|Moritz (photo credit)|
Don Valentine, the founding partner of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, has long been skeptical of investments outside of Silicon Valley, but his younger partners, led by Michael Moritz, are shrugging him off, and are as active as ever — rampaging from China to Israel, Texas and Europe. Here’s the latest:
Sequoia invests in Qihoo, a Chinese Internet search engine — Sequoia joined CDH Investment and IDG Ventures to invest $20 million into Qihoo, a company that apparently competes with Google and Baidu in China. This is noteworthy since Sequoia is now tied to both Google and Qihoo. Remember, Sequoia partner Michael Moritz faced conflict while on the boards of both Google and Yahoo, and had to leave Yahoo’s board to resolve it. Doubt he’ll be leaving Google anytime soon.
Sequoia invests in VoIP company, Jajah — Jajah is run by an Austrian duo (seen at left). Sequoia has brought the legal headquarters of the company back to Sequoia’s own digs at Menlo Park.
Sequoia, living up to its aggressive reputation, reportedly takes no more than 20 days to close the deal after the first meeting with founders Roman Scharf and Daniel Mattes. Jajah is yet another web-based VoIP service, but with a twist. It works from your PC. You enter the number you want to call on Jajah’s Web page. Then you add your own number. Jajah then calls back and puts the call through. It is not free, though. It is merely discounted. So we think the bet here is on the convenience factor.
Sequoia invests in yet another VoIP company — Surprise, we were just talking about managing conflicts. Well, this time it is Sipera Systems, of Texas. Sequoia joins a couple of other venture firms to invest $13.2 million in the company, which is focused on VoIP security. So at least it is playing in a slightly different area than Jijah, and for that matter, Google, which is also exploring more VoIP options with GoogleTalk, etc.
AdBrite raises $8M more in cash — The San Francisco-based online advertising company first grabbed our attention with its simplicity: It lets your Web site display a box saying basically “advertise here,” and then lets advertisers hook up with you. Sequoia Capital, existing investor, led this second round. As you may recall, Adbrite is run by F***kedCompany.com founder Philip Kaplan.