The Hustle

A VC heavyweight just walked away from a $21m investment. Huh?

Sequoia Capital realized that it had 2 buzzy payments startups in its portfolio. Maybe there’s only room for 1.

March 10, 2020

Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

It seems like the kind of pickle that might only happen in Startupland.

One of the biggest names in venture capital pours $21m into a buzzy payments startup. Then it realizes 1 of the other major companies in its portfolio… is also a buzzy payments startup. Danger, Will Robinson!

What do you do? If you’re Sequoia Capital, you say: Finix, keep the (giant chunk of) change.

It’s a curious case of a confounding conflict of interest…

… and TechCrunch got the scoop. A brief recap:

TechCrunch said Sequoia had never backed out of an announced deal in its nearly 5-decade history.

Soooo… Why the heck did this deal fall apart?

It’s hard to know for sure, but people have theories. Business Insider said the competition between Stripe and Finix was heating up. VC Starter Kit laid out a few possibilities:

Also: How much does $21m even matter? The windfall was a big deal to Finix, obviously, but to major investors, does it just feel like a Venmo payment?

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