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The Most Successful Angel Investor

Andy Bectolsheim was born in Germany in 1955. He received his master's degree in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon Universty in 1976 and was a PhD student in EE/CS at Stanford University from 1977 to 1982.

After co-founded Sun Microsystems (became a success, with $1 billion in sales by 1988). By 2003, the market value of Sun Microsystems was $11.5 billion, he left Sun in 1995 to found Granite Systems, a company focused on developing high-speed network switches. In 1996, Cisco System acquired the firm for $220 million, with Bechtolsheim owning 60%. He became Vice President and general manager of Cisco's Gigabit Systems Business Unit, until leaving the company in December 2003 to head Kealia, Inc. rank 4 at Midas List. (The Midas List seeks to identify individuals who deploy venture capital to create wealth for their investors)

Bechtolsheim and Cheriton were two of the first investors in Google investing $100,000 in 1998. Bechtolsheim reportedly wrote the check to Google Inc prior to the company even being founded. What he did is come to Google Demonstration, play with it a little, and then without written contract, he wrote a check and gone with his porche away. Without even knowing how Google Guys will establish Google. Bechtolsheim seeded many companies in this fashion, including OnFiber Communications, the industry leader in metro transport for large enterprises (acquired by Qwest in 2006).

As a result of investments like these, Bechtolsheim is increasingly being seen as the most successful Angel investor, one such company, Magma Design Inc., has been tremendously profitable for Bechtolsheim, with his stake in the company being valued around $60 million. The most profitable for Bechtolsheim was his initial $100,000 investment in Google, which is now worth approximately US$1.5 billion.


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