VC gi­ant Se­quoia eyes West End of­fice to back UK firms

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Technology Intelligen­ce - By Han­nah Boland

SIL­I­CON Val­ley ven­ture cap­i­tal ti­tan Se­quoia Cap­i­tal has been hunt­ing for a new Lon­don of­fice, as it read­ies to dou­ble down on in­vest­ments in Europe.

The Daily Tele­graph un­der­stands that Se­quoia has been search­ing for be­tween 4,000 and 6,000 sq ft of space across one floor, prefer­ably in the West End of Lon­don. How­ever, sources said the com­pany was still look­ing at mul­ti­ple op­tions across the city.

The ven­ture cap­i­tal firm, which in the past backed names in­clud­ing Ap­ple, Google and Airbnb, is un­der­stood to be aim­ing to lease the new space rather than buy. Se­quoia de­clined to com­ment.

The push to find space for the new team came af­ter it emerged last week that Se­quoia had hired its sec­ond Euro­pean part­ner, to start later this month.

Ge­orge Robson, Revo­lut’s prod­uct lead, wrote on Twit­ter that he would be join­ing the firm at a time when there was “more op­por­tu­nity and in­no­va­tion [in Europe] than ever”. He joins Lu­ciana Lixan­dru, who Se­quoia an­nounced ear­lier this year would be head­ing up the team. Ms Lixan­dru had pre­vi­ously been a part­ner at Euro­pean firm Ac­cel, lead­ing in­vest­ments in com­pa­nies in­clud­ing De­liv­eroo.

She would be start­ing in the post in Septem­ber, it had said.

Se­quoia, a well-re­garded name in the VC space, has been mak­ing more in­vest­ments in Bri­tish com­pa­nies in re­cent years, although up un­til now it has not had a part­ner based in the UK and has been fly­ing in part­ners to han­dle those deals.

Matt Miller, for ex­am­ple, man­ages Se­quoia’s in­vest­ment in AI semi­con­duc­tor firm Graph­core. Sources sug­gested Mr Miller may be plan­ning to re­lo­cate to the Lon­don of­fice.

Se­quoia is not the only North Amer­i­can VC firm which has been ramp­ing up work in the UK, and Inovia Cap­i­tal placed Pa­trick Pichette, now Twit­ter chair­man, in Lon­don last year.

Mr Pichette told The Tele­graph that Inovia was work­ing so “that the big play­ers don’t take them out when in fact those com­pa­nies can ac­tu­ally cre­ate the next 25,000 jobs in the UK”.

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