Sequoia avoids London’s Mayfair to open an workplace in Marylebone
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LONDON – Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia is going against the grain with its new London office.
The tech investor, who benefited from early betting at companies like Google and Apple, avoided London’s exclusive Mayfair neighborhood and decided to open a store in nearby Marylebone – a fashionable corner of west London with Georgian streets and “posh vibes” . “According to TimeOut. It is also the home of the fictional private detective Sherlock Holmes.
“Sequoia has signed a lease for a London office in the Fitzrovia / Marylebone area and is currently working on the design / furnishings,” said a company spokesman. “As soon as this is done and of course the suspension allows it, they are very excited to be able to move in.”
The company currently has a number of desks in a shared office in Fitzrovia. However, the new office will be its own dedicated space.
“We are delighted to have signed a 10-year lease for our new London office. This reflects Sequoia’s deep commitment to growing our presence in Europe and partnering with the brightest and best founders across the continent,” said Sequoia -Partner Luciana Lixandru.
Many of the city’s largest tech investors are based in Mayfair, including SoftBank, Index Ventures, Accel, and Atomico.
Sequoia partner Matt Miller was quick to sack the dazzling neighborhood when CNBC asked him where the company was planning to open its new London office in November. “It’s definitely not Mayfair,” Miller said. “The reason for our goal is to get in contact with founders.”
The VC firm started in an “amazing location” next to Stanford University on Sand Hill Road, California in the 1970s, Miller said. “In a way, it’s become a cumbersome, successful place, but it’s still wonderful to be so close to Stanford.”
When Sequoia opened an office in San Francisco, it went to the mission district, which Miller said had “a lot of startups.” He said Sequoia wanted to look somewhere in London where founders would be comfortable to spend time.
“We said no to Mayfair from the start,” he said. “It’s a beautiful part of town, no question about it, but it’s just not the mood we’re looking for with our companies.”
Miller said access to the city’s airports and the location of employees’ homes were other issues that were being considered.
The High Street Kensington area of West London is another hotbed of VC firms, where First Minute Capital and MMC Ventures are based, while King’s Cross is based at Balderton Capital and LocalGlobe.
Bet on Europe
Sequoia’s US team has invested hundreds of millions in European startups, including AI chip maker Graphcore, fintech company Klarna, flight finder Skyscanner, online makeup retailer Charlotte Tilbury, life science Cambridge Epigenetix and security company Tessian.
However, concerns are that some of the most promising startups may slip on the web in cities like London, Paris, Berlin and Stockholm – Sequoia missed startups like the AI lab DeepMind, which was sold to Google for $ 600 million in 2014 and chip designer Arm, which is currently being sold to Nvidia for $ 40 billion.
Alex Kayyal, a London-based Salesforce Ventures International partner, told CNBC that Sequoia is “one of the most respected venture firms in the world.” The fact that the company is officially established in Europe “can only be an endorsement here for entrepreneurs,” he said.