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Sequoia India promotes five to partnership 

Sequoia India has promoted five investors to Managing Director, beefing up its leadership during an unprecedented startup boom.

Mumbai / July 30, 2021 / 03:06 PM IST

Sequoia Capital India has promoted five investors from Principal to Managing Director, strengthening its leadership during an unprecedented startup and funding boom in India

Sequoia has promoted Ashish Agarwal and Harshjit Sethi from the venture team, and Tejeshwi Sharma, Sakshi Chopra and Ishan Mittal from the growth team, the firm said on July 30. 

The promotions mean Sequoia India now has 12 partners/ managing directors in India and Southeast Asia, unheard of in any Indian venture firm. Older partners include Shailandra Singh, GV Ravishankar, Mohit Bhatnagar, Abheek Anand, Shailesh Lakhani, Rajan Anandan and Amit Jain.

Managing directors typically earn more than every other class of investors at venture firms, and have the highest percentage of profits or carry allocated to them when a firm makes profitable exits from investments.

VC investors have two forms of income- management fee- akin to salaries, and the money that a fund spends on day-to-day activities, administration and hiring. After a venture fund’s expenses, the remaining management fee is also distributed among partners. This will be a new benefit that the promoted principals will get.

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Carry, however, is generally meant to be the biggest source of wealth for venture capitalists, earned when a company is sold or goes public.

“Today, we are excited to announce significant additions to our leadership team at Sequoia India, a move that underscores our commitment to serve founders better across stages and sectors. It also deepens our ability to partner with a growing number of high potential companies in the region,” Sequoia said.

All the new partners have been long-term Sequoia investors, and have grown from Associate, the entry-level full-time position at VC funds. Tejeshwi Sharma joined the firm in 2012, only leaving to invest with Chinese giant Tencent from 2017, a year after which he returned to Sequoia.

The rest have been at the firm for nearly a decade.

“Our true north at Sequoia India is to relentlessly focus on helping founders win. These new promotions are yet another step in that direction. Our new Managing Directors bring close to 40 years of collective experience working with over 50 startups in this region, and we think they will make very impactful contributions to the journeys of some of the most important startups in our region,” Sequoia said.

VC firms generally promote investors along with a new fund. For example, except Sharma, the other five investors were promoted to Principal in 2018, when Sequoia announced its $695 million sixth fund.

Being promoted outside the fund cycle may mean that the new investors' full benefits may kick in only from Sequoia India's next fund, likely to be raised next year.
M. Sriram
first published: Jul 30, 2021 03:06 pm
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