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These tech investors have made star careers out of spotting such companies ahead of the curve and making bigger, bolder bets on their success. They’re led by Sequoia China’s Neil Shen, himself a former entrepreneur and backer of leading companies from Alibaba to TikTok owner ByteDance. Shen is one of a record 22 Chinese investors on the 2020 list. While roughly one fourth of the list have been on the list for 8 years, 12 newcomers and six returnees (people who had dropped off previously) made the cut thanks to a mix of exits older like Dropbox, Spotify and Xiaomi; and new ones like Slack, Uber and Zoom. Only 11 of the Midas members are women, one less than a year ago.
To qualify, investors are ranked by their portfolio companies that have gone public or been acquired for at least $200 million over the past five years, or that have at least doubled their private valuation since initial investment to $400 million or more over the same period. Forbes and TrueBridge put a premium on exits over unrealized returns, large multiples on capital invested or huge cash sums returned as of March 2020, just as coronavirus swept the globe. A data-driven list, Midas is produced after reviewing the submissions of hundreds of partners across dozens of firms each year.
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