Sequoia Capital

Sequoia Capital is a VC firm that invests in startups in the energy, financial, enterprise, healthcare, internet, and mobile industries.

3.0
(39)
Recommend to another founder 50%

Independent rating of Sequoia Capital VC fund

Overall rating:
3.0
(39)
Recommend to another founder: 50%
Team quality
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Professionalism
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Integrity
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Respect and decency
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Experience
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Relevant expertise
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Investment process
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Approachability
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Clarity of the process
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Responsiveness
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Due diligence
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Value add
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Supportiveness
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Value add beyond financing
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Board activity
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Terms
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Founder friendly
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Help with follow-up rounds
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About Sequoia Capital VC fund

Founded:
1972
Number of funds:
30
Number of investments:
1602
Number of exits:
342
Headquarters:
Organization type:
Venture Capital

How Sequoia Capital VC fund invests

Portfolio - latest investments by Sequoia Capital VC fund

Founders' reviews of Sequoia Capital VC fund

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Recommend to another founder 50%
Within 6 months by non-portfolio founder
Verified by BOUND
I do not have an experience with them
Pros
I liked the ability to filter the VCs but still would like to sort it through more criteria such as how long the fund is and what is its end-of-life time.
Cons
The need to go through the list of the keywords to find those that suite
Advice for management
No advice
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Top Firm Run by Professionals
I contacted the firm and within one hour I was contacted back. At one point I was in contact with 4 different senior people with the firm who all followed up. Mike Moritz wrote me back and told me that they were going to pass. They understood the business and did not waste time. Make sure you do research before you approach them, because if they think there might be a fit, they will respond. Top firm run by top professionals.
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David Spector Fair, Up Front
I pitched David Spector recently. He has been with Sequoia for about two years so I'm happy to write his first review on TheFunded. Note: It was an impromptu pitch and demo and David had no materials beforehand, so keep that in mind. My takeaways:
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Is Sequoia Worth Relocation to the Valley?
I will have a meeting next month with them, so this is more of a question than comment. Warren Hogarth graciously agreed to meet for establishing a connection, even though he was honest upfront that they would not be interested in an early-stage deal that is outside the Bay Area.
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Sequoia the Devil You Know
I enjoy pitching Sequoia for one simple reason. They are the purest form of greed on Sand Hill Road. If you have something that fits their model, few VC's will do more to help make that a reality, including stepping all over you (which, BTW, they should if you slow it down).
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Good Pitch; Conflict of Interest
Pitched Michael Moritz whom I pitched in 2007 on a different deal. He was quick to review and declined due to a conflict with another investment.
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Avoid Goguen and Garg
Both these guys are used car salesman - garg is worse then goguen. he is a slimey guy with an uneasy demeanor to show that he is smart. his iq is in the dumps and just fortunate he is hanging around these guys. avoid him like q plague. goguen is half decent with some experience but yet i would avoid him.
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One of the Only to Not Get Back After a First Meeting
We pitched 30+ VCs in first meetings for our last round. A real roadshow. Vanishingly few firms (a handful?) had the gumption to take a first meeting, express substantial interest, then never reply to an email again. Sad - and not the way to treat an entrepreneur who will be building companies for a long time.
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General Views
i've personally seen three deals where sequoia slashed valuations drastically at the last minute, right before closing. pretty hardball folks. however, can't argue with their results or ability to pick winners.
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The End of the VC Days is Near: Sequoia Buys a Bank
At first, I was shocked to learn that Sequoia was part of a private equity consortium that bought First Republic Bank. Then, upon further thought, it's no surprise that top venture capitalists would start to abandon the venture capital model first...
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Moritz Offers a Challenge
Mike got his backside toasted a bit in the final moments of Kawasaki's Revenue Bootcamp today by a conference attendee. But he rose to the challenge, offering to read and respond to most any pitch emailed to him from the 200+ (predominately baby boomer) audience.
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Big Fund Hard to Get Through
Pitched several of their team members. It felt like they have seen it all.
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Good Group, Everything that You'D Expect....
from a successful group. They are quite full of themselves, but if you can get over that......take their money.
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Friendly on Phone, Working Through Pa's to Get to Someone Desk...
Sequoia has yet to really tap into Europe and head office in Menlo sent me over to the Israeli crew - but have resorted to contacting PA's to get through to pull at least a response... which is - it's holiday season, so you might have to wait. So basically trying to get some eyeballs on the pitch still.
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Quick Response, No Interest
Thanks to Sequoia for getting back to me (even when submission was via web). I would have appreciated a call (I guess I like hearing my rejection as opposed to reading it).
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Focus on Market Size
Sequoia Capital's investment strategy is very simple - the product/service has to serve a very large market. They can fix everything else (replace management, keep developing the product, etc.) but they can not fix the market. If you want to pitch them - make sure that your story shows a huge market for your offering.
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Professional Courtesy: Roelof Botha
In the spirit of feedback, I emailed Roelof Botha out of the blue, after reading an article on him from Forbes a few months back. Even though he passed on taking next steps right now for investment, he was a complete gentleman, and got back to me on an incredibly timely basis. He gave me a look, and we emailed back and forth.
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Lesson Learned Only Pitch a Partner
