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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,

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)

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4
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Too Much Testosterone?

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-03-15

PRIVATE: Members Only (300 Characters)

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3
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Top Firm Run by Professionals

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2013-05-02

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only (231 Characters)

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3
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Avoid Goguen and Garg

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-25

PUBLIC:

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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3
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One of the Only to Not Get Back After a First Meeting

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by eastcoaster on 2010-07-25

PUBLIC:

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

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-11-12

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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3
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Some Comments are Unreasonable

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Complication on 2007-09-22

PUBLIC:

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.

If you are looking for someone to help you find a market for your technology, they are probably not it.

If however you:
1. Are an execution maven
-or-
2. Have deep pockets to help you keep a lid on dilution

There is no better partner out there.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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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.

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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)

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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

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Greg Mc Adoo of Sequoia

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-03-19

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Good Group, Everything that You'D Expect....

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by xanlu on 2008-07-19

PUBLIC:

from a successful group. They are quite full of themselves, but if you can get over that......take their money.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Friendly on Phone, Working Through Pa's to Get to Someone Desk...

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-06-25

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only (143 Characters)

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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)

9
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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)

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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

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Moritz Offers a Challenge

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-07-11

PUBLIC:

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.

Mike was on the last panel of the conference with Paul Graham of yCombinator moderated by Guy. Early in the hour long discussion, both Mike and Paul admitted that one of the optimal characteristics of entrepreneurs they fund is youth, specifically those under 30 years old. They gave sound justifications, which probably rang hollow with the audience.

The confrontation stemmed from a final question an attendee asked that was blatantly dismissed by Moritz. The question seemed authentic enough. The attendee sought the panel's advice for "older" founders / entrepreneurs when approaching VC's for funding.

Paul didn't get a word in before Mike just flipped his response to a series of off-hand remarks and jokes. Guy tried to pursue, but Mike wasn't interested in dealing directly with the question, and that's when the fun started.

Someone in the audience challenged Mike to answer the question, and asked the audience to raise their hands if any were entrepreneurs over 30. Needless to say, at least 85% of the audience raised their hands. The whole auditorium erupted into applause when Mike was challenged by the provoker to "answer the question!"

To Mike's credit, he said he was willing to take on this challenge, and would consider and respond to any well articulated pitch that was emailed to him, no matter how old the founder was.

I know I'm up for this challenge. How about the rest of you?

Leading up to this final question, Guy had moderated an hour discussion with both Mike and Paul Graham of Ycombinator. Kawasaki was quick to note that both Sequoia and Ycombinator seemed to focus on young entrepreneurs, less than 30 years old. One of from the audience. where a "older founder"

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Has Anyone Approached Sequoia for Funding of a Clean Tech. Project?

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-10-10

2
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Quick Response, No Interest

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-06-19

PUBLIC:

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).

PRIVATE: Members Only (311 Characters)

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A Bit Arrogant

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-19

PRIVATE: Members Only (1047 Characters)

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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