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Sequoia Said to Beat $975 Million Goal for Venture Funds

Sequoia Capital, a Silicon Valley venture-capital firm that backed Apple Inc., Yahoo! Inc. and Google Inc., is set to exceed its combined goal of $975 million for a trio of new early-stage funds, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Sequoia plans next month to complete raising money for early-stage venture capital funds focused on the U.S., China and Israel, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the funds are private. The Menlo Park, California-based firm has been able to keep a 30 percent cut of profits on the new funds, known as carried interest, the people said.

Sequoia Capital, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, has been an early backer of some of the biggest names in the technology industry. The firm reaped profits through the initial public offering of Apple in the 1980s, the IPOs of Cisco Systems Inc. and Yahoo in the 1990s, and Google’s public-market debut in the past decade. It more recently benefited from investments in LinkedIn Corp., Palo Alto Networks Inc. and ServiceNow Inc.

Mark Dempster, a Sequoia spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Sequoia is raising separate funds for each geography, departing from the structure of the predecessor, the people said. Sequoia Capital 2010 LP, which raised more than $1 billion, makes early and growth investments in the U.S. and China, according to a July 2010 summary of the fund from the University of Michigan Regents. The firm has always raised separate funds for Israel.

This time, Sequoia is seeking $450 million for its U.S. early-stage fund and separately targeting $325 million for a China-focused early-stage fund, said the people. The firm is seeking $200 million for Sequoia Capital Israel V LP, an early-stage fund mainly focused on information technology.

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