Sequoia Capital nurtures the seeds that grow into the giants of the tech industry. The venture capital firm, which backed little acorns such as Apple, Cisco, Google, Oracle, YouTube, and Yahoo!, fertilizes some of Silicon Valley's most promising seedlings. It focuses on the technology, energy, financial services, health care, and outsourcing markets. Sequoia Capital prefers to be the lead investor in its transactions and invests up to $1 million in startup firms and upwards of $100 million in more established enterprises. It has funded more than 300 companies in the US, China, India, and Israel. Semiconductor industry alumnus Donald Valentine founded Sequoia Capital in 1972.