Sequoia

Shailesh Lakhani

  • Venture
“Being a talented programmer today is like being a painter in the Renaissance. If you can write great code, you can do anything.”

We moved from India to Canada when I was four. When I was 12, my dad bought us a computer – and that changed my life. I was early on the internet and realised that’s where I wanted to work. So I did an undergrad degree in computer engineering.

I felt I would understand tech companies better if I invested in them. So I traded stocks all through college and the dot com bubble. I learned a lot, but felt it didn’t give me the ability to understand a company deeply. I was sure there had to be a way to see entrepreneurship and technology up closer than this.

I went on to join a small software company that grew quite quickly to a few tens of millions of revenue. When they set up shop in India I moved, and was soon running a team of about 100 people. This was in 2004/05 when the IT services companies had started to really break out. I felt then, that India would probably be amongst the most exciting places in our lifetimes to see businesses grow.

Then I went to business school and met some really interesting people there, including folks from Sequoia India, and ended up joining the team quite early on, in 2007. In the last 14 and a half years, we’ve had the privilege of meeting most of India’s large leading startups at a very early stage. And it feels like we are at the beginning still, as each week the founders we meet have more audacious goals and more opportunities in front of them.

The thing that really gets me most excited is meeting the next generation of entrepreneurs. The young entrepreneurs we meet in India today are crazy smart, have a wonderful infrastructure to build upon, and have good role models. The world is their canvas, they can literally do whatever they want.

I’m passionate about Web3, about the benefits of decentralisation and the possibilities that it opens up. It levels the playing field for entrepreneurs everywhere.

I look for genuine authenticity, people who are really there to solve a problem for the long term, and have a special insight into how to do it. I like to think of the market more than the individual though. Where you choose to play has more influence on how big something will be, vs how great you are.

I like to invest in a category before it’s mainstream and well understood, to be the first on the scene so you have some quiet time with the people who are in it for the right reasons, and not just for the hype. It’s ok to be too early as long as you have staying power in your convictions.

Get in touch with Shailesh

Family / pop music / mountains / chocolate / math

Press & Media

Current Companies

  • 1mg aims to make healthcare accessible, understandable, and affordable for all Indians. It offers ePharmacy, eDiagnostics, and health information to enable consumers to better manage their health.
    Partnered In

    2015

  • Avataar.Me is a 3D AI company that helps large enterprise customers create immersive and interactive shopping experiences for their end consumers.
    Partnered In

    2020

  • Bounce is India's first smart-mobility solution, with a mission of making daily commute stress-free, time-saving, reliable, and convenient.
    Partnered In

    2018

  • Capillary is a provider of cloud-based software solutions that enables retail marketers to manage their customer data across channels and drive a significant increase in sales and loyalty.
    Partnered In

    2013

  • CarDekho is a popular auto portal that lists new and used cars in India and offers to-the-minute auto insights from around the world.
    Partnered In

    2013

  • Coinswitch is an app to buy, sell and store cryptos.
    Partnered In

    2018

  • epiFi is a FinTech startup with a mission to help users demystify their finances, maximise their savings and spend intelligently.
    Partnered In

    2019

  • HealthKart is an online nutrition and fitness destination, which offers products, services, and expert assistance to fitness enthusiasts
    Partnered In

    2011

  • Ixigo is a technology company focused on empowering Indian travellers to plan, book, and manage their trips by leveraging AI, ML, and data science-led innovations.
    Partnered In

    2016

  • LocoNav is democratizing access to cutting-edge technology for safe and efficient commercial fleet management.
    Partnered In

    2017

  • OneCard is on a mission to re-imagine credit and payments from first principles and is building a mobile-first credit card in India.
    Partnered In

    2019

  • Polygon offers a wide range of secure, fast, affordable and energy-efficient Ethereum scaling solutions for Web3 developers.
    Partnered In

    2020

  • Quick Heal is a provider of Internet Security tools and a leader in Anti-Virus technology in India.
    Partnered In

    2010

  • SalesKen uses AI and data science to give companies insights into the last mile of customer-salesperson interactions.
    Partnered In

    2019

  • Truecaller is transforming today's phonebook to make it more intelligent and useful.
    Partnered In

    2013

  • Vymo, a predictive sales analytics leader that offers proactive recommendations for sales teams to drive higher outcomes.
    Partnered In

    2016

  • Zetwerk provides global end-to-end manufacturing supply chain solutions.
    Partnered In

    2018