As the top 100 names in tech grow increasingly familiar, it becomes apparent that the Midas List, too, is growing more concentrated among the top performing firms—a trend that reflects the shrinking of the venture industry itself.
The Midas List is an annual ranked catalog of the best newcomers in the tech business by Forbes, looking at the top 100 names in the business. For 2015, Forbes’ list ranged from not only tech, but to life sciences and international markets such as the venture opportunities in China.
In China, smartphone maker Xiaomi was named as the world’s highest-valued private technology company and Alibaba as the largest-ever IPO. Chinese-based companies ruled the pack, with Sequoia’s Capital adding another venture capital, with Steven Ji making it big with three companies: Maple Leaf, Jumei and Dianping.com, the Chinese equivalent to Yelp. Ji’s efforts landed him at #22 of the Midas List.
Firms both new and old came in with high-rankings, with Foundation Capital and General Atlantic bringing one VC to the plate. Managing Director Thomas Murphy with General Atlantic helped bring in one IPO in Alibaba, as well as still-private Klarna, a Swedish company that help provide secure payments to e-commerce platforms. Recently launched in the United States, Klarna has found major success.
Top billionaires however did see a drop, with three losing their rank in the top ten from 2014. Jim Breyer, an Accell Parnters billionaire who now runs Breyer Capital, fell to #13, Peter Thiel of Founders’ Fund, is at #12 and Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn and Greylock Partners billionaire fell all the way to #34.
At number 1 was Jim Goetz, due to WhatsApp, the mobile messaging company purchased by Facebook back in October for a startling $22 billion. As the sole investor in WhatsApp, Goetz returned more than $3 billion to Sequoia. Also within the top ten was Jenny Lee, the list’s first female investor to hold such a ranking. At #52 last year, Lee is a former drone engineer who helped GGV Capital get into Xiaomi, as well as mobile games maker Yodo1 as well as social platform YY.