Innovation and Invention are the two preeminent factors that give a push to starting something new. And when these two meet, what emerges out is a startup. The institutions which fuel such startups are the Venture Capital Firms. Sequoia Capital is one of the renowned names in the Venture Capital market. The American firm provides right nourishment to the seeds that grow into huge trees of technology domain. Founded in 1972, the firm has invested into some of the industry revolutionaries and is active in funding potential early and late stage ventures.
The foundation of Sequoia Capital
Sequoia Capital was founded by American Venture Capitalist, also known as the “Grandfather of Silicon Valley”, Don T. Valentine in Menlo Park, California on November 1, 1972. The control of Sequoia was given in the hands of Michael Moritz and Doug Leone in the mid-1990s. Later on, they scaled their operations in Israel in 1999 followed by the establishment of Sequoia Capital China in 2005 as an US affiliation firm.
In 2006, the firm was acquired by the Indian VC Westbridge Capital. After its acquisition by Westbridge it was renamed as Sequoia Capital India. Sequoia Capital is registered under the legal name Sequoia Capital Operations LLC. They have offices in Menlo Park, Beijing, Singapore, Bengaluru, Shanghai, New Delhi, Mumbai and Tel Aviv. The firm manages funds particularly in Southeast Asia and India.
Sequoia Capital: The People
Founder: Donald Thomas Valentine
The founder of Sequoia Capital, Don T. Valentine was one of those generations of leaders who built Silicon Valley. He was a BA graduate from Fordham University and began his initial career as a Sales Engineer at the American MNC Raytheon Technologies which he left after 7 years and started working as Marketing Executive and Senior Sales at American Semiconductor manufacturer National Semiconductor. While working there, he started making investments in technology enterprises.
He established Sequoia Capital in 1972, with its main focus in early stage financings that involved risky and small tech enterprises. The first investments made by Sequoia were for Atari (subsidiary of a French publisher) and Apple Computers which made Don Valentine board members of both Apple and Atari. Sequoia also made investments in some other enterprises like Oracle, Cisco Systems, Linear Technology, LSI Logic etc. He served as the driving and central force of Sequoia until the mid 1990s.
The operations of Sequoia were handed to Michael Moritz in the mid-1990s. He has served as a Sequoia Capital partner since then. He is an author of Going for Broke: The Chrysler Story and Apple Inc.’s first history, Little Kingdom and a philanthropist. He completed his graduation in history at Oxford (Christ Church) and is an MBA as a Thouron Scholar from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School. He joined Sequoia Capital in 1986 after co-authoring the Going for Broke with bureau chief of Time, Barrett Seaman. He has made investments in some revolutionary companies like Google, PayPal, LinkedIn, Yahoo and many more.
The American Venture Capitalist and billionaire Doug Leone joined Sequoia in 1998, became its managing partner in 1996 and became its global managing partner recently in 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University and a Management Master’s degree from MIT, Sloan School of Management. He is one behind the international expansion of Sequoia Capital in India and China. He has led the investments of several enterprises like INS, Medallia, PlanGrid, ZirMed, Aruba, RingCentral and many more.
Team of Sequoia Capital
The team of Sequoia Capital currently has 121 team members. They have a total of 11 partners in which they have hired Jess Lee in 2016 as the first female investor. Here are few names serving on the top position of enterprise:
- Bharat Singh, CFO
- Douglas Leone, Global Managing Partner
- Blair Shane, CMO and Partner
- Rock Wang, Vice President of China
- Neil Shen, Founding Manager of China
- Abhishek Mohan, Vice President of India
Advisors and Board Members
Sequoia Capital has five members as advisors and board members, these are:
- Stephanie Zhan, Board Member
- Rohit Agarwal, Advisor
- Todd Cozzens, Advisor
- Suhani Sumanchna, Board Member
- Michael Moritz, Board Member
The Financials of Sequoia Capital
Sequoia Capital has made a total of 1,387 investments and been the lead Venture Capital in 502 of them. They have also made 127 diversity investments and have exits in 287 enterprises. It has made one acquisition till date. The VC invests in both private and public domain enterprises and holds specialization in early stage, seed stage, growth stage and incubation in companies. The portfolio of Sequoia Capital is majorly in outsourcing, technology and healthcare. Some of the companies it has invested in are Google, Oracle, Stripe, Instagram, YouTube, Yahoo, WhatsApp, PicsArt and Nvidia. They usually prefer to be the lead investor in the rounds. They make up to US$ 1 million for startups and above US$ 100 million in the established companies. They have backed the enterprises which are now equivalent to 22 percent of the NASDAQ and around US$ 1.4 trillion of market.
