From the NYT:
Vinod Khosla, the prominent venture capitalist who has been investing hundreds of millions of his own dollars in green technology companies for the last several years, will now invest other people’s money, too.
Vinod Khosla says most clean-tech companies need only a few million dollars to prove that their technology works. Khosla Ventures, the firm he founded in 2004 after leaving Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is announcing on Tuesday that it has raised $1.1 billion in two funds that will invest in green technology and information technology start-ups.
This is the largest amount raised by a venture capital firm since 2007 and the largest first-time fund raised since 1999, according to the National Venture Capital Association.
Learn more about him and Khosla Ventures at KhoslaVentures.com.
78. Vinod Khosla
LAST YEAR: 92.
STAGE OF GLOBAL CONQUEST: Since launching Khosla Ventures in 2004, the Sand Hill Road venture capitalist has invested an estimated $500 million of his $1.1 billion personal fortune into 70-plus tech start-ups, most of them immersed in the development of alternative fuel and energy sources. Among them: Calera (war on dirty coal and new materials), Kior (war on oil), and Soraa (high-efficiency L.E.D. lighting). Together with Richard Branson’s Virgin Green Fund, Khosla invested in Gevo, which looks to produce isobutanol from agricultural residues.
EXECUTIVE TIC: Khosla, 54, is known to scribble on his office wall to illustrate his eco-ambitions.
RECESSION-DEFYING MOVE: At a time when nearly every industry is looking for government handouts, Khosla has remained a staunch advocate for keeping the clean-energy market free of subsidies.
LABEL-DEFYING MOVE: Khosla said hybrid vehicles are not an effective solution to reducing carbon emissions.
QUOTE: After being sued by an imprisoned serial litigant, he remarked, “Well, there is at least one thing I have in common with Britney Spears and Perez Hilton now.”
YEAR AHEAD: ↗
He's just above Stephen Colbert at #79 and Rush Limbaugh at #80. This was his second appearance on the list, up from #92 last year.
The other person to note:
97. Anil Ambani
LAST YEAR: 67.
STAGE OF GLOBAL CONQUEST: Ambani was the biggest loser when Forbes published its annual wealth ranking in March: his fortune fell by $32 billion, to $10 billion. But that still left him with plenty of cash to close a Bollywood-meets-Hollywood deal with Steven Spielberg to make a $500 million investment in DreamWorks (along with the rights to distribute its films in India).
BAD BLOOD: Anil, 50, and his billionaire brother, Mukesh, (they grew up in a communal building in a distressed neighborhood) foolishly hurt their image by perpetuating a long public feud: they frequently sued each other but rarely talked. In one of their biggest battles, Mumbai’s high court ordered Mukesh’s company to make good on a deal from 2005 (when they split up their late father’s empire) to sell natural gas to Anil’s company for 17 years at a price 44 percent lower than that set by the government. That could mean billions of dollars’ worth of savings for Anil and losses for Mukesh, who appealed to India’s Supreme Court.
EPISODE OF UNSURPASSED INTRIGUE: Police arrested two men for allegedly sabotaging Ambani’s Bell 412 helicopter by pouring pebbles and soil into the gearbox while it was parked at a Mumbai airport. Police believed it wasn’t an attempt to murder Ambani but rather a case of a maintenance company’s workers taking revenge on management. The technician who reported the tampering was found dead the following week on railroad tracks in Mumbai, raising speculation: accident, suicide, or murder because of his snitching?
LATEST ACT OF DO-GOODERY: Ambani opened a 730-bed hospital in Mumbai.
YEAR AHEAD: →
The CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Apple and Bezos are 1, 2 and 3 on the list.
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