Tim Draper, a venture capitalist, and bitcoin evangelist is the founding partner of Draper Associates and DFJ. Draper Associates is a powerhouse of venture capital and manages over 6 billion dollars of investors’ assets. Mr. Draper is the third in this familial business and also a founder of Draper University. He received wide coverage for his purchase of seized bitcoins at a US Marshals Service auction.
Tim Draper helped launch Skype, Hotmail, and more than 500 other technology firms in over two decades. He also launched DFJ Global Network, a virtual viral market of venture capital with offices across the world.
Mr. Draper has also invested in Baidu (the first Silicon Valley venture capitalist to invest in China), and Tesla (Series D venture round through Draper Associates).
As an advocate for free markets and entrepreneurs, Mr. Draper has been recognized as a leader in his field and has received various honors and awards. He has been ranked seventh on the Forbes Midas List and 52nd on the list of the 100 most influential Harvard Alumni. He holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard. Besides that, he has also been awarded Commonwealth Club’s Distinguished Citizen Award for his achievement in sustainable and green energy.
Tim Draper has always been regarded as the number one venture capital deal maker. To further encourage entrepreneurship, Mr. Draper started BizWorld.org which is a non-profit organization for children to learn entrepreneurship. He also leads an initiative, InnovateYourState to improve the governance of California.
In an exclusive interview with AsiaTechDaily, Tim Draper says:
Read on and know more about Mr. Tim Draper and how his rich and diverse experience in Silicon Valley and his passion and persistence has made him set apart from others.
Tim Draper: I graduated with a BSEE from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard. My grandfather was the first Silicon Valley venture capitalist and my father was one of the pioneers of venture capital. I was the first to develop a global strategy for venture capital.
Tim Draper: I have funded Baidu, Focus Media, Skype, Hotmail, Tesla, SpaceX, Robinhood, Carta, TwitchTV, Cruise Automation, Coinbase, and many others. I have developed a deal flow strategy over the 33 years I have been in the venture capital business. I do a lot of traveling, speak at conferences, started a school for entrepreneurs, built a network of venture capitalists, and invested in a number of accelerators.
Tim Draper: There are many. Most are when I see that the entrepreneur’s heart is not in it. Other reasons are small market size, no end-user control, low margins, commodity, a feature rather than industry.
Tim Draper: Once I have invested, I monitor the progress of my portfolio by meeting one on one with the companies and get an honest assessment of the company. KPIs vary by industry, company, focus, etc. Competition, cash, and team dynamics are some.
Tim Draper: We will invest globally. We tend to invest $1 million to start, and more if the company is in more advanced stages.
Tim Draper: Netflix, I couldn’t believe that Reid Hastings was going to send DVDs to customers through the US Mail. I expected them to be streaming soon, He said he didn’t think they were ready for streaming yet.
Tim Draper: Team dynamics. Losing the founder. Poor cash use or planning. No customer focus.
Tim Draper: I ask why? Why are they doing it? The other questions vary according to the business. I recommend that they think big and show me their vision clearly.
Tim Draper: The world is going global. Decentralized technology like Bitcoin is changing the world in finance the way the internet changed it in communication.
Tim Draper: Transforming industries to make the world better. Making large impacts on society. Making money for my investors. Supporting entrepreneurship.
Tim Draper: I would have backed Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Netflix when I had the chance.
Tim Draper: The ones that seem a little different.
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