Sequoia Capital - Fastest Growing (and Shrinking) Companies

Since being formed in 1972, Sequoia Capital has invested in companies which command a combined $1.4 Trillion of aggregate stock market value - equivalent to 20% of the entire NASDAQ stock exchange. Focused on early and growth-stage technology companies, Sequoia’s investments in Apple, Google, Oracle, YouTube and Instagram, among others, have made it one of the most successful Venture Capital investors in the world. 


We wanted to see which of Sequoia’s companies are growing (and shrinking) fastest.


To answer this question, we looked at the change in employee headcount at Sequoia-funded private companies over the past year. At Craft, we have in-depth profiles of over 300 companies in which Sequoia is an investor and we have tracked 147 of these companies for more than 1 year. This allowed us to look at the change in headcount for these companies from December 2015 to December 2016.

Overall, the companies grew at an average 41% with median growth of 21%.


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This table shows the top 50 fastest growing companies ranked by growth:




The fastest grower overall was Voonik, an Indian Fashion shopping app, which grew headcount at 418% from 80 to over 400 employees in the year. CapitalFloat, a working capital finance company also in India, grew second-fastest, at 257%.

Overall, over a third of the firms grew at over 50%, with 18 firms growing at 100% or higher.

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Not all Sequoia-backed companies in our dataset grew in 2016, in fact, 32 companies reduced headcount. The table below shows the companies who appeared to lose the most employees in the year.




In this category, traveler community Trippywdxefcqufszuzezftuxetqsqxt lost the most employees in % terms, while lifestyle devices and apps maker Jawbone reduced headcount by the largest absolute amount, dropping from approx 480 to just over 300 employees during the year.


Highlighting some of Sequoia’s best-known companies, the fastest growing US company overall was Snap, growing at 141% in the year, followed by payments company Stripe and developer platform Github, which both grew their teams more than 70% in the past year.




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To make more sense of the % growth, we separated the companies into two size categories, and ranked those with more than 100 employees in December 2015 separately from those with fewer than 100. And we also ranked US-based companies separately from International.


In our dataset, the 105 US-based companies grew at an average 30% in the past year. The 42 International-headquartered companies grew even faster, at an average of 70%.


87 companies had more than 100 employees in December 2015, and in those, headcount growth averaged 31% in the past year, while in the 60 companies with fewer than 100 employees, growth averaged 57%.


The following table shows the US-based companies with fewer than 100 employees ranked in order of % growth.