6 Wealthy Venture Capitalists

AAA

Wealthy Venture Capitalists

Venture capital is the investment provided to startup companies that cannot receive cash by traditional methods such as issuing debt. Generally these companies are new to the market or have a short operating history. Although these are generally risky investments, if the company succeeds the venture capitalist can make a huge return on the investment. As a result, many venture capitalists have been the forces behind several successful starts such as Groupon, LinkedIn, Skype, YouTube, Paypal, Facebook and many others. Very few have success in this game, but the ones that can see the startups future potential from the beginning have reaped some enormous returns. Although venture capital is very difficult to receive, if you can convince one of these wealthy venture capitalists to invest in your startup chances are you'll strike it rich.

Jim Breyer

Jim Breyer is a partner at Accel Partners and President of Accel Management Company. Breyer is worth around $1.1 billion and is number 1,075 on Forbes Billionaire list. Breyer has funded several successful startups, but most notably he is responsible for Accel Partner's investment of around $12.7 million in Facebook now worth an estimated $5 billion dollars. Breyer also serves on the board of directors for Walmart, Dell and News Corp.

Reid Hoffman

Dubbed "the most connected person in Silicon Valley," Reid Hoffman has invested in what feels like every successful startup either personally or through Greylock Partners. If it involves the Internet, social networking, online marketplaces or social gaming chances are strong that Hoffman either provided funding or decided not to. He has provided venture capital funding to Groupon, Digg, Airbnb, Flickr, Zynga, PayPal and Facebook. He also co-founded LinkedIn in 2003. Hoffman's net worth is roughly $1.8 billion from his successful endeavors.

Peter Fenton

Peter Fenton is known for investing in Twitter, JBoss, Zimbra, FriendFeed and many others. It appears almost everything Fenton touches gets acquired by a large competitor. Fenton was previously a partner at Accel Partners, but joined Benchmark Capital in 2006. Today he serves on the board for roughly 12 different companies including Twitter and Yelp.

Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal in 1998 and served as the Chairman and CEO until the eBay acquisition in 2002. He has since started hedge fund Clarium Capital Management. He also co-founded software company Palantir Technologies. Thiel was the first outside investor in Facebook. As an angel investor in Facebook, Thiel made a $500,000 investment back in 2004. Today it is worth approximately $2.5 billion. Thiel is also known for his radical mentorship program called The Thiel Fellowship where he encourages students to either not attend college or drop out and start a business instead. The Thiel Fellowship offers the winners $100,000 to start a business as well as his mentorship for two years.

Kevin Efrusy

Another partner at Accel Partners, Kevin Efrusy was a successful entrepreneur himself before turning into a venture capital titan. He started Corio, a software-as-a-service company, which was purchased by IBM in 2005. Efrusy also started an online marketplace for heavy equipment called IronPlanet. Today he has invested in BranchOut, Groupon, Metacafe, RAMP, Shoes4You, Facebook and many others.

Jeremy Levine

Jeremy Levine has provided venture capital funding to several popular social media sites like Yelp, LinkedIn and Pinterest, where he is currently the largest shareholder. On top of being a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, Levine also serves on the board of directors for Wikia, Yelp, Pinterest and Spotify.

Conclusion

The process for deciding what venture capitalists invest in is very strategic and designed to weed out poor investments. Jim Breyer says "we see 10,000 media business plans a year, and invest in about 10." Ironically, the majority have invested in Facebook and are reaping the rewards for doing so. Facebook comes across as the goose that continues to lay golden eggs for shareholders. Although getting venture capital may require the founders to give up an equity stake, the connections and expertise of the venture capitalist may well be worth the risk.
Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups that Emerged in Toronto

    Learn how Toronto has built a fertile climate for startups, and identify some of the top companies to emerge from the city's hot startup market.
  2. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups that Emerged in London

    Learn why London's startup scene is so prolific, and identify some of the hottest companies emerging from this scene as of mid-2015.
  3. Professionals

    Tips on Building a Resume for a Private Equity Job

    Trying to land a job in the coveted private equity sector? Ensure your resume meets the stringent PE job requirements with these important tips.
  4. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The 4 Biggest Private Equity Firms in London

    Discover information about the largest private equity firms that are headquartered in London, ranked by total assets under management.
  5. Retirement

    Retirement Planning for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

    If your business has receiveables, here's a smart way to leverage them to build up your retirement fund fast.
  6. Investing

    Top Cities Where Airbnb Is Legal Or Illegal

    Thinking of subletting your apartment on Airbnb? Make sure that you meet your city's regulations first.
  7. Investing

    The 8 Best Business and Finance T.V. Shows

    With so many talking heads to choose from, which is the right show for your business and money matter needs? We review the best shows on now.
  8. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The Biggest Private Equity Firms in San Francisco

    Learn about some of the larger private equity firms with a presence in San Francisco, including KKR, the Blackstone Group and Warburg Pincus.
  9. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The Companies of Peter Theil's Founders Fund

    Learn about the major public companies that Peter Thiel has invested in and companies that are on the verge of going public at multibillion-dollar valuations.
  10. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The Biggest Private Equity Firms in Los Angeles

    Learn why Los Angeles is a thriving market for private equity, and identify the five largest private equity firms operating in the city.

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!