Meet Axios’ New Owners: Old-Money Atlanta Billionaires Hungry for the Next Big ThingRead More

Roelof Botha, partner at Sequoia Capital. Photo by Getty
Exclusive
Venture Capital Startups

Sequoia Warns Founders of ‘Crucible Moment,’ Advises How to ‘Avoid the Death Spiral’

Photo: Roelof Botha, partner at Sequoia Capital. Photo by Getty

Sand Hill Road’s doomsayer-in-chief—Sequoia Capital—is back with a warning to its startup founders: Don’t expect a recovery from the current market downturn to happen quickly.

Over the years, Sequoia, the venture firm behind Google, Apple and Airbnb, has developed a reputation as the tech industry’s Cassandra, through memos and presentations that it shared with the leaders of its portfolio companies during past macroeconomic crises. In 2008, that took the form of a 56-slide survival guide to the Great Recession, entitled  “R.I.P. Good Times.” In early 2020, as the pandemic began upending the economy, Sequoia sent its founders a grim memo entitled, “Coronavirus: The Black Swan of 2020.”

Its latest warning to its portfolio companies takes the form of a 52-slide presentation, a copy of which was viewed by The Information. Sequoia described the current combination of turbulent financial markets, inflation and geopolitical conflict as a “crucible moment” of uncertainty and change. Sequoia told founders not to expect a speedy economic bounceback akin to what followed the start of the pandemic because, it warned, the monetary and fiscal policy tools that propelled that recovery “have been exhausted.”  The firm suggested founders move fast to extend runway and to fully examine the business for excess costs. “Don’t view [cuts] as a negative, but as a way to conserve cash and run faster,” they wrote. [Read the full presentation below.]

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
Man v. Machine AI
Can Creatives Survive the Future War Against Dall-e 2?
Illustration by Clark Miller
Earlier this year, Karen X. Cheng, a video director in San Francisco, was commissioned by a client to make an augmented reality dress for special events. The idea was to “hide” an animation of a beating heart within the dress, which an Instagram filter would reveal whenever a phone camera was pointed at the wearer’s chest. Cheng, who specializes in creating videos using...
Latest Briefs
 
Peloton Announces Job Cuts, Store Closures and Price Hikes
South Korea’s Mirae Asset Management Led $250 million SpaceX Investment
Founder of Crypto Exchange Houbi in Talks to Sell Stake for $1 Billion
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Viral Patel, global head of technology investing for Blackstone Credit. Art by Clark Miller.
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Blackstone Plans to Back Tech Startups in $2 Billion–Plus Lending Push
Private equity giant Blackstone is gearing up to make its first major push into lending to startups and technology companies—joining a corner of the debt market that’s quickly heating up.
Photo by Alaska Air Group.
Facebook
For Meta’s Next CFO Susan Li, Metaverse Dreams Mean Real-World Challenges
When Meta Platforms reported its first-ever quarterly revenue decline last month, the Facebook parent company also made a key promotion with little fanfare: 36-year-old finance executive Susan Li would become chief financial officer in the fall, replacing longtime CFO Dave Wehner, who held the role for eight years and would transition to a strategy role.
Art by Josh Brill
Exclusive Asia Startups
TikTok’s $4 Billion Advertising Machine Is Messy Behind the Scenes
Two years ago, social media sensation TikTok came up with a slogan to prod brands to be more authentic in their advertisements on the app: “Don’t Make Ads.
Enterprise Power List Venture Capital Enterprise
Introducing The Information’s Enterprise Tech Power List
The biggest battle in tech is happening where most consumers can’t see it: the cloud. And a new cast of executives and investors are increasingly calling the shots—making decisions about the future of the battle with trillions of dollars at stake.
Art by Clark Miller.
Venture Capital Startups
Venture Capital’s Limited Partners Warn of Fundraising Slowdown
The era of easy money could be over for venture capital firms. Although VC fundraising has so far matched last year’s brisk pace, limited partners—the people and institutions that invest in VC funds—say a slowdown is afoot.
Art by Laurent Hrybyk
Opinion AI Policy
AI Is Transforming How We Bank—and Regulators Need Help to Keep Up
Crypto may be hogging headlines, but it’s far from the only technological innovation causing problems for financial regulators.