We were bounced around the firm for our initial pitch and landed on Joe Dobrenski. Lesson learned, only pitch a real player in the firm.
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Similar Experience to Others
Lots of meetings resulting in a suggestion to refocus the business on just a few current customers. Why would I need venture funding for that"
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30+ Minutes Late and Then Rushed Me
The Partner that we were scheduled to meet with (through a referral) was 30+ minutes late. He rushed us through almost every pitch slide in our presentation. As he hurried out of the room after 25 minutes he kept saying, "Let's stay in touch. Let's stay in touch".
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Some Comments are Unreasonable
Worked with Sequoia (both Israel and US). Sequoia is here to make money for their investors and partners. These are the white sharks of Sand Hill road and whomever doesn't know it should! Swimming with sharks can be both rewarding and dangerous.
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Similar Experience to Previous
Was initially pleasantly surprised to be scheduled for a full 1.5 hours for our pitch, a luxurious time frame...however, was not at all surprised (despite rumors that there had been a crack down in this area) to find that the scheduled time did not match reality. We began 30 minutes later than scheduled, due to the late arrival of the Sequoia partner.
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Not Investing Outside Bay Area
I was trying to get a pitch meeting with Sequoia for our Series A round. It took about a month for them to get back to me, given that people were out on vacations. They declined a meeting, saying that they generally don't invest in early stage companies outside the Bay area.
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Worth the Effort
I heard all of the shark and bully comments about Sequoia, and the source is usually other VC firms. I accept that they may not be founder-friendly. Still, for all their fame, Sequioa was accessible and when partners (Leone and Gandhi) said to stay in touch, they meant it, and indeed we did. Mark Dempster is the way to get in the door and he will offer a sense of the firm's interest, but not presume anything. We were not funded but pitching this firm boosted confidence. Making an impression and connection here means you can do it anywhere so for that reason I would not put Sequoia last in your queue.
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Memories Mar the VC Maven
Most of the partners at Sequoia are top-drawer. But a sour apple in the barrel can make it a harder decision for seasoned entrepreneurs to choose Sequoia.
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Great Guys
Sequoia Capital has been very willing to help our company before we even agreed on a termsheet - they helped close prospective employees, did legwork to help figure out user growth, and continuously offered product feedback. After closing remained very active/helpful investors, which can be extremely beneficial if you are a young entrepreneur without a lot of experience.
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Tam Investor
Sequoia is a "TAM" (Total Addressable Market) investor. Unfortunately, they view as expendable the founders and employees who take huge personal risk to help them address these markets. As an entrepreneur, I think they are the stereotype of the VC to be avoided.
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Sequoia India Keeps It in Family
Sequoia India recently committed $7M to a social netowork, MingleBox.com. The CEO of MingleBox is married to one of the Managing Directors at Sequoia Cap India. Is there a conflict of interest, you bet!
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Very Professional, Prompt, and Quick Decision W/Feedback
Met with two partners at Sequoia and was very impressed with both. Took a meeting within a few days of receiving the executive summary. They listened, ask really good questions, said they would get back in a couple of days, did, was a no, but said they were happy to provide feedback, scheduled time for it, and gave good feedback...All in all, for a rejection, could not have gone better :)
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They See the Big Picture but Come Prepared
The slogan on their site and back of their cards is "The Entrepreneurs Behind Entrepreneurs" - it's true. All the folks I've spoken with have operating experience and one partner, who sits on 5 boards, is actually acting CEO for one of the companies, actively seeking his replacement to help the company grow.
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Play Book
How the meetings usually go is standard among most VC. Make sure you know your market and have focus. Execution is #1 so know exactly how you have/will win customers, market share and make money.
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The Top Dogs
These guys earn their reputations - good decisions fast.
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Practice First
A small tip. Before you take a meeting with Sequoia, practice on lesser name VC's first. We took our very first VC meeting of our fund raising exercise with them and I wish we would have done them last. VC's have a play book, they all pretty much ask the same questions. It's very nice to know what to expect before you walk in the door with these guys.
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Mr. X and Mr. Y
They have two partners for each deal -- for privacy reasons I will decline to name the two partners on our deal. Mr. X has been very responsive and straight with us, an early stage venture spawned at MIT (we have no slick MBAs or presentation yet). Mr. Y was really cool too -- unlike lesser VCs that nag about our lack of a team, these guys really focused upon the consumer experience. However, getting beyond the talk to a deal was not (yet) possible for us. Look at their track record and not at their website's claims about "very early stage" 100K deals. All their recent deals are post-Beta w/ >$3million. That said, they are very responsive and give good advice. They are actually really conservative -- they'll get in when it's a sure thing.
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Thumbs Up on Sequoia, Roelof
Even though our company ended up taking funding from another VC, our experience with Sequoia in general, and Roelof in particular, was extraordinarily positive. I came in half-expecting to be eaten alive, given some of the stories, but the partners were attentive listeners, kind, and gave wise and sensible feedback. I'd think with their kind of track record they'd be more standoffish, but I was pleasantly disarmed. Good guys!
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No Small Deals
Sequoia is a great partner, and will come to a decision quickly. One thing that sticks with them is ability to grow big. They do not want small (
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Ask Them How Many Founders Survive as CEO's?
Sequoia has a deserved reputation for very sharp elbows once they have made an investment. The reality is that they have been very successful and probably know ten people who can do a better job at your role than you.
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Impressive
Focus is on building things that can be worth $1B or more (otherwise, not worth their time...) Bring discipline and unbeatable rolodex to the table.
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Be Smart When You Go There
DO NOT make Sequoia your first pitch. Tighten up your story by spending time pitching other venture firms first; *then* go to Sequoia.
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