VC Giant Sequoia Capital Shifts Focus to Europe to Hunt Startup Unicorns

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
VC Giant Sequoia Capital Shifts Focus to Europe to Hunt Startup Unicorns
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Sequoia Capital’s European wing will be closely working with its Melo Park headquarters in the US. Sequoia partner Matt Miller said that the company will establish a network of scouting investors in Europe to hunt for the next $100-billion in the continent.

One of the world’s biggest and very prestigious venture capital giants Sequoia Capital is now looking at Europe to hunt the next biggest startup unicorn. The company has already started working on establishing a small team of European investors. As per reports, Sequoia is also willing to lease an office in London in the next few weeks.

In a recent video call with CNBC, Sequoia partner Matt Miller told:

“Being physically on the ground … enables us to move more quickly … and to dramatically level up the effort. I was coming (to London) one week a month but you can only see and do so much. We felt that being on the ground would make a material difference in our ability to find opportunities earlier.”

Founded in 1972 in Menlo Park, California, Sequoia has been an early-stage investor in some of the most prestigious companies like Google and Apple. Miller also hinted that it’s time to shift focus from Silicon Valley to Europe as it is the next budding startup destination.

There are several European tech companies with already over $10 billion valuations. Miller said that people are curious about the next $100-billion startup coming from the European continent.

Sequoia is also in the early stages of setting up a scouting network of angel investors from Europe. This network will work on finding opportunities to invest in new companies. The company has a similar modus operandi in the U.S. Miller, however, added that Sequoia’s Melo Park team will be “intimately involved” with all European investors. He further noted:

“We were previously covering this from California and we’ve now added some incremental people so it doesn’t feel like it’s a team of four going to five, it feels like it’s a team of 24 going to 25”.

Sequoia in Europe

Note that Europe is not completely unchartered territory for Sequoia Capital. The VC giant already has some big investments in European startups like the FinTech firm Klarna and other startups like Graphcore, Skyscanner, Cambridge Epigenetix, Charlotte Tilbury, and Tessian.

While Miller didn’t disclose the new location of the London office, he confirmed that it won’t be in Mayfair, the London neighborhood for venture capital firms. Miller also didn’t confirm how much financial war chest the company holds to invest in Europe.

For its European office, Miller noted that they are ready to hire young talent. As Sequoia plans to step into London, it will be meeting with some very big competitors there. Google Ventures already has a dedicated team in Europe with five partners based out of London.

Interestingly, Sequoia’s European operations shall be closely linked to its US headquarters. Thus, unlike Sequoia India and Sequoia China, “Europe will not be its own distinctive breakout, a separate set of funds, it will be part of the US fund,” added Miller.

Looking at the global economic scenario, startups are looking for fresh capital to survive. This can be an opportune time for Sequoia to set up its new base.

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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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