Sequoia Capital’s 52-Page Deck on the Market Downturn

We do not believe that this is going to be another steep correction followed by an equally swift V-shaped recovery like we saw at the outset of the pandemic.

Sequoia Capital

Sequoia Capital is infamous for its memos and presentations it shares with its portfolio companies during macroeconomic crises (“R.I.P. Good Times” was for 2008; “Coronavirus: The Black Swan of 2020” was another).

Its latest warning, which was shared with 250 founders on May 16th, was called “Adapting to Endure.” In other words, 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 POV Master, 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 where:

  • Sequoia describes 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 bounce-back 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.

You can view the deck here and it is worth a skim to see what a top-tier Silicon Valley VC thinks about the current macro climate.

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