The Facebook IPO could be a real thing as early as next month! Facebook now boasts more than 800 million users, but its investors make up a much more exclusive group. With the company expected to go public in mid-2012 at a valuation of $80 billion, these early investors stand to cash in on the social network’s success. In the slides that follow, meet the angels, venture capitalists, and global investors who have made big bets on Facebook.
Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist and entrepreneur, invested in Facebook in 2004 as an angel investor. Thiel also serves on Facebook’s board of directors. He’s a co-founder of PayPal, which he sold to eBay in 2002. Thiel also heads up the Founders Fund with PayPal partners Ken Howery and Luke Nosek.
Reid Hoffman is an angel investor in Facebook and many other companies, including Flickr, Last.fm, Ning, and Zynga. Hoffman is a partner at Greylock and co-founder and executive chairman at LinkedIn.
Accel Partners’ Jim Breyer invested in Facebook in April 2005, and also serves on the company’s board. Breyer ranked No. 1 on this year’s Forbes Midas List of top 10 investors.
Mark Pincus is the founder and CEO of Zynga, the world’s leading social game developer. Pincus invested in Facebook in 2005.
Meritech Capital Partners
Meritech Capital Partners is a private-equity firm focused on late stage venture capital investments in information technology. Meritech participated in Facebook’s Series B funding round in April 2006.
On Oct. 24, 2007, Microsoft took a $240 million equity stake in Facebook as part of an expanded advertising partnership. Microsoft was the sole participant in Facebook’s Series C financing round. Stock ticker of MSFT.
Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing made a reported $60 million investment in Facebook in November 2007. Li is the chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa.
European Founders Fund
German entrepreneurs Alexander, Marc, and Oliver Samwer invested in Facebook in January 2008 as part of a $15 billion valuation round with Microsoft. The brothers reportedly sold their shares earlier this year.
Digital Sky Technologies (Yuri Milner)
Yuri Milner’s Digital Sky Technologies made a $200 million investment in Facebook on May 26, 2009, in exchange for preferred stock. At the time, the investment represented a 1.96 percent equity stake at a $10 billion valuation. The company also participated in a $500 million direct investment in Facebook alongside Goldman Sachs at a $50 billion valuation.
Elevation Partners reportedly spent $120 million for 5 million Facebook shares on the secondary market back in June 2010. This investment came on top of Elevation’s purchase of 2.5 million shares in November 2009. Elevation Partners was co-founded by U2 frontman Bono.
Goldman Sachs (GS) invested $1 billion in Facebook Class A common stock on Jan. 21 as part of an overseas offering. Digital Sky Technologies and Goldman Sachs also invested $500 million in Facebook Class A common stock in December 2010.