Jim Goetz, Peter Fenton, and Jim Breyer are among the most successful venture investors that you probably haven’t heard of before. There is a legend in Greek mythology that speaks of a powerful king – Midas – that could turn anything to gold simply by touching it. Much like the mighty Midas himself, some venture capitalists nowadays seem to excel at anything they do.
Following, we would like to present you with a list we have compiled of the top 6 venture investors for 2014, based on the 4th edition of the Midas List, recently released by Forbes Magazine. Every year, Forbes sets out to uncover those venture capitalists that truly have the Midas touch. Dealmakers in science and high-tech are evaluated according to a wide range of parameters, such as IPO market capitalization, although Forbes also relies on the opinions of experts in the field. All of the 6 venture investors in our list are billionaires.
Curious to see who the top venture investors in 2014 are? Let’s take a look at the countdown. Don’t forget to check out our lists of most profitable businesses, most profitable franchises, and most profitable small businesses.
No. 6: Doug Leone
Doug Leone, the face of investment group Sequoia Capital, recently backed RingCentral Inc (NYSE:RNG)’s – a cloud phone company – IPO back in 2013. Apart from that, Leone also sits on the boards of ServiceNow Inc (NYSE:NOW) and CafePress Inc (NASDAQ:PRSS).
No. 5: Jim Breyer
Breyer’s early investment in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) helped make him a billionaire back in 2005. Nowadays, although he’s slipped a few positions in the Midas list, Breyer is still going strong. In 2013, he helped Model N Inc (NYSE:MODN) with its IPO. In 2014, according to an interview he gave to Forbes Magazine, Breyer is playing on even more investments through his personal office – the Breyer Capital.
No. 4: Peter Thiel
One of Facebook’s earliest investors and PayPal co-founder Thiel continues to prove that he has a golden touch. Palantir Technologies, which he also helped co-found, was valued at $9 billion at the end of 2013, bringing Thiel’s share – approximately 12% – at a whopping $1 billion.
No. 3: Peter Fenton
Fenton decided to back Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) up in a time when the service had only about 25 employees. It apparently was a brilliant move, which rocketed Fenton straight to number 3 on the Midas List. Apart from sitting on the board of Twitter, Fenton is also a board member for Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP), Zendesk, and New Relic.
No. 2: Marc Andreessen
The entrepreneur turned full-time investor has made a name for himself since he joined forces with Ben Horowitz in 2009. Currently, he sits on the boards of Facebook, Anki, Oculus VR, and Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ). With so much investing and advising on his agenda, one would say that Andreessen is a pretty busy man. Regardless, he somehow finds the time to engage with his more than 80,000 followers on Twitter, where he frequently chats on topics such as media or anonymous sharing mobile apps.
No. 1: Jim Goetz
Why did Goetz rocket straight to number one on this year’s Midas list? Simple. He chose to back up the single biggest venture capital exit in history – WhatsApp – that was bought for a whopping $19 billion, a price tag that impressed everyone in the industry. But Goetz expanded his magic touch even further – in 2013 alone he had two public exits: Barracuda Networks and Nimble Storage Inc (NYSE:NMBL).