Sequoia, the venture capital firm known for early bets on everything from Apple and Google to WhatsApp and Dropbox, is setting a high bar to get into its upcoming global growth fund: $250 million.
That’s the minimum check size required for limited partners to participate in the fund, which is aiming to raise up to $8 billion, said sources familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the fundraising is confidential. Sources told CNBC that amount is three to four times bigger than what top funds typically get from their biggest limited partners.
Sequoia, long considered the gold standard among venture firms, is holding its annual meeting for existing investors in Beijing in mid-April, sources said, as China becomes a bigger emphasis. The event is typically held in San Francisco, though the firm has held one previous meeting in Beijing.
Sequoia is targeting the end of the second quarter to close both the global growth fund and a half-dozen smaller funds, the sources said. In total, Sequoia is in the process of raising up to $12 billion for the global growth fund, as well as multiple funds in the U.S. and China (growth and venture) and one in India. The Wall Street Journal reported on the numerous funds earlier this month, including the effort to raise $8 billion for the growth fund.
The multi-tiered strategy will give Sequoia the flexibility to keep making early-stage bets while also writing mammoth checks at a time when start-up investing is all over the map, in terms of geography and the size of rounds.
Sequoia’s last global growth fund in 2015 reeled in $2 billion. That’s a big fund by Silicon Valley standards, but it’s dwarfed by the $100 billion Vision Fund that SoftBank rolled out last year. SoftBank has already invested over $7 billion in Uber, mostly buying stock from existing shareholders, and has put hundreds of millions of dollars into dog-walking start-up Wag and food delivery provider DoorDash, an early Sequoia investment. Internationally, the fund has taken big stakes in Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart and German online car dealer Auto1.
Source : CNBC