The 22 investors with the most to gain from the herd of unicorns about to go public, with estimated stakes ranging from about $50 million to nearly $2 billion
- Six unicorn-status companies filed to go public in the past week and there are 22 venture investors that stand to gain the most should public companies snap them up.
- Just for fun, we peeked at what they likely paid for at least some of their stock, and calculated an estimated value of each of their funds' stakes.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
With the stock market in a frenzy, a slew of unicorn-status tech startups decided that it's the perfect time to become public companies.
In the past week, six such companies made their prospectuses public: Palantir, valued at $20 billion; Snowflake Computing, valued at $12.4 billion; Unity Software, valued at $6 billion; Asana, valued at $1.5 billion; JFrog, valued at $1.5 billion; Sumo Logic, valued at $1 billion (values via CB Insights estimates).
Tech companies rarely get to unicorn status on their own. For most, it's their investors — and the term sheets they offer to buy chunks of the companies — is how such tech firms obtain their value.
For the VCs, charged with growing their own investors' money, picking a startup that becomes a unicorn and exits with a successful IPO is more than just a badge of honor. It's their golden ticket to more such deals.
With that in mind, we took a look at the private investors who own the biggest stakes in this crop of unicorns.
And, just for fun, we calculated an estimated value of their funds' stakes. This was based on the last stock price paid through private fundraising, as disclosed in their S-1s. In the case of Asana, we used the most current stock price set by its board because that price was disclosed. And in Palantir's case we used the volume weighted average price per share that its S-1 disclosed. We also included a price the investors may have initially paid for at least some of their stock, based on the prices disclosed for various fundraising rounds.
The result is a peek at just how well these VCs did in growing their investments. In a word, they did well.
DFJ Growth's Randy Glein: a Sumo Logic stake worth an estimated $47 million+
DFJ Growth cofounder Randy Glein was the lead investor in Sumo Logic's $80 million Series E round where shares sold for $7, and DFJ participated in more rounds as well.
DFJ's stake in Sumo Logic: 4,288,267 shares (5.1%). At $11.02 per share (the price of Sumo Logic's last round in January, it said), this stake is worth over $47 million.
Qumra Capital's Boaz Dinte: a JFrog stake worth an estimated $49 million+
Qumra Capital's Boaz Dinte in Tel Aviv participated in JFrog's $50 million Series C, when shares sold for $2.39.
Qumra Capital's stake in JFrog: 4,180,165 shares (5.2%). At $11.82 per share (the price of JFrog's last round of funding in 2018, it said), the stake is worth over $49 million.
Institutional Venture Partners' Steve Harrick: a Sumo Logic stake worth an estimated $52 million
Steve Harrick led his firm's investments in Sumo Logic in 2017, participating in the Series F. The shares in that round sold for $8.08 per share, the company disclosed.
Institutional Venture Partners' stake in Sumo Logic: 4,670,329 shares (5.6%). At $11.02 per share, this stake is worth almost $52 million.
Accel's Ping Li: a Sumo Logic stake worth an estimated $63 million+
Accel's Ping Li is the investor caretaking the firm's investment in Sumo Logic. Accel led the company's 2012 $30 million Series C round where shares sold for $3.36, Sumo Logic disclosed.
Accel's stake in Sumo Logic: 5,720,160 shares (6.8%). At $11.02 per share, this stake is worth over $63 million.
Dell Technologies Capital's Raman Khanna: a JFrog stake worth an estimated $89 million
Dell Technologies Capital's Raman Khanna invested in JFrog's Series B, when shares sold for 86 cents, and bought shares in later rounds too. Dell's other company, VMware, also bought shares in JFrog.
Dell Inc.'s stake in JFrog: 7,496,815 shares (9.3%). At $11.82 per share, this stake is worth nearly $89 million.
DFJ Holdings' Barry Schuler: Unity stake worth an estimated $93 million
DFJ Holdings was part of Unity's $181 million Series C funding round in 2016, when shares sold for $7.09 per share, the company disclosed. Barry Schuler, cofounder and managing director of the Draper Fisher Jurveston Growth Fund, joined Unity's board at that time.
DFJ also bought more stock in later fundraising rounds.
