James J. Goetz (born 1965/1966) is an American venture capitalist and businessman who is a partner with Sequoia Capital. Goetz is known for his focus on mobile and enterprise startups, including successful investments in AdMob, WhatsApp, Chartboost and GitHub. In 2017, Goetz announced he was stepping back from his leadership role with Sequoia, but continues to invest and represent the firm on company boards.

Jim Goetz
James J. Goetz[1]

1965 or 1966 (age 57–58)[2]
Detroit, Michigan, US
EducationUniversity of Cincinnati (B.S.), Stanford University (M.S.)
OccupationVenture capitalist
Known forSequoia Capital, WhatsApp
Board member ofSequoia Capital
Palo Alto Networks

Early life edit

Goetz was born in Detroit, Michigan,[3] and raised in the Midwestern United States, and attended the University of Cincinnati, where he received a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering.[4][5] Afterward, he attended Stanford University and earned an M.S. in computer systems.[6]

Career edit

Goetz started a PhD, but chose instead to pursue a career in product management, with early stints working at AT&T and SynOptics,[4] which later became Bay Networks.[7]

Goetz became a vice president at Bay Networks,[8] then left in 1996 to co-found a software company, VitalSigns.[9][6] With co-founders Rajiv Batra[10] and Monty Kersten,[9] Goetz raised $5.5 million from Sequoia Capital and Austin Ventures in April 1997. The same month, the company released a "browser companion" application, NetMedic, enabling users to identify and correct network performance issues.[11] In October 1998, the company agreed to be acquired by International Network Services.[9][12] Following the sale, Goetz joined the venture capital firm Accel.[4]

Sequoia Capital edit

Goetz joined Sequoia Capital in 2004,[2] where he has focused on mobile and enterprise startup investments.[5][4] As of March 2018, Goetz sits on the board of five unicorn companies. At Sequoia, he has spoken publicly in favor of immigration as a boon to entrepreneurship, and supported initiatives to bring a closer gender balance at startups and venture firms.[13]

Goetz has been ranked on the Forbes Midas list of top 100 venture capitalists, and occupied the top spot each year from 2013 to 2017.[14] In 2018, he dropped to number three.[15] In 2015, Goetz was named "VC of the Year" at the Crunchies award show, hosted by the publication TechCrunch.[16][17]

Major investments edit

Major investments by Goetz leading to IPOs have included Ruckus Wireless and Palo Alto Networks in 2012,[18][19] Nimble Storage and Barracuda Networks in 2013,[20][21] and HubSpot in 2014.[22][14] Notable acquisitions from Goetz investments have included AdMob, acquired by Google for $750 million in 2009,[23] Clearwell Systems, acquired by Symantec for $410 million in 2011,[8] Appirio's acquisition by Wipro for $500 million in 2016,[14] and GitHub, acquired for $7.5 billion by Microsoft in 2018.[24]

Goetz's most successful investment was in WhatsApp, in which Sequoia was the only outside investor prior to its acquisition by Facebook for $19 billion in February 2014.[25][6] Sequoia's stake, led by Goetz, returned $3.5 billion on an approximate $60 million investment. TechCrunch described the deal as the "largest acquisition of a venture-backed company in history",[26][2][27] and it earned Goetz a reputation as one of Silicon Valley's "biggest rainmakers".[6][25]

Leadership transition edit

In January 2017, Goetz stepped back from his day-to-day management role as one of the firm's three "stewards", transitioning this role to Roelof Botha, and other duties associated with Sequoia's U.S. venture business to Alfred Lin. Goetz said at the time that he would continue to make investments and represent Sequoia on boards, but would also turn his attention to other projects.[2][25][27]

He has been a non-executive director of Palo Alto Networks since April 2005, and Intel since November 2019.[1]

Philanthropy edit

Goetz created the Mantei/Mae scholarship program at the University of Cincinnati in 2010 for high-achieving students studying electrical and computer engineering and computer science.[28]

In 2021, Goetz donated $25 million to the University of Cincinnati. The gift led to the expansion of computer science faculty, the establishment of two athletic scholarships, the creation of an honors program, and the renaming of the school's engineering building to the Mantei Center, in honor of professor Thomas Mantei.[28] The same year, the Goetz family donated a renovated movie theater in Los Gatos, California, to the city.[29][30]

