Sequoia Capital Operations, LLC
TypePrivate
IndustryVenture capital
Founded1972; 50 years ago (1972)
FounderDon Valentine
Headquarters,
Area served
United States, Southeast Asia, India, China, Israel
Key people
Michael Moritz
Douglas Leone
Jim Goetz
Roelof Botha
ProductsInvestments
Websitesequoiacap.com

Sequoia Capital is an American venture capital firm.[1] The firm is headquartered in Menlo Park, California and mainly focuses on the technology industry.[2] It was the most active VC fund company in India in 2019.[3]

Sequoia manages investment funds, including funds specific to India and southeast Asia,[4] Israel,[5] and China, in addition to the US.[6][7] The firm has offices in Menlo Park, Singapore, Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, London, and Tel Aviv.[8]

Notable successful investments by the company include Apple, Cisco, Google, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Zoom, PayPal, Reddit, Instagram, and Tumblr.[9][10]

History

Sequoia was founded by Don Valentine in 1972 in Menlo Park, California,[11][12] at a time when the state’s venture capital industry was just beginning to develop.[13][14]

Sequoia formed its first venture capital fund in 1974,[13][15] and was an early investor in Atari the next year.[16][17][18] In 1978, Sequoia became one of the first investors in Apple.[17][19][20] Partners Doug Leone and Michael Moritz assumed leadership of the firm in 1996.[16][21]

In 1999, Sequoia established a dedicated investment fund for Israeli startups.[22][23] In 2005, Sequoia Capital China was established,[24] later followed by Sequoia Capital India. [25]

In 2012, Moritz took a step back from the day-to-day operations of the firm.[26] Leone became Global Managing Partner.[27][28] Jim Goetz led Sequoia’s US business from 2012 until 2017, when he was succeeded by Roelof Botha.[29]

In 2016, Sequoia hired Jess Lee, making her the first female investing partner in the United States in the firm's history.[30][31]

In March 2020, Sequoia announced it would hire Luciana Lixandru as its first partner based in Europe.[32][33]

In October 2021, Sequoia announced it would implement a new fund structure for its U.S. and European business that would allow it to remain involved with companies after their public market debuts.[34][35][36]

Senior leadership

Sequoia has traditionally been led by a global managing partner. In 2022, however, this title was changed to "Senior Steward"; this role was described by Doug Leone as "setting the overall tone" as well as "being in charge of centralised functions, including compliance, finance and culture".[37] Sequoia is currently being led by its third generation of leadership, with Roelof Botha as Senior Steward.

List of senior stewards

  1. Don Valentine (1972–1996)
  2. Doug Leone and Sir Michael Moritz (1996–2012)
  3. Doug Leone (2012–2022)
  4. Roelof Botha (since 2022)

Investments

Sequoia Capital is structured as a limited liability company.[38] Investors, referred to as limited partners, contribute money to a fund that the firm's general partners then invest in business ventures.[39][40] Sequoia's limited partners have primarily been university endowments, charitable foundations, and other large institutions.[41][42][43]

Sequoia specializes in seed stage,[44] early stage,[44] and growth stage[45] investments in private technology companies,[46] including those in the clean tech, consumer internet, crypto, financial services, healthcare, mobile, and robotics sectors.[47][48][49] Sequoia has been recognized for its strong track record of early investments.[50][51] The firm has also distinguished itself from other top venture capital firms by diversifying its investments and not just focusing on U.S. early-stage venture capital.[45][52][53]

Sequoia is an umbrella brand for three different venture entities: one focused on the U.S. and Europe, another on India and Southeast Asia, and a third on China.[54]

In 2019, Sequoia made more new seed-stage investments than Series A deals.[55] That same year, Hurun Research Institute identified Sequoia as the world's top unicorn investor, noting it had invested in one in five of all private companies valued at $1 billion or more.[56][57]

In July 2021, Sequoia published a piece about "the Latin American startup opportunity" that signaled it would increase its focus there.[58][59]

In October 2021, Sequoia announced the Sequoia Capital Fund, a new fund structure for its U.S. and European business.[60] The fund structure is unique for VC funds as they are typically funds with a 10-year fund cycle instead of an open-ended evergreen fund.[61] The Sequoia fund will no longer need to sell or distribute stock as in the usual VC fund cycle. Instead, limited partners who want liquidity can pull money out of the fund. [62] Sequoia also announced it would become a RIA which would allow the firm more flexibility in its investments.[61]

In February 2022, Sequoia raised a $600 million Sequoia Crypto Fund. As one of the first sub-funds of Sequoia Capital Fund, the crypto fund will mainly invest in cryptocurrencies traded on third-party exchanges.[63]

Notable investments

Programs and partnerships

In 2009, Sequoia launched its scout program, which functions as an individual investor network that provides founders and other individuals with capital to invest in promising early-stage startups.[79][80] Sequoia Scouts have invested in over 1,000 companies.[81] Sequoia was the first venture capital firm to offer a scout program, and the model has since been emulated by others in the industry.[79][80]

In December 2020, Sequoia expanded the scout program to Europe.[82]

In 2021, Sequoia partnered on the BLCK VC Scout Network to provide training and education to current and aspiring Black scouts.[81]


See also

References

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  2. ^ Secretive, Sprawling Network of ‘Scouts’ Spreads Money Through Silicon Valley, Rolfe Winkler, November 12, 2015, Wall Street Journal, retrieved May 12, 2016.
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