Indians occupy pride of place in venture capitalists list, industry shrinks

Forbes magazine releases Midas List that has 11 Indian-American investors

GN Bureau | March 26, 2015


#forbes   #midas list   #venture capitalists   #indian american   #tech   #technology  

The Midas List of Forbes magazine, that seeks to recognize successful venture capitalists, has 11 Indian-American investors. The roll call of honour features those who make big, early bets on the leading tech companies of tomorrow, earning outsized returns for their investors.

However, an analysis of the list points to a smaller venture capital sector even as technology is finding place everywhere. Forbes says that the number of newcomers has dropped, dwindling from 19 last year to 15 in current list and there are familiar names at the top - a trend that reflects the shrinking of the venture industry.

The list represents the world's 100 smartest technology investors with valuations greater than $1 billion and a total of 766 deals.

Meanwhile, 11 Indian-American investors feature in the 2015 list led by Jim Goetz of Sequoia Capital. He has retained the number one spot for the second year in a row due to WhatsApp, the mobile messaging company acquired by Facebook for $22 billion.

Ranked 17th is 49-year old Aneel Bhusri, CEO and co-founder of Workday, a cloud-based financials and human resources software firm. Stanford business school graduate Bhusri has a net worth of $1.22 billion.

Salil Deshpande, currently managing director of Bain Capital Ventures, occupies 24th spot after two big ticket deals done during his stint in Bay Partners. The deals are technology company Dropcam, sold to Google and the IPO of peer-to-peer lending company LendingClub.

Norwest Venture Partners senior managing partner Promod Haque comes in at the 26th rank. His most notable deal has been cybersecurity company FireEye, which had the second-best performing IPO in the US in 2013. His investments in more than 60 companies have produced over $40 billion in exit values.

The other Indian-Americans on the list are Greylock partner Asheem Chandna (36), Accel partner Sameer Gandhi (37), founding partner at Wing Venture Partners Gaurav Garg (38), managing director of Mayfield Fund Navin Chaddha (42), manging director at Insight Venture Partners Deven Parekh (57), general partner at Battery Ventures Neeraj Agrawal (58), managing director at Menlo Ventures Venky Ganesan (86) and  managing director at Redpoint Ventures Satish Dharmaraj (90).

A notable exclusion from the list is Vinod Khosla, who founded Khosla Ventures in 2004. Khosla had been a regular on the Midas list and his ranking was 63rd last year.

According to the Forbes, the list puts a premium on earlier stages of investing, as a way of rewarding true risk taking, and on investors who take a more active role in the company’s growth from its first or second institutional funding round until its maturity. But venture investing isn’t so simple, and some investors on the Midas List have earned great returns for their investors by backing companies later in the process.

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