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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,

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Too Many Stories about Pitching..

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by tfjim on 2013-07-19

PUBLIC:

How about stories while funded by them? How did they help you grow? Did they make introductions? Are they supportive in providing whatever resources you need? Did they just give you money and stopped there?

Anyone with multiple VC firm experience who can give an objective comparative review is highly appreciated.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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David Spector Fair, Up Front

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2012-02-15

PUBLIC:

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:

- He's a sharp guy. Asked good questions about our product and business model and paid close attention to my words.
- He offered concrete suggestions on what it would take to attract his and Sequoia's interest specific to my company.
- He is open. I asked him all manner of direct questions and he replied with direct answers.

Net: David is smart, direct and has a sense of humor. I felt crystal clear on where things stood and next steps.

PRIVATE: Members Only (815 Characters)

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Is Sequoia Worth Relocation to the Valley?

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Krassen on 2012-01-18

PUBLIC:

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.

Obviously, I know that Sequoia's reputation is fantastic, but do not know enough about them to even begin to contemplate a move. Feedback will be highly appreciated; details in the private section.

PRIVATE: Members Only (559 Characters)

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Sequoia the Devil You Know

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by scottdunlap on 2011-01-28

PUBLIC:

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).

The Sequoia pitch is simple:

1) What it does.
2) Which of the 7 deadly sins does it serve. Yes, this is actually part of their screening. All great investments fundamentally feed one of the 7 deadly sins, which in turn creates an internal need to use it and share it with others. It's not stupid, it's genius. Just a little short on the ethical spectrum.
3) How it grows 1000x per year. Yes, that's the growth rate of their best investments over the last 20 years. Don't think of this as an elitest criterium, think of it as a challenge for you to see the highest growth areas of your business.
4) Data that backs up 2 and 3.

If you have something growing like mad, pitch Sequoia. If you have a hunch and some theories, don't bother unless you can build something that proves it in less than 30 days.

Sequoia doesn't want to be your friend. They want to get rich. You can decide whether or not that's what you want, but they will be that voice for sure.

PRIVATE: Members Only (316 Characters)

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Good Pitch; Conflict of Interest

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by sunil on 2010-12-08

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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The End of the VC Days is Near: Sequoia Buys a Bank

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-22

PUBLIC:

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...

-- http://bit.ly/1dwhWq

Has venture investing gotten that bad? I know that top venture funds have the authority to do all types of deals, including public market investments. It makes sense for VCs to try and make money however they can, so I get buying a publicly traded technology company or even taking some innovative traditional businesses private, like a newspaper with a good online division.

BUT, buying a bank? Where is the innovation?

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Does Sequoia Fund in Australia as Yet?

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by c1consult on 2009-03-27

PUBLIC:

Gents,
Has Sequoia ever done a successful funding in Australia? Many of the US companies we've followed have funding origins in the USA but we're finding it hard to find a serious backer locally.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Big Fund Hard to Get Through

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by davidshay on 2009-01-08

PUBLIC:

Pitched several of their team members. It felt like they have seen it all.

PRIVATE: Members Only

9
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Focus on Market Size

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by generalist on 2008-06-14

PUBLIC:

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.

PRIVATE: Members Only (551 Characters)

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Gaurav Garg?

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-14

PUBLIC:

Has any one worked with him before"

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Lesson Learned Only Pitch a Partner

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-11

PUBLIC:

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.

Joe was a nice enough guy (I suppose), but a complete waste of our time. He was really really really late and then hurried us along. No eye contact or attempt to engage in a meaningful discussion. Bolted for the door after 20 minutes.

If anyone sells Dale Carnegie classes... please call on Sequoia Capital and sell them the basic intro course on how to win friends and influence people.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Similar Experience to Others

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by mojojojo on 2007-12-28

PUBLIC:

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"

PRIVATE: Members Only

9
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30+ Minutes Late and Then Rushed Me

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-06

PUBLIC:

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".

Really bad form

PRIVATE: Members Only

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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)

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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)

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Funding Notes

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by anon on 2007-08-09

PRIVATE: Members Only (785 Characters)

9
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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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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)

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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

7
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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)

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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)

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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)

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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

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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)

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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)