David Sze: an investor who believed in the Internet industry
David Sze is a successful investor who invests in the Internet segment. He is a managing partner at Greylock Partners. Thanks to Sze, the latter invested in a little-known start-up Facebook in 2006 and made a major profit.
David was born in 1966, he graduated from Yale University and got a master’s degree in Stanford. Until 2000, he worked for Excite@Home Corporation, where he was involved in programming, and later became Vice President. The young man was interested in the Internet industry, even at that time he saw the great potential of the industry. When David joined Greylock Partners, his colleagues advised him to focus on investing in more profitable segments at the time, but Sze was interested in media services and consumer technology. It took him two years to refocus the company on investing in Silicon Valley startups. David personally explained to partners and engaged businessmen about the prospects of this or that company and studied market research. He was the one who saw their potential in the early stages of Facebook, LinkedIn and Pandora and insisted on funding these projects. The only thing David considered a mistake was to invest in Twitter when the network first appeared. If the investment had been bigger then, we could have counted on a return several times higher than Greylock Partners got.
In 2004, the company financed the development of LinkedIn. The new social network aroused scepticism among investors. He believed that the success of the startup was questionable. However, LinkedIn chose the right niche without turning into one of the same social networks. The project helps people build business relationships and makes it easier to find the right employee, partner or employer.
David managed Facebook’s investments in 2006 and LinkedIn and Pandora in 2011. He oversaw all the processes at Greylock Partners related to these companies and the work produced good results. For several years in a row in a number of respected rankings, Sze has been a leader as the most successful venture capitalist.
By 2012, Greylock capital reached $1 billion, now this amount is $2 billion. The company’s sphere of activity remains innovative technologies and IT startups. Back in 2005 Greylock organized its 12th fund, whose assets amounted to $500 million. In 2009, a new fund appeared, the 13th fund with the capital of 572 million dollars, and later assets increased to 1 billion dollars.
The company is focused on early-stage start-ups, whose business areas are software and consumer IT products.