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Sequoia Capital  CERTIFIED

Firm Rating:

Rated 3.8 / 5.0 by 106
Track
Record
4.7
Operating
Competence
3.8
Pitching
Efficiency
3.7
Favorable
Deal Terms
3.1
Execution
Assistance
3.6

Firm Homepage:

FIRM OVERVIEW: Medium Private VC founded in 1972 based out of Menlo Park, USA (US West)

FIRM DESCRIPTION: Sequoia Capital is a venture capital firm founded by Don Valentine in 1972. The firm has offices in the US, China, India and Israel. Sequoia has funded an unprecedented number of enormously successful companies including Google, Yahoo, Paypal, Electronic Arts, YouTube, NVIDIA, Cisco Systems, Oracle and Apple. Sequoia estimates that 10% of the NASDAQ’s value is made up of firms they have funded.

TEAM MEMBERS: Bryan Schreier, Donald Valentine, Douglas Leone, Fan Zhang, Gaurav Garg, Greg Mc Adoo, Haim Sadger, Jim Goetz, Mark Kvamme, Mark Stevens, Michael Goguen, Michael Moritz, Neil Shen, Pierre Lamond, Roelof Botha, Scott Carter, Shmil Levy, Warren Hogarth,

27
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1
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Professional Courtesy: Roelof Botha

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by TeamDater on 2008-03-02

PUBLIC:

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.

At the end of the day, that's all you can ask for. I think sometimes both sides forget we are all on the same team, and one is nothing without the other. Having been on our side, I think Roelof relates better than others, and I have respect for him.

PRIVATE: Members Only

11
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0
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Similar Experience to Previous

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-29

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only (818 Characters)

2
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4
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Not Investing Outside Bay Area

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by wethorn on 2007-08-27

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only (161 Characters)

4
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0
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Memories Mar the VC Maven

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by anonymous on 2007-08-18

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only (745 Characters)

1
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3
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Worth the Effort

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-18

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only

7
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0
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Funding Notes

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by anon on 2007-08-09

PRIVATE: Members Only (785 Characters)

2
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1
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Great Guys

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by anon on 2007-08-08

PUBLIC:

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.

Contrary to a lot of other reports, I found Sequoia to be very humble - attitude throughout the process was "you are our customers, and we are only as good as our next investment."

Getting funding was very painless. We agreed on terms ~48 hours after our pitch and closed everything ~2 weeks later. Deal was expensive but fair.

TIPS ON GETTING FUNDED:

- get angels who are good friends with Sequoia
- build a product and have some users/customers before pitching
- obsessively focus on execution
- they prefer youth and passion to business experience, so come pitch in jeans and tshirt!

Ask any questions in comments below

PRIVATE: Members Only

8
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2
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Tam Investor

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by bubblepopper on 2007-08-07

PUBLIC:

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.

To sum up:

"Knock knock."
"Who's there""
"Sequoia Capital""
"Sequoia Capital wh--"
"HIT YOUR NUMBERS!"

Having said that, they are extremely bright guys, and because they are so powerful it's easy for them to bring in their buddies for additional rounds. And to state the utterly obvious, I would love to be a Sequoia LP.

PRIVATE: Members Only (1114 Characters)

4
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1
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Sequoia India Keeps It in Family

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-07

PUBLIC:

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!

PRIVATE: Members Only

9
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2
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Why Work for Sequoia?

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-25

PUBLIC:

I have never pitched to Sequoia. However, I am in the process of fund raising with a pretty decent idea and a beta site that has got good feedback.

From the commentators above (see below), it seems like Sequoia is a real pain to work with. I quit wherever I was working because I wanted to do my own thing. My previous work place was a typical b-school haven full of "really smart guys" who are arrogant. Sequoia seems like that. It almost seems like you work for Sequoia instead of yourself (esp. if they are going to replace you). So why would I go through it again"

Or I am reading too much into it"

Btw- Was Marc Andreeson referring to Sequoia when he said "For example, some venture firms are very entrepreneur-friendly. Others are notoriously brutal. Interestingly, financial success in the venture capital profession does not seem to be correlated to entrepreneur-friendliness."
http://blog.pmarca.com/2007/06/the_tr...

PRIVATE: Members Only (1529 Characters)

16
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1
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Don't Leave a Copy of Your Slides..Unless You Want Your Competitors to Have Them

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by anonymous on 2007-07-23

PRIVATE: Members Only (983 Characters)

14
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3
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Be Careful These Guys Eat Their Own Young

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by anonymous on 2007-07-23

PRIVATE: Members Only (826 Characters)

8
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1
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Very Professional, Prompt, and Quick Decision W/Feedback

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-07-08

PUBLIC:

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 :)

PRIVATE: Members Only

9
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0
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Play Book

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by bootstrapper on 2007-06-23

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only (3786 Characters)

4
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0
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They See the Big Picture but Come Prepared

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by bootstrapper on 2007-06-23

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only (2690 Characters)

0
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0
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CEO

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by mla on 2007-06-11

PUBLIC:

A small tip. Before you take a meeting with Someone commented that 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.

So, what's that "play book" of questions"

PRIVATE: Members Only

9
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2
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Practice First

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by tech_vp on 2007-05-23

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only

7
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0
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The Top Dogs

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-26

PUBLIC:

These guys earn their reputations - good decisions fast.

PRIVATE: Members Only (447 Characters)

5
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0
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Mr. X and Mr. Y

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by opus on 2007-05-13

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only (124 Characters)

8
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0
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Thumbs Up on Sequoia, Roelof

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by dweekly on 2007-05-09

PUBLIC:

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!

PRIVATE: Members Only (161 Characters)

9
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0
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No Small Deals

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by seller on 2007-05-08

PUBLIC:

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 (<$100M) exits, and will gauge founders views on this notion. Plans need to have long term view toward market building and revenue.

PRIVATE: Members Only

2
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3
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Ask Them How Many Founders Survive as CEO's?

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-03

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only

5
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0
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Impressive

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-03-21

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only (155 Characters)

4
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0
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Be Smart When You Go There

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-03-17

PUBLIC:

DO NOT make Sequoia your first pitch. Tighten up your story by spending time pitching other venture firms first; *then* go to Sequoia.

PRIVATE: Members Only (376 Characters)

6
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0
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Great Firm

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-03-15

PRIVATE: Members Only (187 Characters)