Sequoia Capital

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 has backed companies that now control $1.4 trillion of combined stock market value.[3] Sequoia manages multiple investment funds including funds specific to India & Southeast Asia,[4] Israel,[5] and China.[6] The firm has offices in Menlo Park, Singapore, Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, London and Tel Aviv. [7]

Sequoia was founded by Don Valentine in 1972[8] in Menlo Park, California. In the mid-1990s, Valentine gave control of the company to Doug Leone and Michael Moritz.[3] In 1999, Sequoia expanded its operations to Israel.[9] Sequoia Capital China was established in 2005 as an affiliate to the U.S. firm.[10] In 2006, Sequoia Capital acquired Westbridge Capital Partners, an Indian venture capital firm. It later was renamed Sequoia Capital India.[11] CB Insights recognized Sequoia Capital as the number one venture capital firm in 2013.[12] The U.S. firm had 11 partners as of 2016.[13]

In 2015, Sequoia chairman Michael Moritz was questioned about Sequoia's lack of any women investing partners. Moritz argued that there were few qualified female candidates, because American women "tend to elect not to study the sciences when they’re 11 or 12", and said that Sequoia would not "lower our standards" to hire women.[14] Following criticism of Moritz's comments, in 2016 Sequoia hired Jess Lee as the first female investing partner in the firm's 44-year history.[15]

In 2020, Sequoia set-up its first European office in London, UK and hired Luciana Lixandru to lead it.[16]

Sequoia invests in both public and private companies. It specializes in incubation, seed stage, startup stage, early stage, and growth stage investments in private companies.[17]

Sequoia Capital has invested in over 1000 companies since 1972, including Apple, Google, Oracle, Nvidia, GitHub, PayPal, LinkedIn, Stripe, Bird,[18] YouTube, Instagram, Yahoo!, PicsArt, Klarna and WhatsApp.[19] The combined current public market value for these companies is over $1.4 trillion, equivalent to 22 percent of Nasdaq.[3] Its portfolio is mainly in financial services, healthcare, outsourcing, and technology.[17] As of 2017, they have exited in 68 initial public offerings and 203 acquisitions.[20]

On March 5, 2020, Sequoia Capital sent a notice to its portfolio companies saying, "We suggest you question every assumption about your business," and calling coronavirus "the black swan of 2020",[21] predicting that the global economy could be restrained by the virus.[22] That came after the stock market dropped and concerns arose about a possible economic recession.[23] The memo echos a presentation prepared by the firm for its portfolio companies called "R.I.P. Good Times"[24] about how to prepare for the 2008 financial crisis.[25]

In March 2020, Sequoia Capital announced that it is opening a fundraiser for about US$7bn for its latest set of venture capital funds, testing investor appetite for technology start-ups in the US and south-east Asia as a response to the coronavirus market damage. The fundraiser is set to end as soon as July.[26]