of dermatology and cosmetology clinics in India offering tailored services to clients. The company boasts a pool of certified dermatologists and uses US FDA-approved devices to deliver treatments.

Headquartered in Bengaluru, Evenly was launched by the sisters in April 2023.

A seasoned investment professional, Aastha has previously worked with the CDC group (now British International Investment) and the venture capital arm of Susquehanna International Group (SIG). An engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Aastha also holds an MBA from the London School of Business.

Dr. Shraddha has been a practicing dermatologist for over 12 years and has treated over 35,000 patients so far.

Anshita Mehrotra

Company: Fix My Curls

Launched: August 2019

As curly and textured hair has traditionally been an underserved category in the beauty segment, Fix My Curls is a curated brand catering to naturally textured hair. Driven by a need for a homegrown, clean hair care brand that could suit textured hair, Anshita Mehrotra, a journalism major from the Penn State World Campus in Pennsylvania, launched Fix My Curls in August 2019.

The global beauty and personal care space is projected to be a $660 billion market that is expected to reach $2.7 trillion in market cap by 2027. This category has emerged as a leading segment in the consumer brands space, outpacing fashion and packaged food and beverages in growth rate and gross margin.

Fix My Curls was founded to address India’s lack of paraben, silicone, and sulfate-free hair care brands. The company’s formulations are free of wax, drying alcohols, and mineral oil. Anshita was 19 years old when she decided to launch the brand.

Kshitija Deshmukh & Bethany Lovell

Company: FOBOH

Launched: May 2023

FOBOH is an AI platform that simplifies food and beverages wholesale trade. The company helps its customers scale profitably, reduce waste, and get paid faster. FOBOH’s products are designed to drive efficiency in order management, deploy data and analytics for growth, and enable secure digital payments.

Headquartered in Sydney, Kshitija Deshmukh (CEO), Beth Lovell (CPO), and Rajesh Thamilmani (CTO) founded FOBOH in May 2023, and three founders have worked together for years at Woolworths, the largest retail supermarket chain in Australia, where they experienced the problem first-hand.

Biswajita Mishra

Company: Melvvi

Launched: Pre-Launch

Founded by Biswajita Mishra in September 2023, Melvvi’s goal is to reduce the use of plastic in the kitchen by finding natural alternatives to plastic. The company’s products, like wooden cheese boards, cutting boards, fruit bowls, salad server sets, etc., promote a sustainable, greener lifestyle.

Biswajita previously led a 150+ team for Amazon India’s global selling (exports) program. During her tenure at Amazon India, Biswajita also launched an accelerator program called Amazon Global Selling Propel to help early-stage Indian startups build global brands. She has also spent seven years with consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble where she worked across general and specialty trades.

An alumnus of SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Biswajita Mishra is also a gold medalist in electrical and electronics engineering.

Pallavi Chakravorty

Company: Meritic

Launched: July 2023

Meritic is building a storytelling co-pilot to help mid-market companies automate their reporting and analytics.

Meritic is headquartered in Boston and was founded in July 2023 by Pallavi Chakravorty, Swapnil Basak, and Nipun Gupta.

Pallavi is a Harvard Business School graduate and alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. She worked with the Boston Consulting Group before spending four years with Peak XV, where she focused on fintech and payment startups.

Carla Penn-Kahn

Company: Profit Peak

Launched: November 2023

Profit Peak is a SaaS platform offering e-commerce businesses with actionable data insights to enhance their profitability. Profit Peak empowers businesses to comprehensively understand their operations, customers, market trends, and unit economics by offering high-quality insights on one platform. This, in turn, enables companies to make informed decisions, fostering growth through improved operating margins and an expedited path to profitability.

Profit Peak’s team has tried and tested this data-driven method. Headquartered in Sydney, Carla Penn-Kahn and David Kahn co-founded Profit Peak in November 2023.

Carla is a second-time founder in the e-commerce industry; Carla’s expertise lies in scaling e-commerce businesses profitably. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Carla was a part of Credit Suisse’s private banking investment team.

Pratyusha Vemuri

Company: RaptorX.ai

Launched: April 2023

Payment fraud, identity fraud, and money laundering pose a significant threat to businesses globally. According to one estimate, cyber fraud accounted for $6 trillion in losses in 2021, which is expected to increase yearly.

RaptorX.ai is an AI-powered fraud detection and prevention platform that helps businesses assess cyber risks by monitoring behavior metrics, interactive graphs, and real-time transactions. Headquartered in Hyderabad, RaptorX.ai (previously known as Panoplia.io) was founded in April 2023.

Vemuri’s motivation to build RaptorX.ai comes from having personally experienced cyber fraud. She has 18 years of experience in cybersecurity security and has previously worked with companies like Zscaler, Akamai Technologies, and Palo Alto Networks.

Surabhi Bhandari

Company: Soulside

Launched: January 2023

Soulside is an AI-powered mental health platform that simplifies access to support for high-risk adults, starting with pregnant and postpartum individuals. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Surabhi Bhandari has over a decade of experience in healthcare as an operator and investor. Before launching Soulside, Surabhi led growth at Lexington Medical, a Boston-based surgical technology company.

A former consultant with McKinsey & Co, she was also a part of Peak XV’s (formerly Sequoia India & Southeast Asia) investment team. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B. Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

Sushmita Rawat

Company: Traverse

Launched: Pre-Launch

Headquartered in Bengaluru, Traverse is building at the intersection of AI and travel

A graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Sushmita also holds an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. After a brief period at management consulting firm Kearney, where she worked in consumer retail and private equity diligences, Sushmita led post-order customer experience products at Swiggy.

She has also worked with FloBiz, leading the neobank’s SaaS product and PLG revenue.

Harsha Mulchandani

Company: Wordsworth AI

Launched: February 2024

Harsha Mulchandani founded Wordsworth AI in February 2024 to offer personalization for e-commerce businesses.

Harsha’s family runs a small business in India, and dinner table conversations growing up often revolved around sales, products, and pricing. This environment nurtured her entrepreneurial sensibilities and instilled a love for consumer businesses.

Harsha has previously worked with US-based e-commerce aggregator Heyday, the Boston Consulting Group, and WestBridge Capital. A graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, Harsha also has an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Kaumudi Kashikar-Gurjar is an Associate Editor at Press Insider. Based in Pune, Kaumudi is a resourceful writer and a trained multimedia journalist who covers business and economy. Formerly the bureau chief at Sakal Times and Mid Day, Kaumudi has written extensively on politics and governance over her career spanning 20 years for publications including the Pune Mirror. More

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