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How Bill Gurley Achieved a Net Worth of $600 Million

Bill Gurley

Bill Gurley is a Dickinson, Texas born venture capitalist and high profile blogger. His net worth of $600 million is attributed to being one of the pioneers who invested in Uber and various other global firms.

The self made millionaire is a general partner at a Silicon Valley venture capital firm in Menlo Park, California, called Benchmark. His role in disruptive technology was featured on the Forbes Midas List. Let's delve into how Joh Gurley achieved a net worth of $600 million without further ado.

Bill Gurley's Early Life

Gurley was born on May 10, 1966, in Dickinson, Texas. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida in 1989. Thanks to his 6-foot-9 height, he joined the men's basketball team at the university. After the University of Florida, Gurley joined the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, earning his Master's of Business Administration degree in 1993.

His Career

Gurley's educational background and passion for finance and engineering paid off when he joined Advanced Micro Devices as part of the technical marketing team. Later on, he was employed by Compaq Computer as a design engineer. His roles involved working on the company's debut multi-processor server and products like 486/50.

Billy Gurley Invested in Uber Early On

Bill Gurley was an early investor in Uber, a ride share company that transformed from an ordinary transportation company into a global courier delivering rent-out cycles, food and freight, and scooters. He pumped $12 million into Uber in 2011 through his company, Benchmark.

At the time of this review, Gulley owned $8 billion of the company's stock net worth. He also became Uber's board of Directors in 2017, a day after the company announced the then CEO, Travis Kalanick's resignation. The resignation was a heavy backlash from employees, drawing controversy over the company's corporate culture. Though they had a personal relationship, Gurley's role as then Uber's advisor influenced Kalanick's resignation.

He is a General Partner at Benchmark Venture Capital

Gurley is a general partner at Benchmark, one of Silicon Valley's most influential venture capital firms globally. He's worked as a general partner at the company for more than 15 years. As a venture capitalist, he's helped steer Uber, a ride share company, to achieve a net worth of $50 billion, according to Inc.Africa. His contribution as a general partner has also helped the company push Snapchat's net worth to $16 million after investing $21 million.

The other company he's helped achieve a net worth of $10 billion is an office sharing company called WeWork after Benchmark injected approximately $1 billion. According to Forbes, Gurley admits that part of the reason his net worth rose to $8 billion is the $11 million he invested in Uber in 2011 and other acquisitions while at Benchmark. In April 2020, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Gurley had decided to step back from Benchmark because he wasn't investing in new funds that his venture capital firm was raising.

A Personal Holder of Ethereum

According to Trending News Buzz, Gurley disclosed that he was a personal holder of Ethereum, a cryptocurrency occupying the second position in market capitalization after Bitcoin. He joined the crypto market in 2021 and invested in equities. That's three years after Ether's brainchild, Vitalik Buterin, launched it, making Gurley one of the latest comers in the market.

Recently, Bill Gurley confessed that he is a minimalist and that owning cryptocurrencies was his personal choice. Though he hasn't revealed how much he bought the digital currency, he believes that Ether's changes, including lowering the fees, make it more pragmatic.

Bill Gurley's Career on Wall Street

The billionaire was a research analyst at Wall Street, where he spent four years after finding success in engineering. The financial market's platform considered him "one of Wall Street's premier technology analysts thanks to his educational background and years of experience in finance and engineering.

Before Wall Street, Gurley worked many research jobs. Native to Texas, Gurley took his research and analytical skills on Wall Street to another level. While there, he offered analytical research services for various clients, the famous ones being Compaq, Dell, and Microsoft. Also, he was the lead analyst on the Amazon.com IPO, among many others.

His skills in institutional research made him famous internationally. Institutional Investor All-American Research team selected him to work in the financial industry between 1995 and 1996. Before Wall Street, Gurley wrote various pieces about the economic collapse in the fall of 2008. He sent a letter to his companies telling CEOs to be cautious when spending.  He also reminded them to not let opportunities escape their grasp. His advice and posts on his blog, Above the Crowd, have become the most talked about in the industry.

Other Acquisitions

As the longest serving partner at Benchmark, Gurley's most noticeable bet remains the $11 million he pumped into Uber in 2011. He's also diligently served as a board member on Instawork, HackerOne, Solv, Nextdoor (IPO in 2021), and Stitch Fix (IPO in 2017).

One of the most notable things about a neighborhood social network called Nextdoor is the decision to go public through a unique purpose acquisition company. Gurley praised this move because the traditional IPO didn't have favorable pricing. The company announced plans to pursue a SPAC sponsor through Khosla Ventures, an affiliate. Gurley has also invested in various startups, many of which he acquired.

Bill Gurley's Personal life

Gurley's 6'9" height is considered above average, and this inspired his blog, "Above the Crowd," and book "eBoys." He's also featured in "The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalist," profiling his Benchmark team and height. Away from business and limelight, Gurley is a dedicated husband and father of three children living in Atherton, California.

Conclusion

Bill Gurley's education and career background in finance and engineering have become the reason his net worth is $600 million. In an interview, Gurley promised to evaluate every company he is working with, in a more scrutinous manner. Read more about him through his blogs and interviews to get extensive insight into how he's impacted business globally.

You can also read:

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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