Fundraising can be time-consuming and nerve-wracking, but it should not be opaque. Below are answers to some of the most common questions we get asked.
Does Sequoia invest at seed?
Yes! We strive to be the first true believers in the founders of tomorrow’s legendary companies—to have conviction in them when the rest of the world does not yet understand their vision. We’ve always partnered from the earliest stages and were seed investors in category-defining companies like YouTube, Airbnb and Stripe. In just 2019 and 2020, we made more seed investments than Series A investments and partnered with 40+ seed companies, most of which are still in stealth.
The outlier founders we partner with recognize that a seed partnership with Sequoia unlocks a powerful Signaling Advantage and increases both the chances and magnitude of a seed-stage company’s chances for success.
- Startups that raise a seed round with Sequoia are 4x more likely to successfully raise a Series A.
- 99% of companies that have taken seed investments from Sequoia over the last decade are either still operating or have been acquired.
- Companies backed by Sequoia at the seed and Series A are valued ~2x higher than average when they raise their next round.
Who should I reach out to?
Our partner profiles can help you learn more about them and areas of interest, but the short answer is that you don’t need to worry about connecting with the “right” partner. We share our networks and expertise and we will always route opportunities to whoever is the best fit. When you drop one of us a line, you drop all of us a line.
What’s the process like?
To prepare for a meeting with Sequoia, create a compelling deck that will help us understand your idea. (Feel free to follow our advice.) We look for two things: 1) a unique insight about an important problem in a big market, and 2) the right team to tackle it.
Hunger is a longstanding part of our ethos. We do not look for pedigree, but for people who inspire us to dream and who have a creative, even defiant, solution to a real problem.
If we pass—or if you choose not to partner with us—our door stays open. When your next round or next idea comes around, please reach out again. We will always be happy to hear from you.
What does partnership mean to us?
We commit to a select number of partnerships each year in companies that define categories and create markets. We are actively engaged partners who roll up our sleeves and dedicate decades of collective company-building experience to help founders achieve their potential.
Our founders tell us we are conviction-oriented, relentless and patient. We’ve seen a lot of missteps and have made many of our own. Our hope is that you might benefit from past founders’ hard lessons learned at great cost. We’re serious about our work, and carefully choose the words to describe it. While we’re sometimes called investors, that is not our frame of mind. We consider ourselves partners for the long term.
That’s why we work with companies across four key stages: seed, venture, growth and global growth. This allows us to partner with founders across every step of their journey.
In 2021 we announced a unique structure, the Sequoia Capital Fund, which allows us to continue working with our companies long after they go public. It means our partnerships do not have expiration dates, and can be as enduring as the companies we work with.
This new fund structure only applies to Sequoia Capital, our US/Europe venture business. Sequoia Capital is a separate business from the other entities that operate under the Sequoia brand. These include Sequoia China, Sequoia India, Sequoia Heritage, and Sequoia Capital Global Equities. They each have their own investment teams and make independent investment decisions.