Venture capitalists are pretty much what they sound like, which is to say, people who make investments in business ventures. With that said, while there are lone individuals out there making investments in business ventures that manage to capture their interest for some reason, there are a lot more venture capitalists who are working for businesses that specialize in this kind of thing. In either case, venture capitalists are important because they provide value funding for start-ups as well as other businesses that are looking for money with which to fuel their expansion, meaning that interested individuals might want to pay attention to who they are as well as what they are doing. According to CB Insights, here are the 20 top venture capital partners in the entire world, who should make for a pretty good starting point for those interested in learning more about venture capitalists:
20. Ben Horowitz
Given his name, it should come as no surprise to learn that Ben Horowitz is a founding partner of Andreessen Horowitz. Before that, he was a successful entrepreneur as well as someone who was interested in angel investing, both of which were roles enabled by his previous career as a tech executive. In particular, Horowitz was an executive with Netscape, which was once very well-known but has since faded from prominence in more recent times. Regardless, Horowitz continues to take a strong interest in tech companies, which is something that he shares with just about everyone on this list.
19. Aydin Senkut
Aydin Senkut earned a lot of experience in the tech sector before going on to become one of the co-founders of Felicis Ventures, which is Latin for “of luck.” Unsurprisingly, Felicis Ventures is very much interested in tech companies, though it isn’t limited to that single sector. For instance, it is involved in both the health and the education sectors, where it has made investments.
18. Hans Tung
Hans Tung has a lot of experience when it comes to Chinese business. For example, he has helped companies launch operations in the Chinese market, which might be lucrative but comes with a lot of hurdles that can be difficult to navigate for parties that are not familiar with them. Likewise, Tung has invested in Chinese companies, with an excellent example being Xiaomi. In any case, Tung has since become a managing partner of GGV Capital, where he continues to work in the world of venture capital.
17. Ann Miura-Ko
Ann Miura-Ko is a founding partner of FLOODGATE, which is presumably called thus because it focuses on seeds and start-ups. Generally speaking, FLOODGATE likes companies that are situated in the San Francisco Bay Area, but it has investments elsewhere as well. Given her status as a founding partner, it should come as no surprise to learn that Miura-Ko has plenty of expertise and experience in her chosen career, which was picked up at other venture capital firms.
16. JP Gan
JP Gan’s venture capital career started out with the Carlyle Group in 2000, which was when it started up its Asian operations. In modern times, JP Gan works with Qiming Venture Partners, where he has been responsible for making investments in a number of Chinese companies that have gone on to get good results off of the huge surge in Chinese consumers for online products and services.
15. Sameer Gandhi
Sameer Gandhi used to work for Sequoia Capital but can now be found at Accel Partners. Primarily, he is interested in companies that specialize in software, services, consumers, or a combination of those things.
14. Mike Volpi
Mike Volpi was once a tech executive. However, he has since made a transition to being a general partner for Index Ventures, where he has already made a name with a series of interesting picks.
13. Allen Zhu
At the moment, Allen Zhu is the managing director of GSR Ventures. He is interested in Internet companies as well as other tech companies, which is something that he shares with GSR Ventures, which tends to operate in the United States, China, and Southeast Asia.
12. Bryan Schreier
Bryan Schreier has had some major responsibilities over the course of his career. For example, he was the one who oversaw the start of Google’s headquarters for Europe, which was just one of the tasks that he handled for the tech titan. Currently, Schreier is putting that know-how to excellent use at Sequoia Capital, where he is a general partner.
11. Joshua Kopelman
It is clear that Joshua Kopelman has a fair amount of interest in entrepreneurship. Moreover, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that he is good at it, seeing as how he has founded three separate companies that went on to be sold to major corporate names such as eBay and Symantec. Nowadays, Kopelman is putting that entrepreneurial talent to use as a founding partner of First Round Capital, which has been known to invest in a wide range of companies in a wide range of sectors.
10. Ravi Mahtre
Ravi Mahtre was once a management consultant who spent some time as a manager himself. On that basis, he entered the world of venture capital, where he worked to acquire the expertise, the experience, and the other resources needed to start up his own investment firm called Lightspeed Venture Partners.
