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Sequoia Most Successful Global Startup Investor The Hurun Global Venture Capitalists 2022 Half-Year Report offers a ranking of the world's most successful venture capital investors based on the number of unicorns and gazelles in their portfolio

By Soumya Duggal

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Silicon Valley-founded Sequoia Capital is the most successful startup investor in the world, investing into 328 of the world's unicorns and gazelles, up 43 from last year, according to a new report released by UK-headquartered Hurun Research Institute.

The Hurun Global Venture Capitalists 2022 Half-Year Report offers a ranking of the world's most successful venture capital investors based on the number of unicorns and gazelles in their portfolio. The cut-off date used was June 30, 2022. Hurun Research has been tracking unicorns and venture capitalists since 2017.

Unicorns and gazelles represent the cream of the world's startups. Both are startups founded in the 2000s and not yet listed on a public exchange. While a unicorn has a valuation of over $1 billion, a gazelle is worth over $500 million and most likely to 'go unicorn' within three years.

There are 1,933 unicorns and gazelles in the world today, of which 1312 are unicorns and 621 are gazelles, according to the latest Hurun report. Sequoia, SoftBank and Tiger Global make up the world's 'Big Three' venture capitalists.

Among the most successful global startup investors, Sequoia Capital is top by a long shot. Key bets include ByteDance, Shein, Vision Energy, Canva, Stripe, Instacart, Chime, FTX, BYJU's and Citadel Securities. Investment legend Don Valentine founded Sequoia Capital in Menlo Park 50 years ago, just as the term 'Silicon Valley' was being coined and winning big with the likes of Google, points out the report. Today, Sequoia Capital includes Sequoia USA/Europe, Sequoia China, and Sequoia India/Southeast Asia, three independently operated localized funds.

Japan's SoftBank has invested into 217 unicorns and gazelles, overtaking Tiger Global to reach the second place in the Hurun report. Reputed founder Masayoshi Son is known for placing big bets on startups, making his name especially with Alibaba. Other recent notable investments include Revolut, OYO, Better.com, Automation Anywhere, Biofourmis, Kushki, Material Bank, Agile Robots and Ola Electric.

New York-based Tiger Global manages over $20 billion and benefitted from the rise in share prices of tech companies such as Zoom during the pandemic. Founded in 2001 by Chase Coleman III, Tiger Global was one of the earliest VCs to invest in startups across the world and has notable unicorns in its kitty such as Databricks, Brex, Checkout.com, Stripe, Dream11, BlockFi and ServiceTitan.

Other names among Hurun's list of top 10 global investors include Shenzhen-based Tencent Investment (which has so far funded more than 1,300 companies worldwide), Beijing-headquartered CICC Capital (which has invested into 115 global unicorns and gazelles), US-based Accel Partners (which made its name especially with Facebook), US tech startup accelerator Y Combinator (which had early successes with Dropbox, Airbnb, Stripe, and Reddit, among others), Menlo Park-based Andreessen Horowitz and Lightspeed, as well as New York-based Insight.

Moreover, the latest report by Hurun notes that in the first six months of the year, CICC added 41 unicorns to its portfolio, while SoftBank added 34, Sequoia added 28, and Temasek added 26 unicorns. In the same period, Sequoia, CICC and Y Combinator added 15, 11 and 11 gazelles to their portfolio.

"For most investors, managing to find just one of the Hurun Unicorns or Hurun Gazelles is enough for a lifetime, but the Hurun global venture capitalists make it look easy, investing into hundreds of the world's current crop of best start-ups. They have shown that they are not just a one-trick pony, getting lucky once with a big win and then coasting on their reputation," said Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher Rupert Hoogewerf.

Soumya Duggal

Former Feature Writer

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