Seqouia has backed PatSnap, another UK tech startup that's focusing on China

PatSnap foundersPatSnapPatSnap founders (L-R): Jeffrey Tiong, CEO, Guan Dian SVP Asia Pacific, and Markus Haense, CTO.

Sequoia, one of the most famous venture capital firms in the world, has made another rare investment in a UK tech startup.

The Silicon Valley VC firm — which backed Apple, Google, and Facebook in their early days — has led a funding round in a London-based cloud software company called PatSnap, which describes itself as an “IP intelligence” business.

The size of the Series C funding round was not disclosed but PatSnap previously raised a Series A round of $3.6 million (£2.9 million) in 2014 and a Series B of $11 million (£8.9 million) in 2015.

A PatSnap spokeswoman told Business Insider that the latest funding round was in the “tens of millions of dollars.” Other investors in the round included Shunwei Capital and Qualgro.

PatSnap, which counts IBM, Nasa, Vodafone, and the United States Department of Defence among its customer base, said it will use the funding to develop new products and expand its team, which currently comprises of 400 employees based in Singapore, London and Suzhou, in China.

Explaining what PatSnap does, founder Jeffrey Tiong said in a statement: “At PatSnap, we support innovators across every level of the enterprise, from scientists and engineers, to C level executives and directors, by developing intuitive tools which enable them to make better informed decisions around every aspect of the innovation lifecycle.”

Sequoia Capital chairman Michael MoritzSequoia CapitalSequoia Capital chairman Michael Moritz.

Like Skyscanner (another UK Sequoia investment), PatSnap has operations in China — a market that many western companies shy away from.

Last year, Michael Moritz, the chairman of Sequoia, said: “People underestimate China, especially in Europe.” He added: “There are not too many UK technology companies doing business in China: Skyscanner is one of them.”

Steven Ji, partner at Sequoia Capital China, said in a statement: “PatSnap is expected to contribute great efforts to the technology innovation globally. It has rapidly built a global team, and is exceptional in having a strong customer base spanning Asia, America and Europe.

“Jeffrey and his team have shown an incredible ability to execute on their vision, product, and go-to-market strategy, demonstrating consistent year-on-year revenue growth.”

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