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Doug Leone

  • Seed/Early
  • +
  • Growth

I would like to be known as a person who cared deeply. My epitaph should say ‘he died a young man,’ as I am still a kid at heart.


Don Valentine gave me the shot at Sequoia in 1988, and prevailed on the partners to “give the kid a little more time” when I struggled early on. Don was very tough. After one presentation where I asked an aggressive question, he left a note written in green ink on the conference room table for me to see which said ‘Doug – not fit to listen to founders.’ This is how feedback was given. You learned real fast. I made it to Partner in 1993 and became Managing Partner in 1996. Worked with companies such as RingCentral, ServiceNow and Nubank, while leading our expansion into China and India. Bent the arc of a number of companies.

What got me here? Fear, hunger and empathy. I came to America from Italy as an only child with my parents at age 11. We settled in Mount Vernon, New York, which was a tough town. I couldn’t throw or hit a baseball. I was an outsider trying to blend in. You had to develop thick skin and have your eyes wide open. My father was a strong and funny man. My mother was shrewd and warm. I am a product of both. My first job after college was in technical sales because I understood people. The CEO and board members of Sun Micro heard of my sales achievements and gave me strong references when I applied for VC jobs.

On the lookout for

Performance. Do you bring it everyday? You can’t always be at 110%, but when it’s playoff time the great players know how to bring it. You have to take as many people along with you for the ride. Teams always beat individuals. I love founders who are spiky, in any dimension. It’s never about money but about doing something meaningful. They do the impossible and you have to learn to dream with them, while helping them to build a business.

We have a culture of taking risks. I prefer you take a shot. I’d rather have someone who gets A, F, F, A than someone that gets B+, B+, B+, B+. I prefer people who ask for forgiveness rather than for permission. You have to be willing to put yourself out of business by trying new things, before someone else does.

Get in touch with Doug

Personal Side

  • Family first
  • Sequoia
  • Fitness
  • Relationships
  • Little things

Press & Media


Current Companies

Company Name  Short Description Current Stage  Founders First Partnered  collapse
ActionIQActionIQ is developing the next generation of distributed data engines that live in the cloud.Growth
  • Tasso Argyros
  • Nitay Joffe
Pre-Seed/Seed (2014)Collapse
CyeraCyera transforms the way organizations secure data in the cloud with Data Reality.Early
  • Tamar Bar-Ilan
  • Yotam Segev
Early (2022)Collapse
IslandIsland is the enterprise browser that makes work fluid, frictionless, and fundamentally secure.Growth
  • Dan Amiga
  • Mike Fey
Early (2020)Collapse
Oasis SecurityOasis is the first enterprise platform for non-human identity management.Early
  • Danny Brickman
  • Amit Zimerman
Pre-Seed/Seed (2023)Collapse
PhysnaPhysna codifies 3D models into detailed data for software applications.Growth
  • Paul Powers
Early (2020)Collapse
Security ScorecardSecurity Scorecard is the global leader in cybersecurity ratings.Growth
  • Sam Kassoumeh
  • Aleksandr Yampolskiy
Early (2015)Collapse
strongDMstrongDM manages and audits access to servers and databases.Growth
  • Schuyler Brown
  • Justin McCarthy
  • Liz Zalman
Early (2019)Collapse
Trade RepublicTrade Republic makes buying and selling ETFs, derivatives and cryptocurrency easy.Growth
  • Marco Cancellieri
  • Christian Hecker
  • Thomas Pischke
Growth (2021)Collapse
WizWiz secures everything built and run in the cloud.Growth
  • Yinon Costica
  • Ami Luttwak
  • Assaf Rappaport
  • Roy Reznik
Early (2020)Collapse
ZafranZafran is a risk mitigation platform that defuses threat exploitation by mobilizing existing security tools.Early
  • Snir Havdala
  • Ben Seri
  • Sanaz Yashar
Pre-Seed/Seed (2023)Collapse

Enduring Companies

Company Name  Short Description Current Stage  Founders First Partnered  collapse
MedalliaMedallia offers customer experience management software.IPO
  • Borge Hald
  • Amy Pressman
Growth (2011)Collapse
MerakiMeraki, now part of Cisco, provides routing and security solutions.Acquired
  • John Bicket
  • Sanjit Biswas
  • Hans Robertson
Early (2006)Collapse
NubankNubank provides next-generation mobile banking and financial services to the Latin American market.IPO
  • Cristina Junqueira
  • David Vélez
  • Edward Wible
Pre-Seed/Seed (2013)Collapse
PlanGridPlanGrid, now part of Autodesk, builds construction software for the field.Acquired
  • Ralph Gootee
  • Ryan Sutton-Gee
  • Tracy Young
Early (2014)Collapse
RingCentralRingCentral provides cloud-based phone systems for today's mobile and distributed businesses.IPO
  • Vlad Shmunis
Early (2006)Collapse
ServiceNowServiceNow creates digital workflows that unlock productivity.IPO
  • Fred Luddy
Growth (2009)Collapse