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The Midas List 2020

The Midas List 2020

27 Aug 2020

According to the creators’ plan, the ancient Greek legend about King Midas should has been a lesson about greed. However, even in the 21st century, his name is mentioned not only without contempt but also in the phrase "Midas List" - with great respect. In our today's article, we are talking about this list and those "lucky ones" who manage to get into it.

Startup Jedi

We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.

Over 19 years, Forbes Magazine, which is known for its list of the richest people in the world, puts together another list, which is also known as “The Midas List” of those, whose investments were the most profitable. Over the last few years, a few amendments were made, which should be mentioned before getting to know those who got in this list. First of all, American investors are not on top of the list for years already. Secondly, more and more women are starting to appear on top-15. And thirdly, as of now, this list is divided into several parts — “newbies’’, Chinese investors, Americans, women and general rating. Today, in our article, we are meeting those who got in the TOP-10 on the general rating and what happened to them over the last year.

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Rating of investors 

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Hans Tung, an American investor from GGV Capital, which is based in San-Francisco(USA), rounds out “Midas’s” TOP-10 in 2020. He got in the list of the best investors thanks to the fact that he invested in Peleton, an American startup, which produces equipment and content for bicycle training at home. The COVID-19 pandemic this year has greatly increased interest in the “home sports’’ niche, as in many countries gyms have been closed for weeks, if not months, and sporting events around the world are still held in empty stands. In addition to Peleton, Hans Tung invested money in 6 projects that have already gone through an IPO, 8 projects were acquired, and 14 remain in the hands of private investors and are estimated at billions of dollars. At Tung’s Unicorn Stall, there are e-commerce app Wish, StockX marketplace, Affirm fintech startup, Lime electric scooter rental, and parts at Airbnb and OfferUp. Decent set, which allowed us to take only tenth place. At the same time, over the past year, Hans Tung dropped from 7th place, which he occupied in 2019.

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Eric Pelli, the managing partner of Founder Collective, takes the ninth place; he is famous for his successful investment in uber at the early stage, which reached the IPO in May 2019. With this, Pelli has The Trade Desk company, that reached the IPO, and three successful “exits” (Integral Ad Science, Moat и Hotel Tonight), which helped him to get into the TOP-10 of “The Midas List”. Last year, Eric set the 10th place.

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Let’s move on and meet the only woman in this TOP-10 — legendary (literally legendary!) Mary Meeker from Bond Capital (from 2010 to 2018 she was a part of Kleine Perkins, a giant of the venture industry). If you still haven’t read her predictions on technological trends, then we highly recommend reading her last overview on how COVID-19 influenced the Internet. In January 2019, together with Mood Rohani, Noa Knauf and Juliette De Bobini, she founded her company — Bond Capital. Mary Meeker has invested in Spotify and DocuSign at early stages, and they reached the IPO back in 2018. Much earlier, she managed to invest in Facebook and Twitter, and now, the second year in a row, she takes the 8th place in “The Midas List”.

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Bill Gurley takes the 7th place in the list, and he’s, perhaps, the biggest “loser” as last year, he took the third place, and this year, he rolled 4 positions down. His most successful investment was with Uber, which brought $900 million to Benchmark, where Bill is the CEO, but even the fact that in 2019, Uber reached the IPO, didn’t help Bill to hold on the top of the list. Among other deals, we should also mention the acquisition of Glassdoor, Bill’s portfolio investment, by Recruit Holding company for $1,2 billion in May 2018.

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We are moving on to meet the first Asian investor — Richard Lu from Morningside Venture Capital. He’s a thread-bare in the list but he dropped off from it back in 2017, so he could come back with a triumph and take the sixth place in 2020. Xiaomi is “the star” in Richard’s investment portfolio, as it went public in 2018 and was valued at $30 billion. At the same time, you can find a dozen more companies in his portfolio, for example, Musical.ly, which was bought to gain prominence under the new name of TikTok.

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In the middle of our list, we have Navin Chaddha, a managing director of Mayfield Fund. His most successful investment was in Lyft, an Ubers’s old “friend”, which reached the IPO in March 2019 with a valuation of $24,3 billion. Navin is the veteran of “the Midas List”, he’s been present there for 12 years, and over the last year, he incredibly “jumped” 85 positions up. Except for Lyft, Mayfield Fund had a share in CloudSimple, a company, which Google acquired for $350 million.

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Ben Horovitz from Andreessen Horowitz Fund lacked a bit of luck to enter the TOP-3 of the List. The same Lyft, in which Horovitz made a perfectly timed investment, helped him to reach the TOP of the list. Besides, the Fund has investments in Databricks, Foursquare, Medium and TripActions, where Ben “lead” the rounds of $154 million. An interesting fact, that last year, Ben didn’t even enter the TOP-10 of the most successful investors.

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Finally, we are going to meet the TOP-3 leaders of “The Midas List 2020” and see how they manage to hold their positions for many years. Roelof Botha, the previous CEO of PayPal and now, one of the partners of Sequoia Capital, takes the third place in the List. Roelof is not a new one in the world of venture investments, but it is the first time he entered the TOP-10, where he substituted Jimm Hertz from Sequoia Capital, who took the fourth place last year. Forbes cited Roelof’s most successful deal with Square, but it’s worth noting that the Paypal mafia, which Roelof is a member of, has shown a particular interest in genetics, investing in companies such as 23andMe, Pendulum Therapeutics and BridgeBio.

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“The silver” of “The Midas List 2020” gets Andrew Braccia, who took the second place thanks to Slack, which reached the IPO in 2019. For a long time, Andrew has been on the company’s board of directors and has raised all of Slack’s investments since Accel invested in it at the early stage. In addition, Andrew remains on the director’s board of Squarespace website builder and Vox Media company.

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Finally, Neil Shen from Sequoia China, who has topped the list for the third year in a row, has the comfortable TOP-1 for years. He has a successful investment in ByteDance, known for its TikTok app. Before partnering with VC Sequoia in China, Shen, whose fortune is estimated by Forbes at $ 1.6 billion, was a successful entrepreneur, who founded several public companies, such as Ctrip.com travel website. In addition, Shen has extensive experience in the investment banking divisions of Deutsche Bank Hong Kong, Chemical Bank, Lehman Brothers and Citibank.

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Instead of a conclusion

In order to become an investor, it is enough to invest some amount in a business. The real gift of an investor manifests itself in seeing the “unicorn” in the “ugly duckling”, who has come to ask for money to start a business and believe in him. Each one from “The Midas List” is the embodiment of this symbiosis of intuition and analytical calculation that allows you to enjoy the fruits of your work a few years after your investment (and possibly serving on the board of directors).

It remains only to wish each participant of investclub.vc to be once the one who will be included in the list of the best investors according to Forbes — “The Midas List”.

27 Aug 2020

 

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