Top 10 investors who cashed in at the right time
These days it seems like everyone and their mother has joined a start-up. These up-and-coming companies are fresh, new and growing - but to do so they rely heavily on funding. Often the initial investor in start-up companies is referred to as the ‘angel investor,’ the first or one of the first investors to recognize and invest in a new company. Over the past few decades, some of the top tech companies we know today went from new start-ups to booming industry dominators. Each of these companies had an angel investor of their own, and here are the top 10 of these angel investors who made the right choice:
10. SoundCloud - Ashton Kutcher
Last but certainly most interesting, Ashton Kutcher was said to be an early investor in the music promotion and streaming site SoundCloud. Kutcher invested an undisclosed amount in the company, jumping in early on knowing it would be a hit.
9. Uber - Search Engine Investors
The most significant investor to Uber was Google Ventures, who invested $258 million in 2015. Following the trend, Chinese search engine Baidu made a sizeable investment. These search engine powerhouses helped fund the app we all use to catch a ride and allowed it to dominate the market.
8. Snapchat - Jeremy Liew
Jeremy Liew, of Lightspeed Ventures, tracked Snapchat down to become the initial investor. After hearing his daughter mention it amongst a list of top 3 apps she and her friends loved, Liew contacted Snapchat interested in investing. Liew invested $485,000, helping the company grow to where it is now.
7. Tumblr - Bijan Sabet
For Tumblr, it was Spark Capital's Bijan Sabet who helped with a $13 million investment. Matched and exceeded by other capital firms, Sabet helped grow the investment into a $200 million return.
6. Amazon - Jeff Bezos
In this case, the founder of Amazon was also the most significant donor. Creator Jeff Bezos and his family invested around $300,000 in the business. Despite Amazon’s slow growth, it has clearly become one of the largest and most far-reaching internet businesses of the time. Bezos and his family were smart enough to not give up on a good thing, and it has certainly paid off.
5. Youtube - Donald Valentine
Sequoia Capital’s founder Donald Valentine had a hand in Youtube’s growth. Sequoia provided around $3.5 million as an initial investment. This investment helped Youtube get off the ground, and Sequoia continued to play a role in their advancement overtime.
4. Twitter - Alwaleed bin Talal
Unlike others who relied on former businessmen, Twitter’s most significant donor was the Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Talal invested $300 million in Twitter in 2011. Twitter was valued at $8.4 billion when Talal invested. This investment certainly helped Twitter grow and expand and brought a profit for the prince as well.
3. Instagram - Steve Anderson
Instagram’s first investor was Steve Anderson, sole partner at Baseline Ventures. Anderson invested $250,000 in Instagram, spotting a good thing when he saw it. The company would go on to be bought by Facebook for $1 billion. Anderson was the one who made it happen, and his insight helped make Instagram one of the biggest social media apps today.
2. Facebook - Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel, PayPal cofounder, invested $500,000 in Facebook to expand. This helped put the valuation of Facebook at over $4.9 million. Thiel helped Zuckerberg bring Facebook to what it is today.
1. Apple - Mike Markkula
Mike Markkula, entrepreneur, was one of the initial investors in Apple. He invested an initial $250,000 and provided his business knowledge to the computer creators. Markkula helped the company gain further investors and helped Apple reach the success it has today.