Sequoia Gets Restraining Order

Anand VaidyanathanSequoia Capital obtained a restraining order against Anand Lyer Vaidyanathan, an Iowa man who repeatedly tried to gain access to investor Michael Moritz at the firm’s Sand Hill Road Offices and later claimed he worked there.

Vaidyanathan went to Sequoia’s offices five times during the last week in October and the first week of November 2006, according to testimony from a private investigator hired by the firm. On his first visit, Vaidyanathan asked to meet with Moritz about an investment opportunity. On subsequent visits, he asked about employment at the firm. The receptionist asked him to leave, but he often remained in the lobby for extended periods of time.

Vaidyanathan returned on November 27, handed the receptionist his bank deposit slip and waited in the lobby while the Sequoia team called the police, according to the PI’s testimony. The police arrested Vaidyanathan for trespassing. At the time of his arrest, Vaidyanathan told police the receptionist had made a mistake: that he was actually an employee of Sequoia Capital, according to the PI’s testimony.

Sequoia posted a job opening for an early stage associate on its website at the end of November, one that Vaidyanathan decided to apply for on December 7. Sequoia’s private investigator responded to him via email, outlining in no uncertain terms that Vaidyanathan should not contact Sequoia. Vaidyanathan responded “I thank you for your offer. I appreciate your timely action. I accept your offer of employment,” court documents show.

On December 11, Vaidyanathan returned to Sequoia’s offices and was again arrested for trespassing, according to the PI’s testimony.

Vaidyanathan, formerly a student at Iowa State University, had sent Sequoia several hand-written letters offering the firm the opportunity to invest in two startups, A@stra Impact and Silicorn. He had also requested that the firm apply for an “investor’s green card” for him, the documents show.

Sequoia’s PI says his investigation found that Vaidyanathan had been arrested for assault and battery in Redwood City on November 7. The PI also testified that he spoke with Vaidyanathan’s family, who said he was suffering from schizophrenia.

These claims could not be immediately verified by