Sequoia’s new $195M seed fund has been announced recently, and this fund is set to help entrepreneurs and small businesses get the resources and connections needed for success. So it is no surprise that this new seed fund has already seen some success stories, some of which have become big names in their respective industries.
This article will look at some of these success stories and discuss the key elements of each one:
Over the years, Sequoia has backed some of the most successful tech IPOs – including Apple, WhatsApp, Google, Oracle, Yahoo!, YouTube and LinkedIn – who are now market leaders in their respective fields.
Sequoia Announces New $195M Seed Fund
Sequoia’s Seed Fund is a network of experienced and successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists investing in early-stage start-ups since 1972. The fund was created as a platform for experienced investors to offer advice, capital, and insight to budding entrepreneurs. Sequoia invests in companies from diverse industries with the primary focus being technology and healthcare.
Over the years, Sequoia has backed some of the most successful tech IPOs – including Apple, WhatsApp, Google, Oracle, Yahoo!, YouTube and LinkedIn – who are now market leaders in their respective fields. Other major success stories include Airbnb, Dropbox, Square and Stripe, which have grown exponentially after receiving Sequoia investments into their early stages of development.
In addition to its renowned seed funding program, Sequoia offers other services that can assist a young business in scaling fast. These include providing access to potential customers or distributors and professional guidance on capacity building activities such as adding more staff or building more efficient processes into the operations.
Sequoia is also focused on helping entrepreneurs reach global markets through digital advertising campaigns or comprehensive public relations programs. It’s clear the company values long-term relationships with its participants and wants to see them succeed after their initial investments have been made.
Overview of the Success Stories
Sequoia is one of the most successful early-stage venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, and its seed fund has helped launch some of the world’s most well-known companies. With an impressive portfolio, including names like PayPal, Google, YouTube and LinkedIn, Sequoia has been around since 1972 supporting new businesses with financial resources, networking and strategy support.
The firm’s seed fund strives to build long-term relationships with entrepreneurs who are innovative in solving problems in their respective industries. The seed fund provides funding for start-ups with potential for success and profit within a certain timeline. This can give entrepreneurs access to capital that otherwise may not have been available until much later stages of development.
Sequoia’s success stories reflect its track record of identifying potential game-changers within their industry and making the initial investment required to make them happen. A few standouts include:
- Airbnb, which went from a convoluted hotel booking experience to becoming one of the world’s most recognizable names in hospitality;
- WhatsApp which turned mobile communication on its head;
- Slack which disrupted how teams communicate internally;
- And Stripe which revolutionised online payment processing.
All four of these companies could have easily become cautionary tales instead of huge successes if it weren’t for Sequoia taking a chance on them early on with money from their seed fund. Through these stories, we can see how beneficial this type of investment can be when supplied at the right time by the right people.
Sequoia invests in companies from diverse industries with the primary focus being technology and healthcare.
Sequoia, the venture capital firm, has long been in the business of seeding companies with venture capital, helping to launch many successful businesses. Recently, Sequoia announced a new seed fund: a $195M fund designed to help early-stage startups with promising ideas. With this new fund, many wonder which success stories might be the result.
Let’s take a look at some of the success stories that have come out of Sequoia’s seed fund:
The success story of Airbnb is perhaps Sequoia Capital’s biggest success story to date. Airbnb was founded in 2008 as an online marketplace that would allow people to rent out their homes or rooms to travellers.
The risk taken on by Sequoia proved to be well worthwhile, as Airbnb has now become one of the largest lodging websites in the world, and is valued at over $31 billion. According to Crunchbase, Sequoia invested $600,000 during the seed round and a total of $5 million by February 2009.
Stripe is an online payment processing platform used by businesses worldwide. The startup was created in 2010 by Irish entrepreneurs, Patrick and John Collison. They have been backed by many of the top venture capital firms in the world, including Sequoia Capital’s seed fund. The firm invested $2 million into Stripe at its earliest stages and has aided the company with strategic guidance.
With a focus on solving payments infrastructure problems, Stripe enables businesses to accept payments from customers across different countries online or in person. As a result, their financial services make it easier for companies to receive money quickly and securely without having to build their payment infrastructure or partner with a costly financial institution.
Since launching in 2010, Stripe has grown rapidly and now boasts 3 million users worldwide processing millions of dollars of payments per day – 80% of Fortune 500 companies are also using their service. Its total value is estimated at around $45 billion, making it one of the most successful startups that Sequoia’s seed fund has ever backed. By investing early on in this innovative startup’s development, Sequoia Capital is reaping the rewards from its success today.
Dropbox is one of Sequoia Capital’s earliest and most successful investments. Founded in 2007, Dropbox was the quintessential Silicon Valley startup story with two MIT students Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi creating a cloud storage solution that consumers around the world could use. With backing from Sequoia, they were able to raise a massive $250 million over two rounds of venture capital leading to their eventual public offering in 2018.
Over its 10-year history with Sequoia Capital, Dropbox grew its user base from the thousands back in 2007 to the hundreds of millions it currently boasts today. It was also able to build an enterprise game plan that allowed businesses and medium-sized organisations to make use of Dropbox’s cloud services too. As a result, they have revolutionised the way we store our data and now hold tenancy to many businesses’ back end operations and consumer products for home users.
Not only has Dropbox provided celebrated success for Sequoia’s investors and stakeholders but has become a mainstay of what every consumer thinks when they hear cloud storage – a remarkable feat for such a young company regardless if you factor in Sequoia’s help or not.
Slack is a cloud-based team collaboration tool that has become a major success story from Sequoia’s seed fund. Founded in 2013, Slack quickly grew to millions of users and has emerged as one of the most powerful collaboration tools for businesses seeking better communication within their team. It is estimated that Slack now boasts around 8 million active daily users and over 3 million paid customers.
Slack’s success can be primarily attributed to its many features, such as chat messaging, audio/video conferencing, file sharing and an app store with hundreds of integrations. In 2017, Microsoft tried to buy their competitor for $8 billion, but Slack declined the offer.
Sequoia took part in later stages of funding for Slack too – in 2017 they lead a whopping $250 million funding round.
This certainly demonstrates the power of Sequoia’s seed fund in helping startups reach great heights and further showcases one of the many success stories that have stemmed out of it!
The success story of Airbnb is perhaps Sequoia Capital’s biggest success story to date.
DoorDash is a food delivery startup that offers to deliver meals from restaurants to your door with the touch of a button. The company was founded in 2013 by Stanford students Tony Xu, Stanley Tang, Andy Fang, and Evan Moore. By 2019, DoorDash had grown to serve over 4,000 cities in the United States and Canada and has partnered with over 380,000 restaurants.
In 2018, the startup received $535 million in funding from Sequoia Capital’s Seed fund. With this investment boost and their strong growth trajectory, DoorDash rapidly expanded their services beyond just food delivery into eCommerce and opened up opportunities for other businesses with their open Business API service. These services enabled DoorDash to become one of the fastest growing companies nationwide with employee numbers reaching nearly 1,400 in just seven years of business.
Further boosting its growth trajectory after this SEED investment was an additional $400M Series G funding raised in 2020 – which helped DoorDash reach its highest valuation yet at $12.6 billion! DoorDash currently operates branch offices located in Canada and the United Kingdom as well as 8 key US cities:
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Miami/Fort Lauderdale
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