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Six Indian-Americans in Forbes Midas 100

Thursday April 07, 2011 09:58:29 AM, Arun Kumar, IANS

Washington: Six Indian-Americans figure in The Midas 100, Forbes' list of venture capitalists who bucked the trends of shrinking firms and declining returns to "create wealth and fund the new ideas that keep US economy vibrant."

Topping the US business magazine's list of 2011 Top Tech Investors is Jim Breyer, whose Accel Partners' early $12.7 million bet on Facebook now worth $5 billion with a 10 percent stake makes Accel Facebook's second largest shareholder after Mark Zuckerberg.

Among the Indian Americans, San Francisco based Aneel Bhusri "the enterprise software guru", who worked as vice chairman at PeopleSoft before joining Greylock in 1999 is ranked number 15.

He notched big returns in 2007 when storage software outfit PolyServe sold to Hewlett-Packard for $200 million, and software vendor OutlookSoft was acquired by SAP.

Menlo Park, California based Rob Chandra comes next at number 26. "Three-time consecutive Midas member saw seven of his portfolio companies go public in the last three years, many in India where Chandra helped launch Bessemer's operations," Forbes noted.

Boston, Massachusetts based Sunil Dhaliwal follows at number 49. He led Battery Ventures' investments in CipherTrust (acquired by Secure Computing for $271 million) and Netezza, which went public in 2007 before IBM took it off the market for $2.9 billion last year.

Two notches down Waltham, Massachusetts based Neeraj Agrawal at 51 led Battery Ventures's investment in Internet media company InternetBrands, which sold to Hellman & Friedman for $640 million last December.

Agrawal led investment in software outfit RealPage, which went public just a few months earlier (current market cap: $1.67 billion), Forbes said.

Ranked 71st is Indian-born engineer Vinod Khosla, who raised $1.1 billion in the teeth of the recession (summer 2009)--the most raised by a venture firm in three years, Forbes said.

He "immediately started deploying capital into his 'imprudent science experiments,' everything from wood-based biofuel and new types of batteries, engines and lights to water purification, greener glass and clean cement." it said.

Passion for social entrepreneurship led to an investment in SKS, the Indian microfinance lender he funded in 2006 and went public last August.

Sameer Gandhi ranked 81 brings up the rear. Gandhi joined Accel Partners Accel from Sequoia in 2008, where he invested in media and tech firm Gracenote before it sold to Sony for $260 million in 2008.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at



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