Personal life edit

Goetz is married, with three children, and lives in Los Gatos, California.[31] In 2011, they bought the Los Gatos Theatre, an Art Deco cinema, and donated it to the town.[32]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "James (Jim) J. Goetz". Intel. Retrieved August 8, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d Winkler, Rolfe (January 31, 2017). "Venture Firm Sequoia Makes Leadership Changes". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  3. ^ "Jim Goetz". Sequoia Capital. Retrieved August 8, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d Shontell, Alyson (February 19, 2014). "Jim Goetz Is Silicon Valley's New God". Business Insider. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Swisher, Kara (February 20, 2014). "Q&A With Sequoia's Jim Goetz on Wassssup With the WhatsApp Deal". Recode. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d McBride, Sarah (February 20, 2014). "With WhatsApp deal, Sequoia Capital burnishes reputation". Reuters. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  7. ^ "Bay Networks' failed expectations". CNET. October 22, 1996. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Forbes Midas List - #30 Jim Goetz". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 19, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Rabinovitz, Jonathan (November 15, 1998). "How firm escaped IPO-or-bust attitude: it found a suitor". San Jose Mercury News.
  10. ^ Bort, Julie (May 18, 2013). "15 Enterprise Tech Rock Stars You've Never Heard Of But Should Know". Business Insider. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  11. ^ Helft, Miguel (April 15, 1997). "NetMedic Measures Web Vital Signs". Wired. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  12. ^ Herhold, Scott (November 15, 1998). "Returns of more than 50% annually are most likely a phenomenon of the past". San Jose Mercury News.
  13. ^ Vinluan, Frank (September 17, 2015). "Sequoia Capital's Goetz on Carbon3D, a North Carolina-Born "Unicorn"". Xconomy. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Schubarth, Cromwell (April 18, 2017). "The top 10 VCs on this year's Midas list—and the investments that got them there". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  15. ^ Lee, Georgina (April 4, 2018). "Sequoia China head Neil Shen tops Forbes' global list of leading technology venture capitalists". South China Morning Post. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  16. ^ Weber, Harrison (February 5, 2015). "These startups and VCs just won the Crunchies". VentureBeat. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  17. ^ Tiku, Nitasha (February 9, 2015). "Sexism and consequences at TechCrunch's annual award show". The Verge. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  18. ^ Dieterich, Chris (November 18, 2012). "Shares of Ruckus Wireless Fall After IPO". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  19. ^ Thomas, Owen (July 20, 2012). "Here's How Sequoia And Greylock Celebrated Their 45X Return On Palo Alto Networks". Business Insider. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  20. ^ Blattberg, Eric (October 18, 2013). "Data storage company Nimble Storage files for $150M IPO". VentureBeat. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  21. ^ Owens, Jeremy C. (November 6, 2013). "Barracuda Networks IPO primes pump for Twitter". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  22. ^ Knorad, Alex (August 25, 2014). "Another IPO For Boston: HubSpot Files $100 Million Public Offering". Forbes. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  23. ^ Liedtke, Michael (December 25, 2009). "Google sharpens aim on mobile marketing with AdMob". Boston Globe. Associated Press. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  24. ^ Newcomer, Eric; Bass, Dina (June 5, 2018). "Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Big Winners in GitHub's Sale to Microsoft". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  25. ^ a b c de la Merced, Michael J. (January 31, 2017). "Sequoia Capital Reshuffles Leadership". The New York Times. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  26. ^ Lawler, Ryan (February 19, 2014). "Sequoia's A Big Winner In Facebook's WhatsApp Acquisition, With Its Stake Worth About $3 Billion". TechCrunch. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  27. ^ a b Primack, Dan (January 31, 2017). "Sequoia Capital shakes up leadership". Axios. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  28. ^ a b Engel, Liz (September 10, 2021). "Famed investor gifts $25M to UC; building renamed in former professor's honor". Cincinnati Business Courier. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  29. ^ Peterson, Judy (November 24, 2021). "Town takes over iconic downtown movie theater". Los Gatan. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  30. ^ Kanik, Hannah (January 21, 2023). "Los Gatos Theatre, a 'centerpiece' of the community, reopens". The Mercury News. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  31. ^ "Forbes profile: Jim Goetz". Forbes. Retrieved August 7, 2023.
  32. ^ Peterson, Judy (November 24, 2021). "Town takes over iconic downtown movie theater". Los Gatan. Retrieved August 7, 2023.