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Business News/ Companies / Sequoia Capital witnesses departures of long-time partner Michael Moritz, other key partners
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Sequoia Capital witnesses departures of long-time partner Michael Moritz, other key partners

Sequoia Capital, the prestigious venture capital firm, is undergoing significant changes with the departure of several partners, including long-time partner Michael Moritz. Sequoia Capital Michael Moritz, Sheds Two Crypto Investors

Sequoia Capital, the prestigious venture capital firm, has experienced significant changes with the departure of at least five investors, including veteran partner Michael MoritzPremium
Sequoia Capital, the prestigious venture capital firm, has experienced significant changes with the departure of at least five investors, including veteran partner Michael Moritz

Sequoia Capital, the world's most prestigious venture capital firm, has undergone significant transformations in the past year, marked by market turbulence, restructuring, and the departure of at least five investors.

Veteran partner Michael Moritz will be leaving the venture firm to shift his focus to Sequoia Heritage, a wealth management enterprise he co-founded. Joining him in the exit are senior partner Mike Vernal, investor Michelle Fradin one of the firm’s investors behind FTX, and partners Kais Khimji and Daniel Chen.

Moritz, who has been a prominent figure at Sequoia since 1986, will play a more advisory role at Sequoia Heritage, a fund with assets exceeding $15 billion, established in 2010. A significant portion of his family foundation, Crankstart, is also invested in Heritage.

Although Moritz will continue to serve on the boards of various Sequoia-backed companies, he will gradually transition out of these roles over time, as mentioned in a communication to investors by the firm.

Also read: Why Sequoia Capital is sawing off its Chinese branch

Roelof Botha, representing Sequoia, expressed deep appreciation for Michael Moritz's invaluable contributions to the firm, “We are immensely grateful for all of Michael’s contributions." Sequoia’s Roelof Botha said , “He helped establish Sequoia as one of the leading technology investment groups in the world."Moritz's past investments in companies like Google and PayPal have played a pivotal role in establishing Sequoia as a prominent technology investment group worldwide.

While Sequoia has historically achieved remarkable returns since its inception in 1972, the firm encountered some recent challenges. The firm faced substantial reputational damage due to its involvement in FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange that collapsed, resulting in a loss of $214 million from its global growth fund.

Also read: Sequoia Capital pares stake in Go Fashions, Societe Generale, Kuwait Investment Authority Fund, others buy

Among the recent departures were investors with a focus on cryptocurrency investments. Fradin, a relatively junior partner, played a key role in the FTX investment decision, while Chen whose Twitter bio describes him as a “crypto maxi."

Other partners who have left the firm include Khimji, who joined in 2019, focusing on later-stage companies, and Vernal, who joined the firm in 2016. Vernal will take some time off, according to sources familiar with the matter. Despite the departure, Vernal will maintain his board seats, reported Bloomberg.

Sequoia made significant news earlier when it announced a major split with its operations in China and India. The decision was influenced in part by the increasing geopolitical tensions between Silicon Valley and China. The firm also spun off Sequoia Heritage in the process, where Moritz holds a founding limited partner and board member position.

According to Sequoia's latest filing with the SEC, its total venture assets, which are separate from Sequoia Heritage and hedge fund businesses, amount to $55.58 billion. This figure marks a slight increase from $53.29 billion from the previous quarter but is notably lower than the $85 billion reported in March 2022. 

(With inputs from Bloomberg)

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Published: 20 Jul 2023, 07:28 AM IST
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