DFJ's stake in Unity: 4,205,149 shares (1.8 %). At $22 per share (the price from its last round of private financing in May, 2020, it said) this stake is worth nearly $93 million.
Insight Partners' Jeff Horing: a JFrog stake worth an estimated $93 million+
In 2018, Insight Partners' Jeff Horing led a $165 million Series D funding round at $11.82 per share. Horing joined JFrog's board of directors, too.
Insight Partners' stake in JFrog: 7,881,876 shares (9.8%). At $11.82 per share, the stake is worth over $93 million.
Scale Venture Partners' Andy Vitus: a JFrog stake worth an estimated $103 million
Andy Vitus at Scale Venture Partners participated in JFrog's $50 million Series C in 2016, priced at $2.39 per share, as well as later rounds. He also joined the board.
Scale Venture Partners' stake in JFrog: 8,681,413 shares (10.8%). At $11.82 per share, the stake is worth nearly $103 million.
Generation IM's Colin Le Duc: an Asana stake worth an estimated $139 million
Under partner Colin Le Duc, Al Gore's fund — Generation Investment Management Climate Solutions — led Asana's $75 million Series D priced at $5.23 per share. The firm also bought shares in Asana's Series E and Le Duc served on Asana's board for a while, too (though he departed the position at the end of 2019).
Generation IM Climate Solutions' stake in Asana: 9,751,944 shares (7.2%). At $14.24 per share, (the estimated value as of July, according to Asana) the stake is worth just under $139 million.
Gemini Israel Ventures's Yossi Sela: a JFrog stake worth an estimated $150 million
Yossi Sela, managing partner at Gemini Israel Ventures, invested in JFrog's Series A in 2012, when shares sold for as little as 17 cents, and has been on the board ever since. Gemini also participated in later rounds.
Gemini Israel Ventures' stake in JFrog: 12,705,993 shares (15.8%). At $11.82 per share, the stake is worth over $150 million.
Sapphire Ventures' Jai Das: stakes in Sumo Logic and JFrog collectively worth an estimated $160 million
Sapphire Ventures, the investment firm spun out from enterprise giant SAP, has major stakes in two of the unicorns, with both investments led by managing director Jai Das: Sumo Logic and JFrog. Das is on the board of JFrog as well.
Das bought shares in Sumo Logic's $75 million Series F, which sold at $8.08 per share, the company said. Das bought shares of JFrog in its Series C when shares sold at $2.39, as well as in a later round.
Sapphire Ventures' stake in JFrog: 7,977,173 (9.9%). At $11.82 per share, (the price from its last round of private financing in 2018, according to JFrog) this stake is worth just over $94 million.
Sapphire Ventures' stake in Sumo Logic: 5,948,005 shares (7.1%). At $11.02 per share, this stake is worth nearly $66 million.
8VC's Joe Lonsdale: a Palantir stake worth an estimated $194 million+
Joe Lonsdale is one of Palantir's cofounders who left the company years ago and now runs his own fund, 8VC, which is the shareholder of record for much of Lonsdale's stake.
In addition, another 8VC partner — Palantir's first employee Alex Moore — led investments, too, and is a Palantir board member.
8VC's stake in Palantir: 36,330,980 shares (5.3%). At $5.35 per share (the weighted average price as of August, the firm said), the stake is worth over $194 million.
Benchmark Capital's Matt Cohler: an Asana stake worth an estimated $200 million
Benchmark Capital's Matt Cohler led Asana's $9 million Series A funding back in 2009, when shares sold for 50 cents.
Cohler has been on the board ever since and Benchmark bought more shares over the years as well. Asana's final private capital raise was a Series E in 2018 at $8.19 per share. In July, the company's board valued shares at $14.24, Asana disclosed.
Benchmark Capital's stake in Asana: 14,012,703 shares (10.4%). At $14.24 per share, the stake is worth just under $200 million.
Greylock's Joseph Ansanelli: a Sumo Logic stake worth an estimated $209 million+
Greylock Partners invested in Sumo Logic's Series B, when shares sold for $1.88, according to the company. Lead investor Joseph Ansanelli joined the board in 2013, and the firm continued to build its stake in the company.
