Inside Sequoia’s $2.85-bn fund and future of Surge

Inside Sequoia’s $2.85-bn fund and future of Surge

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Aditi Shrivastava

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Madhav Chanchani

108 reads
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Aditi Shrivastava

139 reads
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Madhav Chanchani

108 reads

After delivering $4 billion in liquidity in 2021, Sequoia’s India and Southeast Asia units have had a rough start to 2022, with multiple controversies at their portfolio companies. The VC fund is now pushing for stricter vigilance and reshaping its early-stage investment strategy

June 15, 2022

9 MINS READ

Venture-capital heavyweight Sequoia arrived at the moment of announcing its record cash haul this week after throwing off tech watchers with a stunning head fake (the sports version).

Just last month, Sequoia reportedly wrote to its limited partners, or investors, that it was pausing fundraising for its India and Southeast Asia corpus, which had a target of $2.85 billion. A probe into potential misconduct at a portfolio company appeared to have forced its hand.

This surprised India’s startup ecosystem, already coping with leaner times. The development suggested that Sequoia was increasingly getting caught in the undertow of governance problems at companies it bankrolls, mainly BharatPe, Zilingo and Trell. Most people assumed it might delay the fund’s closing by at least a quarter.

The guess was completely off the mark.

On June 2, just two weeks after the reports of Sequoia’s tentativeness, it quietly made a disclosure before Wall Street’s regulator, SEC, that it had amassed cash for the fund. It made a public announcement for the same on Tuesday (June 14), finishing a seeming manoeuvre that caught everyone unawares.

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