Midas List: 11 Indian-Americans among Forbes' best venture investors

Written by PTI | New York | Updated: Mar 28 2014, 17:53pm hrs
Aneel Bhusri'Perennial Midas Lister" Aneel Bhusri, co-CEO of Workday, is ranked 17th on the list and has a net worth of USD 1.3 billion.
Eleven Indian-Americans feature in Forbes magazine's annual list of 100 best venture investors with the "Midas" touch, who made savvy investments in start- ups and then sold off their stakes to pocket nearly USD 95 billion in profits.

The 'Midas List' of the 100 best venture capitalists in the world for 2014 has been topped by Jim Goetz, partner at firm Sequoia Capital who was the only institutional backer in messaging service WhatsApp.

Forbes said Jim Goetz's combined USD 60 million in three rounds to support WhatsApp "epitomises the Midas touch", and WhatsApp's 19 billion dollar price tag in an announced sale to Facebook means Sequoia's sitting on USD 3 billion in Facebook stock, over twice the total of Sequoia's billion-plus 2010 fund.

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This year's Midas List features technology's best investors, whose savvy investments have a made a total of USD 95.2 billion in exits.

"With 20 fresh faces and seven returnees, the 2014 Midas List is a testament to the big dollars and even bigger bets investors are making today in tech.

"Time will tell whether the frothy market can keep rolling into 2015," Forbes said.

Among the Indian-Americans on the list is Aneel Bhusri, co-chief executive officer, Workday - a cloud-based financials and human resources software firm.

Stanford business school graduate Aneel Bhusri is ranked 17th on the list and has a net worth of USD 1.3 billion.

"Perennial Midas Lister" Aneel Bhusri, 48, notched big returns in 2007 when storage software outfit PolyServe was sold to Hewlett-Packard for USD 200 million, and OutlookSoft was acquired by SAP.

Some of Aneel Bhusri's current investments at venture firm Greylock include enterprise platform Cloudera and enterprise storage company Pure Storage.

On the 22nd spot is Wharton School graduate Deven Parekh, Managing Director of Insight Venture Partners.

The 44-year old debuts high on the Midas List this year, thanks to an early 2009 investment in Twitter as well as investments in microblogging platform Tumblr and personalised magazine Flipboard.

Deven Parekh also helped steer Tumblr to its sale to Yahoo last year and manages investments in e-commerce, consumer internet data, and application software businesses.

In 2012, Deven Parekh led a USD 165 million equity investment in Drilling Info, an Austin-based data intelligence provider the for oil and gas industry.

The other Indian-Americans on the list are Promod Haque ranked 27, Navin Chaddha (30), Neeraj Agrawal (37), Sameer Gandhi (41), Asheem Chandna (55), Venky Ganesan (57), Vinod Khosla (63), Salil Deshpande (67) and Gaurav Garg (86).

Promod Haque, 65 is Senior Managing Partner at Norwest Venture Partners has more than 20 years' experience as a venture capitalist, generating 40 billion dollars in exits so far.

More than 10 of his venture firm's portfolio companies had exits, most notably cyber security company FireEye (second-best performing IPO in the US last year).

Navin Chaddha, 43 heads Mayfield Fund and invests in consumer, enterprise infrastructure and energy technology in the US, India and China, Forbes noted.

Navin Chaddha has invested in 35 companies in his career, of which 12 have gone public and 12 have been acquired.

Navin Chaddha recently raised Mayfield's second dedicated India fund and successes there include online travel site MakeMyTrip (IPO 2010).

An avid cricket watcher and Bollywood movie fan, Navin Chaddha has currently invested in cloud storage company Swiftstack, social media company Gigya, fashion app Poshmark and India's Bharat Matrimony.

Neeraj Agrawal, 41, is General Partner at Battery Ventures and has some promising investments lined up in furniture e-tailer Wayfair and Nutanix, each of which is verging on an IPO.

Gandhi, 48 is an MIT alumnus and partner at Accel Partners, where he has led the firm's investments in file hosting service Dropbox and e-commerce company Quidsi, which Amazon.com acquired for USD 545 million in 2011.

Before Accel, Gandhi was a partner at Sequoia Capital, where he made the firm's seed investment in Dropbox.

Asheem Chandna, 49 is partner at Greylock Partners, which he joined in 2003 after serving as vice-president of business development and product management at Check Point Software, a Tel Aviv IT security firm.

He is now Greylock's specialist in enterprise infrastructure, cloud computing and security.

Ganesan, 40 is Managing Director at Menlo Ventures and his standing on the Midas List is thanks to an early bet on network security company Palo Alto Networks in 2007, which had one of the largest IPOs of 2012.

"From his first job washing dishes in a restaurant to advising companies like Palo Alto Networks, Ganesan says humble beginnings are where he gets his passion for building companies," Forbes said.

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Khosla, whose networth is 1.5 billion dollars is partner at Khosla Ventures.

The 59-year old is a 10-time Midas Lister who is known for seeking sustainability in all forms, including wood-based biofuel, new types of batteries, water purification, greener glass and clean cement.

He has invested in software-defined networking company Contrail and 4G player Beceem Communications.

Deshpande, 45 managing director at Bain Capital Ventures has a deep expertise in open source and infrastructure software, "the kind of products that consumers never see or touch.

In his first ten months at Bain he invested about USD 30 million in five new deals, Forbes said.

Garg, 48 is founding partner at Wing Venture Partners and has invested in technology and mobile.

The top 10 list is dominated by Facebook and Twitter investors.

New faces to the top ten for 2014 include seed investor Steve Anderson of Baseline Ventures and Paul Madera of Meritech Capital Partners on the strength of Twitter and Facebook respectively.

LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman stays in the top 10 at number 7 thanks to Facebook.

WhatsApp was the largest acquisition on the list since it is the largest venture-backed private exit ever.

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