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…

By Carl Eschenbach and Kais Khimji on behalf of Team Sequoia & Ben Horowitz on behalf of Andreessen Horowitz

The Cresta team

Nailing customer experience is tough. Every conversation, across every channel, counts. And while much in our lives has changed since the 1960s, the site of these customer conversations has not: the contact center. Contact centers — with their 17M overworked, undertrained and understaffed agents globally — remain the hubs of customer experience. Agents thus hold the keys to unlock more revenue, less churn, and greater customer satisfaction. …

On March 5, 2020 we warned Sequoia companies to prepare for the impending COVID crisis. Today we sent this note to our founders and CEOs with our advice for navigating the current climate and the coming recovery.

Dear Founders & CEOs,

While the pandemic is far from over, we see an important window of opportunity opening right now.

On March 5, 2020, we urged you to prepare for the impending storm. While we couldn’t foresee the scale of suffering or the extent to which the pandemic would expose societal inequities, we were able to see early on how it was…

By Shaun Maguire on behalf of Team Sequoia

The Gather office in action

When Sequoia first came across Gather, we described the platform as “Minecraft meets Zoom.” We couldn’t neatly fit the company into one box, be it virtual events, gaming or video conferencing — and that’s one of the things that intrigued us. Gather is creating a new category. It’s a social gathering and communication platform that covers every facet of real life: work, community and play.

Gather enhances real-life moments by removing constraints of the physical world. Users can easily build custom 2D spaces that bring a sense of place to being together…

Andy Byrne with Clari’s “Wall of Personalities”

By Jim Goetz on behalf of Sequoia

In boardrooms across Sequoia’s portfolio, something is changing. Founders and other leaders who once struggled to forecast changes in revenue are now running it as an observable, instrumented and optimizable business process.

From established companies like Cisco, Okta, Palo Alto Networks and Zoom to recently public ones like Qualtrics and Unity Technologies to rising stars like Carbon and Confluent, go-to-market teams are enjoying unusually high levels of visibility, rigor and predictability — and continuous growth, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. …

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…

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…

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…

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…

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. …


From idea to IPO and beyond, we help the daring build legendary companies. Follow our publication for more Sequoia perspectives:

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