The Top 10 Richest People Who Invested in Google (And How Much They’re Worth)
By Nora Mathe
The most used search engine started out in a garage in California. Founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page started working on the project in the ‘90s, just around the time the Internet was becoming more and more accessible to the public.
The company was founded in 1998, and since then it has gone through many changes, but one thing is certain: the smart university students wouldn’t have been able to launch the world’s favorite search engine without the help of their investors who had some faith in their idea.
Let’s take a look at the richest people who took a chance on Google and invested their money in it!
10. Sundar Pichai
Net Worth: $600m
Sundar Pichai’s name became well-known in media in 2018 when he testified before the US Congress when Google was under investigation due to rumors of misinformation spreading campaigns, data breaches, etc. Pichai is Google’s current CEO, and he has been working for the company since 2004.
Investopedia reports that he owns 89,727 Class C Capital shares, 85,415 Class C Google shares, and 6,317 Class A Google Shares, according to his most recent filing with the SEC on Nov. 26, 2018.
9. Ron Conway
Net Worth: $1.5b
Ron Conway is an angel investor – a wealthy individual who provides capital for a business startup. He is referred to as “the godfather of Silicon Valley” or “Silicon Valley’s super angel”. He funded many large online corporations such as Reddit, Facebook, Ask Jeeves, Airbnb, Twitter, and PayPal.
Among his greatest investments is Google, which he had invested in in the early ‘90s. At the time, he was investing in many startups, most of which flamed out. In an interview with Fortune, Conway claims that venture capitalism is a young person’s business; his firm likes to pick people 30 years old or younger, who have the drive and better knowledge of what the market demands.
8. Kavitrak Ram Shriram
Net Worth: $2.2b
Kavitra Ram Shriram is an Indian-American businessman who used to work at Netscape as an executive in the ‘90s. Later, he became the president of Junglee, an online shopping company that was bought by Amazon in 1998. With the acquisition of Junglee, Shriram became the president of Amazon for a while.
As one of the first-ever investors in Google, Shriram is also a board member. At one point, he used to own 3.4 million shares in the company, but he sold many of them in 2007. Since then, he owns 1.7 million shares and still holds a seat on the board.
7. David Cheriton
Net Worth: $6.3b
Cheriton, nicknamed “professor billionaire”, is a professor at Stanford University. He is a Canadian scientist, mathematician, and, among other things, a successful venture capitalist. Together with his friend Andreas von Bechtolsheim, who is also featured on this list, he invested in many tech startups such as Arista, Granite Systems, and Kealia.
Cheriton invested $100K in Google very early, which earned him the billionaire status he holds today, according to Forbes. When he funneled money into the company, he was actually supporting two of his own students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google.
6. Andreas von Bechtolsheim
Net Worth: $6.8b
Bechtolsheim is a German-born businessman; he used to be an electrical engineer and entrepreneur before he turned into an investor and became a self-made billionaire. He is the co-founder of Arista and currently holds a 20% stake in the company.
His most well-known investment is the $100K he gave Sergey Brin and Larry Page to help them found Google. Together with David Cheriton, they were one of the angel investors in the search engine. Reportedly, Bechtolsheim gave his $100K to Brin and Page when Google wasn’t even incorporated. He was also rumored to have named Google, but these claims are untrue.
5. John Doerr
Net Worth: $7.4b
Doerr is a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins, a company that focuses on investing in early-stage growth companies. He joined the firm in 1980, and his calls since then have been successful: they backed giants such as Amazon, Electronic Arts, AOL, Twitter, and Netscape.
Of course, Kleiner Perkins also backed Google, and that is credited to John Doerr who led them to this decision. The company invested $1.2m in 1999, which then made them billions when Google went public in 2004.
4. Eric Schmidt
Net Worth: $14.3b
Eric Schmidt currently owns 1.29 million Class C Capital shares, 1.19 million Class B shares, 40,934 Class A shares, and 10,983 Class A Google shares directly, but the amount is even larger if we take into account the shares he owns through family trusts.
Schmidt worked at Google as the chief executive officer between 2001 and 2011, handpicked by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and under the guidance of venture capitalists John Doerr and Michael Moritz. Initially, Schmidt’s stocks in Google were offered to him as part of his salary.
3. Sergey Brin
Net Worth: $54.5b
Sergey Brin and Larry Page are the co-founders of Google and the inventors of the search engine that changed the way we use the internet today. Currently, Brin is the president of Alphabet, Google’s parent company created in 2015. Brin migrated to the USA from Russia when he was 6 years old.
Currently, he owns owns 19.3 million Class C shares, 35,300 Class A shares, and 35,300 Class B shares. He is the thirteenth richest man in the world, and he previously ran the secretive project Google X, whose most famous invention so far was the ill-fated Google Glass.
2. Larry Page
Net Worth: $56.5b
The co-founder of Google, Larry Page, together with Sergey Brin, is behind the algorithm that powers Google’s search engine. He was the first CEO of the company in 2001 before he stepped down in favor of the more business-savvy Eric Schmidt. Page took the CEO position again in 2011, after Schmidt stepped down, and held the position until 2015 when he became the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
Page owns 20 million Class C shares and 20.0 million Class Bshares of Alphabet. He is an advocate for clean energy and funnels much of his company’s funds into sustainability research. He also sits on the helm of Calico, the company’s healthcare division.
1. Jeff Bezos
Net Worth: $111.8b
The wealthiest man on the planet and founder, CEO, and president of Amazon also invested in Google in its early stages. Just this investment would’ve made Bezos a billionaire by today. His way of becoming an investor in Google is surprising and rather unlikely.
In 1998, when Amazon bought Junglee from Kavitrak Ram Shriram, number 8 on our list, Bezos heard of Google from him. Shriram was advising the two Stanford students at the time about their company and invested in it in February of that year. Six months later, Jeff Bezos talked him into letting him invest in the firm while he was on vacation in the Bay area, even though the early funding cycle had already closed.
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