Sequoia India rejigs structure: Separate team for early and mature stage deals


Sequoia Capital has been a formidable venture capital (VC) firm that counts its presence in India for about 12 years. It manages over $3.2 billion of investment that includes portfolio such as Zomato, Just Dial, Grofers and Byju’s amongst many others.

However, lately – everything is not right with the VC firm. Mired by lack of exits and back to back departure of managing director – including Gautam Mago and VT Bhardwaj, the structural reorganisation was expected at Sequoia India.

Now, the internal reorganisation seems to be visible as Sequoia India has split the operation into two divisions –  Venture and Growth. While the Venture arm would look after early-stage investments and being headed by Mohit Bhatnagar, Growth vertical would make investments in late stage companies.

Growth vertical is headed by GV Ravishankar. So far, no separate fund has carved out for both teams and they would keep investing from Sequoia India fund. To strengthen its team, the VC firm is roping ex Tencent India investment head, Tejeshwi Sharma.

Realign its focus on the country, Sequoia had trimmed its recent fund size (sixth in a row) by 30 per cent. Following the decision, Sequoia India had deferred plan to raise a billion USD worth VI India focused fund. Instead, it closed $700 million corpus.

The venture capital firm is also investing in Southeast Asia-based startups from the fresh fund. Shailendra Singh who was a part of Sequoia India investing team had moved to Singapore to accelerate firm’s investment in the region.

The internal split at Sequoia India seems to have done with the strategy of laying concentrated focus on early stage as well as matured deal funnels. The reorganisation also makes sense as strategies for making investments between both stages differ a lot.

Sequoia follows the playbook of having separate teams for early and growth stage in the US and China. In fact, it has been raising separate fund for both in other geographies.

The development was reported by ET.

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