9. Matt Cohler
Matt Cohler was once one of Facebook’s first employees. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that since becoming a partner at Benchmark, he has become known for investments in Internet companies such as Quora, Dropbox, and Tinder.
8. Mary Meeker
Mary Meeker has a background in the financial side of things, as shown by how she was once a securities analyst. However, she has been an important player when it comes to tech as well because she is the one who releases the Internet Trends Report on an annual basis, which is notable because it has a very wide-ranging readership. Previously, Meeker was with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, but now, she has started her own investment firm called Bond, meaning that it will be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming days.
7. Brian Singerman
Brian Singerman has taken a somewhat unusual path to becoming a venture fund capitalist. In short, he started out as a software engineering. Initially, Singerman worked for a company with a virtual world before moving on to Google. While he was at Google, he started up a small fund that specialized in early stage start-ups, which provided him with the expertise and experience that he needed to make a transition to a principal and then a partner at Founders Fund.
6. Peter Fenton
Once upon a time, Peter Fenton was a general manager for Virage, which specializes in software products and services that are meant to help a wide range of people with an interest in videos. In time, Fenton managed to become a managing partner at Accel Partners where he managed to make a respectable name for himself with a number of choice picks. With that said, he is no longer at Accel Partners because he has since moved on to Benchmark, where he has been working for more than a decade’s time.
5. Jeff Jordan
Jeff Jordan is another great example of a venture capital partner who has managed to pick up plenty of business expertise and experience at a wide range of companies before eventually winding up at a venture capital firm. In his case, said venture capital firm would be Andreessen Horowitz, which isn’t limited to a single sector but is instead interested in innovative and otherwise interesting companies in all of them. Career-wise, Jordan has worked at a wide range of companies in a wide range of positions. For example, he has worked as a finance executive for a segment of the Walt Disney Company. Likewise, he was the one who oversaw the buyout of Paypal for eBay.com.
4. Alfred Lin
Alfred Lin studied statistics but worked as a Vice President of Finance for LinkExchange until it was bought out by Microsoft. After which, he went to work for Tellme Networks in an expanded role as the Vice President of Finance and Business Development, though this time, he left before it was bought out by Microsoft as well. In any case, Lin jumped to the position of not just the Chairman but also the COO and the CFO of Zappos.com, which provided him with further expertise and experience that he has since used well as a general partner at Sequoia Capital. In said role, he has been responsible for investing in everything from Airbnb and Houzz to Reddit.
3. Bill Gurley
Bill Gurley had a very interest career long before he became a general partner at Benchmark. For instance, his career started up with him as an electrical engineer at Compaq, though it was no more than a matter of time that he picked up a MBA that enabled him to move in more of a business direction. With that said, each step in Gurley’s career has proven to be of use in the next, as shown by how he specialized in computer hardware and software when he made a smooth transition to being an equity research analyst. In time, this led to a focus on Internet companies, which makes it unsurprising that some of his best-known investments have been in companies such as Uber, GrubHub, and Zillow.
2. Lee Fixel
Lee Fixel is a founding partner of Tiger Global Management. Primarily, Fixel has built a powerful reputation for himself based on his interest in Internet companies as well as software companies situated in emerging markets. In fact, some of the companies that Fixel has taken an interest in are very well-known in their own right. For example, there is Souq.com, which is an e-commerce platform that was picked up by Amazon because of its unmatched presence in the Arab world. Likewise, there is MercadoLibre, which is an Argentina-based business that has played a similar role for the Latin American world.
1. Neil Shen
Neil Shen got his initial education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University before continuing it at Yale University. Afterwards, he started out at various banks before getting involved in entrepreneurship, as shown by his contribution to the founding of Ctrip.com. Said business might not be particularly famous in the west, but it is important to note that it is the single biggest online provider of travel services in China, meaning that it has risen high because of the huge number of Chinese consumers who have become interested in travel in recent decades. In any case, Shen’s entrepreneurial interest didn’t stop with Ctrip.com and Home Inns, seeing as how he is the co-founder of Sequoia Capital China. Considering its name, it should come as no surprise to learn that Sequoia Capital China specializes in Chinese startups, though it has been known to venture outside of those boundaries as well from time to time. This provides the venture capital form with a strong focus, thus enabling it to concentrate its expertise and experience for better results than otherwise possible.