Thursday 19 March 2020 3:05 pm

Sequoia Capital seeking $7bn to invest in US and Asian funds

Sequoia Capital is seeking $7bn for its latest set of venture capital funds, with a focus on start-ups in the US and Asia, as global markets are rocked by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Silicon Valley firm is seeking commitments for multiple funds in the US, China and India, according to the Financial Times. The fundraising could close as soon as July even as the markets descend into turmoil, prompted by the pandemic.

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Sequoia’s plans reportedly include a larger arsenal for investments in China, a venture capital market, which deflated somewhat last year and was hit by the outbreak of coronavirus.

Social distancing and quarantine measures, as well as widespread travel restrictions, has boosted a number of technology companies, particularly those in China.

Earlier this month the firm said the coronavirus pandemic represents a “black swan” event, meaning an unexpected disruption with widespread financial impact. It warned start-ups in its portfolio to prepare for an economic downturn. It urged firms to preserve cash and anticipate a change in consumer habits.

In the memo, Sequoia said: “Having weathered every business downturn for nearly 50 years, we’ve learned an important lesson – nobody ever regrets making fast and decisive adjustments to changing circumstances.”

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“In downturns, revenue and cash levels always fall faster than expenses. In some ways, business mirrors biology. As Darwin surmised, those who survive “are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.”

Some of Sequoia’s investments had planned public listings this year, including the food delivery business Doordash and Airbnb.