Major venture capital firm Sequoia Capital has seen the departure of five key partners, including two investors who were involved in the company’s failed investment in Sam Bankman-Fried’s bankrupt crypto exchange, FTX.
While Sequoia claimed that the collapse of FTX had no significant impact on the firm, the VC was accused of promoting FTX.
Sequoia Reports Departure of Five Investors
Sequoia Capital, which recently revealed its decision to split into three independent partnerships — with its businesses in China and India/Southeast Asia adopting new names by March 2024, while the US/Europe branch will retail the Sequoia Capital name — announced five investor departures, according to a note to limited partners on Wednesday (July 19, 2023) as seen by Bloomberg.
One of the notable departing partners is Michael Moritz, who has been with Sequoia Capital for nearly 40 years. Moritz will move to Sequoia Heritage, a wealth fund he helped found in 2010, and will assume a senior advisory capacity.
The Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital, Roelof Botha, acknowledged Moritz’s contribution to the company, stating that he helped establish the firm as one of the leading technology investment groups in the world. Partners Kais Khimji and Mike Vernal are also leaving the venture capital giant.
The remaining two departing investors are Michelle Fradin, who led Sequoia’s decision to invest in FTX, and partner Daniel Chen, who was previously at Andreessen Horowitz and describes himself as a “crypto maxi” according to his Twitter bio.
Sequoia Capital invested $213.5 million in FTX through its Global Fund Trust III and SCGE Fund. However, the investment did not prove fruitful following the collapse of what was one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the industry, FTX.
The venture capital firm subsequently marked down its investment to zero while stating that it conducted due diligence before making its investment. Sequoia further assured investors that its exposure to the bankrupt crypto exchange had no effect on the company.
Sequoia Faces Backlash for FTX Investment
However, Sequoia’s decision to invest in FTX has not been without criticism. In February, the firm, along with other VC companies, was accused in an investor lawsuit of promoting FTX, stating that they added an “air of legitimacy” to the collapsed crypto exchange.
FTX’s investment trading outfit Alameda Research recently reached a deal to sell its stake in Sequoia Capital to Abu Dhabi-based Al Nawwar Investments RSC Limited for $45 million.
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