Big Exits Lead to Giant Fund for Sequoia

Fresh off a year of acquisitions and IPOs that promise to fill its coffers with more than $2 billion, Sequoia Capital has raised more than $1.35 billion for its newest fund, Sequoia Capital 2010, according to an SEC filing.

The SEC filing, first reported on by Fortune, lists it 19 GPs in Sequoia’s Menlo Park, Calif., and China offices. Not listed as GP is longtime partner Mark Kvamme, who announced in January that he has taken an economic development job as the interim director of the Ohio Department of Development. Kvamme said at the time that he has stepped down from his GP role and plans to return to Sequoia full-time at a later date. Kvamme joined Sequoia in 1999.

Sequoia had no official comment about the fund, but a source at the firm who asked not to be named tells VCJ that the big news about its new fund is actually old news. The fund was raised around a year ago, but the press-shy firm didn’t tell anyone about it. The only reason it’s news now is because Sequoia had to file a regulatory document about the fund with the SEC, the source says.

That Sequoia was able to raise such a large fund is hardly a surprise, given the many liquidity events it enjoyed last year. Nine of its portfolio companies went public on U.S. exchanges in 2010, collectively raising proceeds of $934 million, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of Venture Capital Journal). See table of IPOs here

Sequoia’s stakes in just two of those portfolio companies are presently worth in excess of $970 million. (That doesn’t include the portfolio companies that went public on Asia exchanges.) In addition, Sequoia held stakes in eight startups that were acquired, three of which were sold for a combined $1.3 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. See table of acquisitions here

Sequoia did especially well on two IPOs. For example, it held 12.1 million shares (or a 35.6% stake) of prepaid card provider Green Dot (Nasdaq: GDOT), which went public in July. At a closing price of $63.20 per share on Jan. 25, Sequoia’s stake is worth about $765 million. (Green Dot raised a total of $80 million in venture capital prior to its IPO.)

Sequoia held an even larger stake in Chinese mail-order catalog company MecoxLane (Nasdaq: MCOX). At the time of MecoxLane’s IPO last October, Sequoia held 252.9 million American Depository Shares (or 62.5% of the company), with each ADS equal to seven ordinary shares. Even though MecoxLane’s ADS price has declined from $11 at the time of its IPO to $5.80 on Jan. 25, Sequoia’s shares are still worth $209 million.

Besides MecoxLane and Green Dot, other Sequoia-backed companies that went public on U.S. exchanges last year were: Alpha & Omega Semiconductor, AutoNavi Holdings, Beijing Polybona Film Distribution Co., Country Style Cooking Restaurant Chain Co., Le Gaga Holdings, Noah Private Wealth Management Centre Co. and SKY-MOBI.

On the M&A front, eight of Sequoia’s portfolio companies went public: AdMob, Beceem Communications, Cast Iron Systems, Challenge Online Games, Jajah, MedExpress Urgent Care, Storwize and Vendio Services. Acquisition prices were disclosed for only three of the companies: AdMob ($750 million), Beceem ($316 million) and Jajah (208 million), according to Thomson Reuters.

Sequoia also stands to hit it big when social networking site LinkedIn goes public this year, as is widely expected.—Constance Loizos and Lawrence Aragon