Alfred Lin

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Alfred Lin
TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019 - Day 3 Alfred Lin 1 cropped.jpg
Alma materHarvard University (B.A)
Stanford University (M.S.)
OccupationPartner at Sequoia Capital
ChildrenAtticus Lin (Son)

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 was born in Taiwan. At the age of six or seven, his parents immigrated to the New York area. [7] Lin attended the Stuyvesant High School in New York City[citation needed]. He holds a B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard and a M.S. in Statistics from Stanford.[citation needed] While at Harvard, Lin met Tony Hsieh, the future CEO of Zappos.[7] 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.[7] In 1996, Lin dropped out of a Ph.D program at Stanford to join Hsieh, Sanjay Mandan, and Ali Partovi at LinkExchange as CFO.[2] 18 months later LinkExchange sold to Microsoft for $265 million.[8] 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.[9] Venture Frogs invested in a variety of tech and Internet startups, including Ask Jeeves, OpenTable, Tellme Networks, and Zappos.[10]

From 2005 to 2010, Lin was Chairman, COO, and CFO.[citation needed] At Zappos, Lin was responsible for all financial, administrative, and warehouse operations.[11] 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][12][13][14] 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."[15]

Lin left Zappos in 2010 to join the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital as a partner.[16]

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 later helped Tellme Networks which was sold to Microsoft for $800 million.[17] After that, Lin helped form 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).[18][19][20] He specializes in consumer internet, enterprise and mobile companies.[21]

Lin was an early investor in Zipline, a medicine drone delivery company with operations in Rwanda.[22] He also invested in the Palo Alto-based security company Cobalt Robotics, and sits on its board of directors.[23]


In 2013, Forbes named Lin as one of the "30 Most Influential People in Tech."[24] Lin and his work have been profiled in national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, cThe New York Times, Harvard Business Review, CNBC, Forbes, BusinessWeek, and Fortune Magazine.[4][25][26][27]


  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 c "I Am CNBC Tony Hsieh Transcript". CNBC. August 15, 2007. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011.
  8. ^ Ritchie, Josh. "10 Questions with Zappos COO/CFO, Alfred Lin". BuySight. Archived from the original on 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
  9. ^ Lee, Tom.Venture Frogs Internet Restaurant Logs on to the San Francisco Scene Archived 2012-03-11 at the Wayback Machine. Asian Week. August 17, 2000.
  10. ^ Nelson, Erik. Venture Frogs in a Cyber-Marsh Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine. Profit Magazine. January 2000.
  11. ^ FOWLER, NINA. "VIDEO: Sequoia Capital partner Alfred Lin on Zappos, Zalando and solving hard problems". Venture Village. Archived from the original on 2013-12-14. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
  12. ^ Stone, Brad (July 22, 2009). "Amazon's Expanding With Deal for Zappos". The New York Times.
  13. ^ Wingfield, Nick (July 23, 2009). "Amazon Opens Wallet, Buys Zappos". Wall Street Journal.
  14. ^ Rimm-Kaufman, Alan. "Alfred Lin: Zappos At Break-even Through 2005, Profitable in '06 and '07". RKG.
  15. ^ Lacy, Sarah (July 27, 2009). "What Everyone Made from the Zappos Sale". TechCrunch.
  16. ^ Cook, John (April 9, 2010). "Zappos COO Alfred Lin to leave for Sequoia Capital in early 2011". Puget Sound Business Journal.
  17. ^ Malik, Om. "Tellme Price – $800 Million, or More". Gigaom.
  18. ^ "InMobi Acquires MMTG Labs, The Startup Behind AppBistro And AppGalleries". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-08-28.
  19. ^ Ha, Anthony (October 15, 2010). "UberCab raises $1.25M to end your futile search for taxis". VentureBeat.
  20. ^ "SalesCrunch Gathers $1.4M From First Round, Accel And Angels". January 12, 2011. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  21. ^ "Bio: Alfred Lin", Sequoia Capital
  22. ^ "Drone startup backed by Allen, Yang to deliver medical supplies in Rwanda". 2016.
  23. ^ "Cobalt Robotics Receives $13 Million Series A". Wall Street Journal. 2018-04-02. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  24. ^ Prive, Tanya (January 7, 2013). "The 30 Most Influential People in Tech". Forbes.
  25. ^ Chapman, Lizette. "VC in 2013: Sequoia's Alfred Lin on Not Lamenting the 'Series A Crunch'". Wall Street Journal.
  26. ^ Greene, Rebecca. "Zappos Chairman Alfred Lin Asks HBS MBAs to Think Big, Follow Their Passion, and Pay Attention to Details". Harvard Business School.
  27. ^ "Profile: Alfred Lin". Forbes.

External links[edit]