Lin was born in Taiwan and immigrated to the United States at the age of six. He holds a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics from Harvard University and a master's degree in statistics from Stanford University. Lin dropped out of a PhD program at Stanford to join LinkExchange in 1996; he served as vice president of finance and acting CFO until 1998, when it was acquired by Microsoft. In 1999, Lin co-founded the incubator and seed fund Venture Frogs with LinkExchange founder Tony Hsieh, and served as general manager until 2014. Venture Frogs invested in tech and internet startups, including Ask Jeeves, OpenTable, Tellme Networks, and Zappos. From 2001 to 2005, Lin served as vice president of finance & business development at TellMe, which was later acquired by Microsoft. From 2005 to 2010, Lin served as the COO, CFO, and chairman of Zappos, which was acquired by Amazon in 2009. Lin joined venture capital firm Sequoia Capital as a partner in 2010.
Alfred Lin has served as a member of the board of directors for Airbnb, DoorDash, Dolls Kill, Truework, Cobalt, Dia&Co, Moovit, Zipline, Houzz, Achievers (acquired by Blackhawk Network), FutureAdvisor (acquired by Blackhawk Network), Kiwi, Inc., Shopular (acquired by Ebates), Humble Bundle, Stella & Dot, and NEXT Trucking.
Alfred Lin has made partner investments through Sequoia Capital in DoorDash, Instacart, Faire, FTX , Found, Reddit, Dolls Kill, and Truework. Lin has personally invested in StyleSeat, Uber, Crunched, Appbistro, Appstores.com, Schematic Labs, Flipboard, Jelli, and Cardpool. His notable exits include Uber, Schematic Labs, Jelli, Crunched, Cardpool, Appstores.com, and Appbistro.
In 2009, TechCrunch named Alfred Lin as having a "Midas Touch," since every company he had worked with had been acquired, with the smallest deal being worth $265 million. In 2013, he was named on Forbes' "30 Most Influential People in Tech." In 2021, Forbes ranked Alfred Lin as #1 on the "Midas List: Top Tech Investors 2021."
Below the Line with James Beshara: #63 -- Alfred Lin -- Investing In Greatness on Apple Podcasts
June 2, 2020
Fireside Chat with Alfred Lin (Partner, Sequoia Capital)
September 30, 2020
Innovate with Intention - Joe Gebbia + Alfred Lin
March 5, 2019
Lecture 10 - Culture (Brian Chesky, Alfred Lin)
October 24, 2014
The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch: 20VC: The Memo: Sequoia's Alfred Lin on Why Chasing GMV Leads To Bad Behaviours, How To Approach Competition and Capital Efficiency & The Core Importance of Understanding the Difference Between Input and Output Metrics on Apple Podcasts
January 27, 2021