Chinan Snap investor makes billions
While Snap’s blockbuster IPO has boosted the net worth of several high-profile investors and co-founders by billions of dollars, one of the previously less-visible big winners is n venture capitalist Jeremy Liew.
???A partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, Liew’s deal to make the very first investment in the company previously called Snapchat produced billions in gains for his firm.???
Speaking to the n Financial Review, Liew said the result was “just another day at the office”, and hoped it wouldn’t be the biggest accomplishment of his career.
“I’m 45 and I’ve been a venture capitalist for about 10 years,” he said. “I would definitely be disappointed if the best years of my career were already behind me.”
Growing up in Perth and graduating from the n National University, Liew has lived in the US for the past 20 years and has booked investments in several big social networks for Lightspeed ??? including Playdom (which was acquired by Disney), Flixster (which was acquired by Warner Brothers) and Kongregate (which was acquired by GameStop) ??? but Snap is by far the most valuable.
Liew initially made the deal to invest $US485,000 ($641,000) of Lightspeed’s money in Snapchat in 2012, after a colleague tipped him off that his children had been using the ephemeral messaging app religiously. Tracking down co-founder Evan Spiegel on Facebook, Liew organised to make the initial investment. By the time of the IPO, Lightspeed had invested a total of $US8.5 million.
Last week the company sold shares worth $US74 million, but retained a stake that was worth $US2 billion based on the closing price after the first day of trading.
Now styling itself as more than just the operator of a messaging app, Snap envisions a future in which it “reinvents the camera”.
Liew praised Spiegel as “an extraordinary founder, product visionary and leader”, and played down a New York Timesreport he and the Snap co-founders had a falling out over the terms of Lightspeed’s initial investment, which gave the firm power to veto funding from other venture capitalists.
“I think it was a bit overblown”, Liew told the AFR. “In any five-year relationship there are going to be some points of friction, we had some disagreements and we resolved them”.