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 Ravi Gupta on behalf of Team Sequoia

When I first encountered Faire, we were competitors — not for customers, but for talent. I was working at Instacart, and one of our highest-potential team members let me know he was thinking about departing to join Max Rhodes and his team. Ultimately, the employee decided to stay, but I’ve never fought harder to keep someone. In the process, I heard nothing but incredible things about Faire.

My future partners at Sequoia, meanwhile, had been believers from the start, recognizing Max’s visionary idea and partnering with Faire at the seed in 2017…

Pennylane founder Arthur Waller

By Luciana Lixandru and George Robson on behalf of Team Sequoia

For far too long, small businesses in Europe have been underserved when it comes to software tools to manage their finances. European SMEs are still living in a world where they save paper receipts in a box and diligently send them to their trusted advisor — the accountant — at the end of each month. They live in a world where they run their business without visibility into what comes in and what goes out, and where accountants spend too much of their valuable time calling and emailing to…

By Konstantine Buhler on behalf of Team Sequoia

The last 250 years have been shaped by the principles of utilitarianism, which roughly asserts that actions are right if they’re useful to the majority. Utilitarianism was well-timed, as it validated industrialism and a free market economy.

But there’s a problem with utilitarianism: utility is subjective. Your utility and my utility are different. Some baseline utility is universal (we all have to eat), but a global utility function does not exist. This is particularly evident on the internet, where the dueling utilities of convenience and privacy compete. …

By Alfred Lin and Josephine Chen on behalf of Team Sequoia

Josephine Chen, Connor Dunn, Lauren Myrick and Alfred Lin

When we first met Lauren Myrick, co-founder and CEO of Found, we noticed immediately how unflappable she was. We were talking via video in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and our WiFi was spotty; after three failed attempts to push through constant buffering, we finally resorted to a phone call. Yet Lauren didn’t miss a beat.

We went well over our scheduled time on that first call, not just because of the technical troubles but because we got caught up in discussing the intricacies of the problems…

By Nmachi Jidenma and Mike Vernal on behalf of Sequoia Capital and Mercedes Bent and Barry Eggers on behalf of Lightspeed Venture Partners

Today, Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners are proud to announce our partnership with BLCK VC to support the next generation of Black investors through the BLCK VC Scout Network. The initiative is dedicated to training, mentoring and connecting current and aspiring Black scouts. BLCK VC is a leader in making venture capital more inclusive, and we are excited to join forces to increase venture participation for Black investors.

By recent estimates only 3% of venture capital…

By Carl Eschenbach and Luciana Lixandru on behalf of Team Sequoia

After the past several years of rapid company growth, the hundreds of thousands of workers who have been freed up to focus on mission-critical tasks rather than repetitive “digital manual labor,” and now the milestone of today’s IPO, it might seem like UiPath’s success — and the success of the robotic process automation (RPA) market it leads — was inevitable. But the truth is more interesting: Daniel Dines, Marius Tîrca and their team just never gave up.

When Daniel started UiPath, then called DeskOver, in a Bucharest apartment in…

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…


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