Sequoia Capital is an American venture capital firm. The firm is located in Menlo Park, California and mainly focuses on the technology industry. It has backed companies that now control $1.4 trillion of the combined stock market value. Sequoia manages multiple investment funds including funds specific to India, Israel, and China.
Sequoia was founded by Don Valentine in 1972 in Menlo Park, California. In the mid-1990s, Valentine gave control of the company to Doug Leone and Michael Moritz. In 1999, Sequoia expanded its operations to Israel. Sequoia Capital China was established in 2005 as an affiliate to the U.S. firm. In 2006, Sequoia Capital acquired Westbridge Capital Partners, an Indian venture capital firm. It later was renamed Sequoia Capital India. CB Insights recognized Sequoia Capital as the number one venture capital firm in 2013. The U.S. firm had 11 partners as of 2016.
In 2015, Sequoia drew criticism after Moritz responded to questions about why the U.S. firm had never had a female investing partner by saying Sequoia was looking for women to hire, but "[w]hat we’re not prepared to do is to lower our standards." Members of the media, technology and investment communities criticized the statements as suggesting "smart, driven, capable young women interested in working in technology...don’t exist." Moritz subsequently issued a statement saying, "I know there are many remarkable women who would flourish in the venture business" and said the firm was working to find them. In 2016, Sequoia hired Polyvore CEO Jess Lee, 33, as an investing partner, making her Sequoia's first female investing partner as well as one of its youngest partners.
The firm invests in both public and private companies. It specializes in incubation, seed stage, startup stage, early stage, and growth stage investments in private companies. The company invests mainly in companies based in the United States for early and seed stage investments. It invests between $100,000 and $1 million in "seed" stage, between $1 million and $10 million in early stage, and between $10 million and $100 million in companies that are in their growth stage.
Sequoia Capital has invested in over 250 companies since 1972, including Apple, Google, Oracle, PayPal, Stripe, YouTube, Instagram, Yahoo! and WhatsApp. The combined current public market value for these companies is over $1.4 trillion, equivalent to 22 percent of Nasdaq. Its portfolio is mainly in financial services, healthcare, outsourcing and technology. As in 2017, they have exited in 68 IPOs and 203 acquisitions.