They have recently made investments in r2c, Rocketset, strongDM, Retool, Stairwell, Twin Health, Cribl, Whisper, and Temporal Technologies in October 2020.
They have made a total of 127 diversity startups in several domains with the most recent one in strongDM on 27th October 2020 with the investment of US$17 million. Some of its diversity investments are:
- Women founded and led strongDM announced on 17th October 2020 raising US$ 20 million in Series A
- Latinx/ Hispanic founded and Latinx/ Hispanic led Faire announced on 17th October 2020 raising US$ 8.4 million in Series E
- Women founded Mos announced on 13th May 2020 raising US$ 3.3 million in Series A round
- Women founded Confluent announced on 21th April 2020 raising US$ 9 million in Series E
- Women founded and led Maven Clinic announced on 19th February 2020 raising US$ 47 million in Series C
- Latinx/ Hispanic founded and Latinx/ Hispanic led Finix Payments announced on 4th February 2020 raising US$ 3.4 million in Series B
- Women founded Front announced on 22nd January 2020 raising US$ 3.4 million in Series C
- African American/ Black founded and African American/ Black led Embark Trucks announced on 25th September 2019 raising US$ 25 million in Series C
The company has made a total 287 exits among which Apple, Reddit and Square are the notable ones. Some other exits by Sequoia Capital are:
Sequoia Capital has made one acquisition of Canadian cosmetic brand, FACES Cosmetics on 24th August 2017.
Funding raised till date
The Venture Capital has raised 29 investments and SEQUOIA CAPITAL US SCOUT SEED PRINCIPALS FUNS III is its most recent one. Some of the Sequoia Capital funds are:
- SEQUOIA CAPITAL U.S. SCOUT SEED PRINCIPALS FUND III announced on 5th December 2019 that it raised US$ 26.3 million.
- Sequoia Capital China Growth Fund V announced on 3rd December 2019 that it raised US$ 1.8 billion.
- Sequoia Capital US Growth Fund III announced on 3rd December 2019 that it raised US$ 998.5 million.
- Sequoia Capital China Venture Fund VII announced on 3rd December 2019 that it raised US$ 549.5 million.
- Sequoia Capital China Venture Fund VII Principals Fund announced on 1st February 2019 that it raised US$ 69.1 million.
- Sequoia Capital China Growth Partners Fund V announced on 1st February 2019 that it raised US$ 139.4 million
- Sequoia Capital U.S. Growth VIII Principals Fund announced on 4th October 2018 that it raised US$ 64.6 million.
- Sequoia Capital U.S. Growth Partners Fund VII announced on 4th October 2018 that it raised US$ 40.1 million.
- Sequoia India and Southeast Asia Fund announced on 21st August 2018 that it raised US$ 695 million.
- Sequoia Capital Global Growth Fund III announced on 25th June 2018 that it raised US$ 6 billion.
Sequoia Capital helps the founders of companies from zero level at the point where businesses are in the stage of taking shape. They offer tools like writing business plans, product pricing, board deck preparation and recruiting calculators for the enterprises as well. With an annual revenue of US$ 29.03 million, they are among one of the leaders of the Venture Capital market.
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