Facebook CEO Zuckerberg’s $6.4bn Apology To Sequoia Capital


They say what goes around comes around, and it looks like the tit for tat in the long-running feud between Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Sequoia Capital is finally over. Zuckerberg made the final curtsy in the dust up, but Sequoia took home a $6.4 billion dollar profit thanks to their investment in the just-acquired social media start up WhatsApp.

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg's $6.4bn Apology To Sequoia Capital

Zuckerberg “pranked” Sequoia

The history of bad blood between Zuckerberg and Sequoia Capital dates back to 2004. Sean Parker (of Napster fame) was a friend of Zuckerberg’s. Parker had been involved in a deal with Sequoia on another startup that went sour, and Zuckerberg was on Parker’s side that he had been screwed by Sequoia.

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Given his feelings about Sequoia, Zuckerberg was surprised when he was approached by the firm in 2004 when he was looking for investors in another start up called Wirehog. He decided that although he was definitely not going to take money from Sequoia, he was going to prank the starchy pirate bankers. So he set up a “meeting” with Sequoia.

And quite a meeting it was. For starters, Zuckerberg showed up almost half an hour late to the 8 a.m. meeting, and he walked in wearing pajamas. Then, he began making a PowerPoint presentation titled “The Top Ten Reasons You Should Not Invest.”

A few of the reasons on his list:

  • “We have no revenue.”
  • “We will probably get sued by the music industry.”
  • “We showed up at your office late in our pajamas.”
  • “Because Sean Parker is involved.”
  •  “We’re only here because [a Sequoia partner] told us to come”

Needless to say, the two sides did not discuss any further deals for quite some time.

What goes around, comes around

Zuckerberg eventually began to have regrets about his prank. In 2010, he told David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect, “I assume we really offended them and now I feel really bad about that.”

Well, it appears that Mark certainly knows how to give an apology. Given the $19 billion that Facebook just paid for WhatsApp, and the fact that Sequoia will take home around $6.4 billion for their just under 40% share of the company, they are probably more than happy to kiss and make up with Zuckerberg.

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