Roelof Botha Partner Profile

There’s Now A South African On Forbes’ ‘Top 100 Venture Capitalists In The World’ List

Knowing where and how to go about small-scale investments is enough of a challenge for most of us, so imagine being a venture capitalist.

Catching sight of a potentially successful startup is a skill that not only gets venture capitalists recognised but makes their firm – or/and them – a lot of money.

Do it right and you’ll even get recognised by Forbes, which is a pretty big pat on the back.

This year, a South African has made the cut.

Their 16th annual Midas list, featuring venture capitalists from around the world, is “based on qualifying deals with at least a $200 million exit (IPOs or mergers & acquisitions) or rounds that value a company above $400 million in the last five years,” explains Business Tech.

Sitting at the top of the list for the fifth year in a row is James Goetz of Sequoia Capital, all thanks to his investment in WhatsApp Messenger, bought by Facebook in 2014 for $22 billion.

He turned his “$60 million combined bet on WhatsApp into $3 billion when Facebook acquired the company,” according to Forbes.

Sounds like the kind of chap you want to hand your money to and say ‘work your magic’.

But here’s where things start relating back to South Africa. In January this year, Goetz announced he was stepping back from his role to “pay it forward” to a new generation”.

And the new generation? South African native Roelof Botha, who found himself 34th on Forbes’ 2017 list. Here’s what they said about the man:

“As the former CFO of PayPal, he still has a soft spot for payments companies.

Botha steered Sequoia’s investment in public mobile payments firm Square, where he’s still on the board, and helped orchestrate the sale of Xoom (IPO 2013) to PayPal for $890 million,” explained Forbes.

Botha became chief financial officer at PayPal while earning his M.B.A. at Stanford University. He negotiated PayPal’s sale to eBay for $1.5 billion and then jumped ship to Sequoia Capital.

It noted that the South African’s portfolio also ranges from database companies like MongoDB to the genetic testing company Natera, which went public in 2015.

Botha was also an early backer of YouTube, which Google acquired for $1.65 billion.

According to Forbes, Botha’s most notable deal at Sequoia, is Square Inc, the listed mobile payment company headed up by co-founder and CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey.

That’s a lot of $$$.

Of course, on a personal level, to make money from your money, a personal financial advisor is the safest way to go about adding to your investment portfolio, especially if you’re just starting out.

Offering both local and offshore investment options, all the while paying close attention to the appropriateness of each investment vehicle, Consequence is a small estate-planning firm in Newlands that ensures you invest your money wisely.

And perhaps one day you could find yourself on this list: