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As we launch our latest seed fund, Sequoia partners George Robson, Stephanie Zhan, Bogomil Balkansky, Shaun Maguire, Josephine Chen and Konstantine Buhler share what drives their passion for meeting seed-stage founders, what they look for in ideas and companies, and what to expect from initial conversations with Sequoia.

George Robson

What do you love about partnering with seed-stage founders?

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and the same is often true for companies. The seed stage is about creating something from nothing, against the odds — and in doing so, quickly answering tough questions about the market, your…


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The Census team

By Sonya Huang and Mike Vernal on behalf of Team Sequoia

Today, we are thrilled to announce Sequoia’s partnership with Census.

When we first met Boris, he shared a seemingly simple problem. Let’s say you’re on the Sales team at Figma, and a customer’s account is coming up for renewal. Going into the conversation, you might want to know some facts: How many of their team members are using Figma and how many files have they created and shared? Who are your account champions and power users?

But Boris knew finding those answers wasn’t easy. The sales team tracks accounts…


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Pilot co-founders: Jeff Arnold, Waseem Daher, & Jessica McKellar

By Pat Grady and Michelle Bailhe on behalf of Team Sequoia

We first heard of Pilot’s founders, Waseem, Jeff and Jessica, one decade and two companies ago, when they were fresh out of MIT and working on their first company, Ksplice (which they sold to Oracle). We intersected with them more directly in 2016 when our partner Bryan was deployed to help persuade them to stay at Dropbox, which had joined forces with their second company, Zulip. Unfortunately, we failed in our mission, and Waseem, Jeff and Jessica left to start Pilot. Fortunately, we stayed in touch.

Fast forward to…


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Xentral co-founders, Claudia Sauter & Benedikt Sauter

By Luciana Lixandru on behalf of Sequoia

As with many of our favorite innovations in technology, Xentral was born out of the founders’ own need. Benedikt Sauter and Claudia Sauter started building this product because they felt the pain of running a small online store without an easy to use backend system. So much of their time was wasted on tedious and repetitive tasks, but when they looked for software solutions to automate these, nothing on the market worked well for the size or budget of their business.

So they built the solution themselves — developing the product on the…


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Airbnb founders Brian Chesky, Nate Blecharczyk, & Joe Gebbia in their Rausch Street office/apartment

Alfred Lin on behalf of Sequoia

All legendary companies start from a raw and unformed state. In the case of Airbnb, two designers (Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia) and an engineer (Nate Blecharczyk) came together on Rausch Street to start a rudimentary website listing “AirBeds and Breakfast.” While their product was novel, what really mattered at that time was their vision. They had the imagination to envision how hosts and guests who had never met could build trust, and how travelers could one day prefer the sense of belonging that accompanies staying in a “stranger’s” home.

In their humble beginning…


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Alfred Lin on behalf of Sequoia

On a Saturday evening in September 2013, just a couple of months after DoorDash launched, a college football game nearly wiped the company out.

Back then, founders Tony Xu, Stanley Tang and Andy Fang were handling deliveries on their own, a manageable task at a time when they usually had 10 or fewer per day. But when more than 100 hungry Stanford fans got home from the stadium and placed orders all at once, the team couldn’t keep up — and had no way to turn off their site. …


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Fishtown founders Drew Banin, Tristan Handy & Connor McArthur social distancing

By: Sonya Huang and Matt Miller on behalf of Sequoia

Today we are excited to announce Sequoia’s Series B partnership with Fishtown Analytics.

It’s no secret that data is the source of competitive advantage in the enterprise market. Companies big and small are investing at record levels to collect, transform, analyze and act upon ever-growing volumes of data.

The Rise of the Cloud Data Warehouses has created massive change in the way that companies work with data. For the first time, analytical data has become easily and quickly accessible for everybody in the enterprise. …


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Retool founder David Hsu

By: Bryan Schreier on behalf of Sequoia

Atlassian, Stripe, GitHub — all are tremendous companies powered by the Rise of the Developer. Today, over 20 million software developers sit at the center of business creativity, and they build the products we touch every day. Software developers also enable most every other creator — from auto designers to filmmakers to authors — as these creators now leverage software tools to take their work to the next level. Every creator is evolving from the old way to the software-enabled way. Ironically, the one group left behind is the software developers themselves. In…


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By Roelof Botha on behalf of Sequoia

On the first Friday of May in 2009, we met with a Copenhagen-based founder just before he was set to fly home from Silicon Valley. David Helgason and his co-founders, Joachim Ante and Nicholas Francis, had spent five years building Unity into a profitable company with no outside capital. Even more striking than the bootstrapped business was the community surrounding it. Game developers, who build their own products on the platform, were enamored with Unity — and the feeling was mutual. The team, then three-dozen people, cared deeply about serving those creators. …


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By Carl Eschenbach & Pat Grady on behalf of Sequoia

In 2017, Snowflake’s high-growth, high-burn plan seemed audacious. While AWS, Google and Microsoft Azure were offering customers a place to store big data, Snowflake was giving them a way to actually use it — and the company’s cloud-based data warehouse was growing fast. But the challenges were daunting. Storage and compute were expensive, and we worried the major players would eventually crowd Snowflake out of the space. Snowflake clearly had a great product, but we weren’t sure whether it would be a great business.

So we passed, and then immediately…

Sequoia

From idea to IPO and beyond, we help the daring build legendary companies. Follow our publication for more Sequoia perspectives: https://seq.vc/Sequoia-pub

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