Greylock's stake in Sumo Logic: 18,983,932 shares (22.6%) At $11.02 per share this stake is worth over $209 million.
Sequoia's Carl Eschenbach: a Snowflake stake worth an estimated $799 million+
Sequoia Capital's Carl Eschenbach led Snowflake's $450 million Series F in 2018. It bought more stock in another round as well, and Eschenbach joined the board the next year. Stock in the Series F sold for $14.96 per share, Snowflake disclosed.
Sequoia Capital's stake in Snowflake: 20,619,156 shares (8.4%). At $38.77 per share (the share price from its latest round in February), the stake is worth over $799 million.
Redpoint Ventures Satish Dharmaraj: a Snowflake stake worth an estimated $850 million+
Redpoint Ventures' Satish Dharmaraj led several investments in Snowflake starting in 2014, as the lead investor for the company's coming-out-of-stealth $26 million Series B. The Series B stock cost about 97 cents per share, Snowflake disclosed.
Redpoint Ventures' stake in Snowflake: 21,928,585 shares (9.0%). At $38.77 per share, the stake is worth over $850 million.
Silver Lake Partners' Egon Durban: Unity stake worth an estimated $953 million
Silver Lake's managing partner Egon Durban joined Unity's board in 2017, the year the private equity giant invested $250 million at $11.50 per share.
Silver Lake participated in Unity's next few fundraising efforts until it owned about 18% of the company.
Silver Lake's stake in Unity: 43,304,557 shares (18.2%). At $22 per share this stake is worth nearly $953 million
Sequoia Capital's Roelof Botha: a Unity Software stake worth an estimated $1.26 billion
Sequoia Capital owns nearly a quarter Unity Software: Sequoia lead its Series A round in 2009 and continued to invest in subsequent rounds. Series A stock sold for 33 cents per share, Unity disclosed.
Sequoia's stake in Unity: 57,456,069 shares (24.1%). At $22 per share, this stake is worth: $1.26 billion.
ICONIQ's Matt Jacobson: a Snowflake stake worth an estimated $1.31 billion
ICONIQ's Matt Jacobson led Snowflake's $100 million Series D in 2017 and the firm bought more stock in later rounds. Stock in that round sold for about $3.50.
ICONIQ Strategic Partners' stake in Snowflake: 33,752,048 shares (13.8%). At $38.77 per share, the stake is worth nearly $1.31 billion.
Altimeter Partners' Kevin Wang: a Snowflake worth an estimated $1.41 billion
Altimeter's Kevin Wang led Snowflake's $45 million Series C round in 2015. Stock in that round sold for about $2.29.
Various Alterimeter funds participated in more rounds until all related Altimeter entities collectively owned 15%.
Altimeter's stake in Snowflake: 36,286,307 shares (14.8%). At $38.77 per share, the stake is worth nearly $1.41 billion.
Founders Fund's Peter Thiel: stakes in Asana and Palantir worth an estimated $1.88 billion, combined
Peter Thiel and his venture firm Founder's Fund led Asana's $28 million Series B in 2012, when shares sold for $2.71, Asana disclosed.
Peter Thiel is also the cofounder and largest shareholder of Palantir, in addition to an investor through several of his investment companies.
Founders Fund's stake in Asana: 8,713,329 shares (6.5%). At $14.24 per share the stake is worth over $124 million.
Thiel and associated entities' stake in Palantir: 329,364,684 shares (about 33%). At $5.35 per share, the stake is worth over $1.76 billion.
Sutter Hill Ventures' Mike Speiser: a Snowflake stake worth an estimated $1.92 billion+
Mike Speiser lead Snowflake's original $5 million Series A round back in 2012, joined the board, and has been there ever since. Series A shares cost about 35 cents back then, the company disclosed.
Snowflake has gone on to raise $1.4 billion in a half dozen more rounds, at an estimated $12.4 billion valuation, with Sutter frequently participating.
Sutter Hill Ventures' stake in Snowflake: 49,564,848 shares (20.3%). At $38.77 per share, the stake is worth over $1.92 billion.
Dozens of other investors
Each of these companies have many other venture investors as well, all of whom will do well if public investors like the companies as much as they did — or more.
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