View was set up in 1972 in Menlo Park, California, by Don Valentine as a venture capital firm. He was an Italian immigrant who worked in Silicon Valley as a sales executive. Valentine had a knack of identifying business leaders. This ability to pick up future successful business owners helped Valentine to grow his venture capital firm. Not many people know that Sequoia Capital once bankrolled Steve Jobs. This happened in 1978 when Steve Jobs was in the process of setting up Apple, the giant tech company of modern times. Valentine later said that Jobs smelled odd and looked like Ho Chi Minh.
New partners with different backgrounds
Control of Sequoia Capital passed into hands of Leon and Moritz in mid 1990’s. Moritz was a graduate from Oxford who wrote for Time for some time. On the other hand, Leon was a mechanical engineer from Cornell University who had a stint with Hewlett Packard for a brief time period. It took Moritz just 2 years to become a full partner at Sequoia Capital while this time period for Leon was 5 years. Both these men are thorough professionals and very decisive in their decision taking ability.
A challenge to pick up winners
Both Moritz and Leon agree that it is a challenge for them every time they decide to invest in a company. It is a battle against odds and very thrilling to prove others wrong say Leon and Moritz. It is a rush bigger than anything else for both the partners of Sequoia Capital.
Leon is the dominant partner nowadays
Over the past few years, Leon has become the senior partner while Moritz has gone into the background, having been afflicted by a mysterious illness. Today, Sequoia Capital receives more than 200 applications every month but decides to invest in only 2 companies.