Alfred Lin

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Alfred Lin
Born Taiwan[1]
Alma mater Harvard University(B.A)
Stanford University(M.S.)
Occupation Partner at Sequoia Capital

Alfred Lin is an American venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital.[2][3][4] Lin was the COO, CFO, and Chairman of until 2010.[5][6]

Early Career & Zappos[edit]

Lin holds a B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard and a M.S. in Statistics from Stanford.[7] While at Harvard, Lin met Tony Hsieh, the future CEO of Zappos.[8] Hsieh first recognized Lin's business acumen while running a student-owned pizza parlor at Harvard. Lin, his best customer, was buying whole pizzas, splitting them into slices, and selling them for a profit.[8] In 1996, Lin dropped out of a Ph.D program at Stanford to join Hsieh at LinkExchange as CFO.[2] 18 months later LinkExchange sold to Microsoft for $265 million.[9] Later, before joining Zappos, Lin was the VP of Finance and Business Development of Tellme Networks (MSFT). With Tony Hsieh he also co-founded Venture Frogs, an incubator and investment firm.[10] Venture Frogs invested in a variety of tech and Internet startups, including Ask Jeeves, OpenTable, Tellme Networks, and Zappos.[11][11]

From 2005 to 2010 Lin was an integral part of Zappos, taking the roles of Chairman, COO, and CFO.[7] At Zappos Lin was "No. 2 in command", responsible for all financial, administrative, and warehouse operations.[12] He was also responsible for company growth and scaling, bringing the company to its first profitable year in 2006 and to's acquisition of the company in 2009 for $1.2 billion.[3][13][14][15] According to TechCrunch, "Hsieh made at least $214 million; Lin made at least $18 million, with the Venture Frogs shares netting an additional $163 million."[16]

Lin left Zappos in 2010 to join the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital as a partner.[17]

Sequoia Capital & Investments[edit]

TechCrunch has stated that Alfred has the "Midas touch", since "every company he’s worked for has been acquired, and the smallest deal was $265 million."[2] Lin's $265 million deal happened at LinkExchange, which was sold to Microsoft for $265M when he was VP of Finance and Administration and was the first company he ever joined.[18] Lin later helped Tellme Networks which was sold to Microsoft for $800 million.[19] After that, Lin helped from Zappos to later be acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion. Lin has invested in Airbnb, Achievers, Stella & Dot, Houzz, Humble Bundle, Kiwi, Romotive, Moovit, Styleseat, Uber, and Cardpool (acquired by Blackhawk Networks), AppBistro / MMTG Labs (acquired by InMobi), and SalesCrunch (acquired by ClearSlide.[20][21] He specializes in consumer internet, enterprise and mobile companies.[22]

Lin currently sits on the board of directors at Airbnb, Achievers, FutureAdvisor, Houzz, Humble Bundle, Stella & Dot, Kiwi, and Romotive and also works with Moovit and Trippy.[23][24]


In 2013, Forbes named Lin as one of the "30 Most Influential People in Tech."[25] Lin and his work have been profiled in national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, CNBC, Forbes, BusinessWeek, and Fortune Magazine.[4][26][27][28]


  1. ^ "Alfred Lin, Zappos Chairman and COO". meet innovators. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Arrington, Michael "Alfred Lin Has The Midas Touch: The Man With $2 Billion In Acquisitions Under His Belt", TechCrunch, July 28, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Arrington, Michael (April 9, 2010). "Alfred Lin To Leave Zappos, Join Sequoia Capital". TechCrunch. 
  4. ^ a b Rich, Motoko (April 8, 2011). "Why Is This Man Smiling?". New York Times. 
  5. ^ Manninen, JP (April 9, 2010). "These boots are made for walking: No. 2 executive leaves Zappos". VentureBeat. 
  6. ^ "Alfred Lin Zappos Profile". 
  7. ^ a b "LinkedIn Profile". LinkedIn. 
  8. ^ a b "I Am CNBC Tony Hsieh Transcript". CNBC. August 15, 2007. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ Ritchie, Josh. "10 Questions with Zappos COO/CFO, Alfred Lin". BuySight. 
  10. ^ Lee, Tom.Venture Frogs Internet Restaurant Logs on to the San Francisco Scene. Asian Week. August 17, 2000.
  11. ^ a b Nelson, Erik. Venture Frogs in a Cyber-Marsh. Profit Magazine. January 2000.
  12. ^ FOWLER, NINA. "VIDEO: Sequoia Capital partner Alfred Lin on Zappos, Zalando and solving hard problems". Venture Village. 
  13. ^ Stone, Brad (July 22, 2009). "Amazon's Expanding With Deal for Zappos". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ Wingfield, Nick (July 23, 2009). "Amazon Opens Wallet, Buys Zappos". Wall Street Journal. 
  15. ^ Rimm-Kaufman, Alan. "Alfred Lin: Zappos At Break-even Through 2005, Profitable in '06 and '07". RKG. 
  16. ^ Lacy, Sarah (July 27, 2009). "What Everyone Made from the Zappos Sale". TechCrunch. 
  17. ^ Cook, John (April 9, 2010). "Zappos COO Alfred Lin to leave for Sequoia Capital in early 2011". Puget Sound Business Journal. 
  18. ^ "Alfred Lin CrunchBase Profile". CrunchBase. 
  19. ^ Malik, Om. "Tellme Price – $800 Million, or More". Gigaom. 
  20. ^ Ha, Anthony (October 15, 2010). "UberCab raises $1.25M to end your futile search for taxis". VentureBeat. 
  21. ^ "SalesCrunch Gathers $1.4M From First Round, Accel And Angels". January 12, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Bio: Alfred Lin", Sequoia Capital
  23. ^ Thomas, Owen. "Airbnb Finally Lands The Zappos Veteran It's Eyed For Years". Business Insider. 
  24. ^ "Bloomberg Businessweek Profile". Bloomberg Businessweek. 
  25. ^ Prive, Tanya (January 7, 2013). "The 30 Most Influential People in Tech". Forbes. 
  26. ^ Chapman, Lizette. "VC in 2013: Sequoia's Alfred Lin on Not Lamenting the 'Series A Crunch'". Wall Street Journal. 
  27. ^ Greene, Rebecca. "Zappos Chairman Alfred Lin Asks HBS MBAs to Think Big, Follow Their Passion, and Pay Attention to Details". Harvard Business School. 
  28. ^ "Profile: Alfred Lin". Forbes. 

External links[edit]