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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.

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

Family first / Sequoia / Fitness / Relationships / Little things

Press & Media

Current Companies

  • ActionIQ is developing the next generation of distributed data engines that live in the cloud.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partner
      Doug Leone
    Partnered In

    2014

  • Cyera transforms the way organizations secure data in the cloud with Data Reality.
    Current Stage

    Early

    Partners
      Doug Leone,
      Bogomil Balkansky
    Partnered In

    2022

  • Island is the enterprise browser that makes work fluid, frictionless, and fundamentally secure.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partner
      Doug Leone
    Partnered In

    2020

  • Physna codifies 3D models into detailed data for software applications.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partners
      Shaun Maguire,
      Doug Leone
    Partnered In

    2020

  • Security Scorecard is the global leader in cybersecurity ratings.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partner
      Doug Leone
    Partnered In

    2015

  • strongDM manages and audits access to servers and databases.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partner
      Doug Leone
    Partnered In

    2019

  • Trade Republic makes buying and selling ETFs, derivatives and cryptocurrency easy.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partners
      Doug Leone,
      George Robson
    Partnered In

    2021

  • Wiz secures everything built and run in the cloud.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partners
      Doug Leone,
      Bogomil Balkansky
    Partnered In

    2020

Enduring Companies

  • Decolar is the largest online vendor of airline tickets and hotel reservations in Latin America.
    Current Stage

    IPO

    Partner
      Doug Leone
    Partnered In

    2011

  • Medallia offers customer experience management software.
    Current Stage

    IPO

    Partners
      Doug Leone,
      Carl Eschenbach,
      Pat Grady
    Partnered In

    2011

  • Meraki, now part of Cisco, provides routing and security solutions.
    Current Stage

    Acquired

    Partner
      Doug Leone
    Partnered In

    2006

  • Netezza, now part of IBM, is an advanced data warehouse and analytics platform for businesses.
    Current Stage

    IPO

    Partner
      Doug Leone
    Partnered In

    2003

  • Nubank provides next-generation mobile banking and financial services to the Latin American market.
    Current Stage

    IPO

    Partners
      Doug Leone,
      Sonya Huang
    Partnered In

    2013

  • PlanGrid, now part of Autodesk, builds construction software for the field.
    Current Stage

    Acquired

    Partner
      Doug Leone
    Partnered In

    2014

  • RingCentral provides cloud-based phone systems for today's mobile and distributed businesses.
    Current Stage

    IPO

    Partner
      Doug Leone
    Partnered In

    2006

  • ServiceNow creates digital workflows that unlock productivity.
    Current Stage

    IPO

    Partners
      Doug Leone,
      Pat Grady
    Partnered In

    2009