These Billionaire VCs Are The World's Most Powerful Investors | Inside The Forbes Midas List

  • 3 days ago
A meteoric rise for AI startup valuations and a smattering of IPOs, old and new, signal the beginning of a changing of the guard atop the Midas List, Forbes’ ranking of the world’s top venture capitalists.

Produced in partnership with TrueBridge Capital Partners, the 23rd annual Midas List sees the return of investor Alfred Lin to its top spot. The Sequoia partner retakes No. 1 after two years with a portfolio bookended by a 2020 IPO in its last year of eligibility — Airbnb — and one of 2024’s few newer offerings — Reddit. Lin also gets a boost from ChatGPT maker OpenAI, where he played a role in returning CEO Sam Altman to power after a brief coup attempt in 2023.

The AI unicorn, recently valued at $86 billion, helps 7 investors onto Midas overall. They include early backer Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures, who moves up a whopping 76 slots to No. 9 on this year’s list. (And that doesn’t count fellow billionaires No. 8 Reid Hoffman, who invested in OpenAI through his foundation, or No. 36 Marc Andreessen, whose firm has also purchased shares.)

You’ll find other AI standouts, such as Anthropic and Cohere, sprinkled throughout. But it’s the soaring valuation of Elon Musk’s space business, SpaceX, that helps DFJ Growth investor Randy Glein return the list at No. 14 after a decade away, one of 8 investors to reappear on Midas after dropping off. They’re joined by six newcomers, including No. 91 Trae Stephens, who cofounded and then backed defense tech unicorn Anduril for Founders Fund, and No. 98 Wesley Chan of FPV Ventures, an early Canva investor.

The 2024 Midas List features 13 women investors, matching 2021’s record number. They include No. 99 Annabelle Yu Long, a China-based newcomer at BAI Capital, and No. 86 Annie Lamont, Connecticut’s First Lady and cofounder of Oak HC/FT, appearing for the fifth time, but her first in nine years.

A data-driven ranking, the Midas List is produced annually from a combination of public data sources and the submissions of hundreds of investment partners across dozens of firms. To qualify, investors are ranked by portfolio companies that have gone public or been acquired for at least $200 million in the past five years, or that have at least doubled their private valuation to $400 million or more over the same period. Forbes and TrueBridge allow firms to share credit for a deal between up to two investors, and put a premium on liquid exits over unrealized returns. Early stage investors who deliver large multiples on money invested, and later-stage investors who return large sums of cash, can both make the list. Top Midas investors typically achieve both, across a dozen or more eligible investments.

0:00 Introduction
0:48 What Is The Major Shift Of The Forbes Midas 2024 List?
3:11 What Top AI Innovators Are On This Year's List?
6:49 Women In Tech: Are There More Women Present On The Midas 2024 List
9:20 What Surprises Were Discovered When Building The Midas 2024 List

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