In a bid to accelerate its goal to automate driving, Uber acquired self-driving startup Otto. It was a bold move complicated by the fact that Otto’s founder, Anthony Levandowski, had been a leader of Waymo which housed Google’s own self-driving efforts. That spring, he dug in, trying to right the ship. “Any time you’re unsuccessful in getting a founder to be successful, it’s tough,” he said, adding that the transition from startup founder to CEO requires significant work. Benchmark is famous for making early, disciplined bets on startups, and taking an active hand in building companies. When he finally got his wish, in 2017, he learned about huge losses that Uber had been quietly sustaining. Gurley’s worry turned to panic, according to colleagues who spoke to Bloomberg Businessweek in 2018. Following the dot-com crash, three co-founders of consumer review site Epinions sued Benchmark, Gurley and other investors in 2005 for failing to disclose financial information material to a proposed merger. , At Benchmark, Gurley has led investments in and holds board seats on Brighter, DogVacay, Good Eggs, GrubHub, HackerOne, Linden Lab, LiveOps, Nextdoor, OpenTable, Sailthru, Scale Computing, Stitch Fix, Vessel, and Zillow. John William Gurley, CFA (born May 10, 1966) is a general partner at Benchmark, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm in Menlo Park, California. Identities Podcasts People Ai. Through a spokeswoman, Kalanick declined to be interviewed for this article.“He is an extremely powerful ally. Once privately valued at $76 billion, Uber's shares trade lower as of April 2020, but it still represents a career-clinching deal for Gurley, whose firm Benchmark held an eye-popping stake of more than $6 billion in Uber at the time -- and had sued one-time CEO Travis Kalanick in 2017 as part of a boardroom battle. ", Gurley is on the advisory council of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas and is a board member at KIPP Bay Area Schools. " He covered companies including Dell, Compaq and Microsoft and was the lead analyst on the Amazon.com IPO. ", Gurley is known for his above average height; he is 6’9”. , John William Gurley was born in Dickinson, Texas, outside of Houston, on May 10, 1966. , In April 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that Gurley is stepping back from Benchmark as he was no longer taking part of a new fund that his venture-capital firm was raising. Gurley seemed not to mind, but didn’t give up trying to get on the board’s audit committee.  With both a financial and engineering background he “has a way of sizing things up that makes him both intriguing and highly quotable. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. A towering Texan at 6 feet, 9 inches, Gurley is a former jock known for his acid wit on Twitter and an easygoing, convivial demeanor in person. Attorney General Eric Holder who Uber hired in 2017 to investigate claims of sexism and harassment. NEW YORK, NY - Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for TechCrunch Benchmark venture capitalist Bill Gurley recently resigned from GrubHub’s board of directors. Before Compaq, he worked in the technical marketing group of Advanced Micro Devices' embedded processor division. In May 2019, Bill Gurley watched as Uber, the ride-hailing app in which he led a Series A in 2011, went public. Benchmark Capital's Bill Gurley: Yes, It's Really A Bubble! , With the economic collapse in the fall of 2008, Gurley garnered attention when he sent a letter to his portfolio companies, advising CEOs to exercise caution in spending but to look for and take advantage of opportunities that become available during harsh economic times. Gurley, whose friends described him as having a close relationship with Kalanick, joined Uber’s board in 2011 as part of the investment and was a loud champion for the company. Carolan said while other firms, including his, all signed the 2017 letter demanding Kalanick resign, it wouldn’t have happened without Gurley. 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Along with the firm’s history of successful exits—it backed Twitter Inc., Instagram, Snap Inc. and Stitch Fix Inc. among others— Benchmark has a track record of fighting with founders.“We were always the anti-Benchmark,” Andreesen Horowitz partner Ben Horowitz told the New Yorker in 2015. CEO Frank Slootman strongly disputes the argument. Bill Gurley salary income and net worth data provided by People Ai provides an estimation for any internet celebrity's real salary income and net worth like Bill Gurley based on real numbers. Abhyanker declined to comment, citing a confidentiality agreement.From the start of their investment in Uber in 2011, Gurley and his partners recruited talent; smoothed relations with regulators in new cities; and helped the team consider new strategies, like incorporating autonomous driving technologies and electric bikes and scooters. " Gurley’s warnings, and post on his personal blog, Above the Crowd, on venture capital spending, have been widely discussed in the industry.  Gurley received his Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas McCombs School of Business in 1993. "There are other signs that the lessons of Uber’s tumultuous past continues to resonate with Gurley. , Prior to his investment career, Gurley was a design engineer at Compaq Computer, where he worked on products such as the 486/50 and Compaq's first multi-processor server. Bill Gurley has been an A-list VC for 15 years, but he's in his prime right now. He is listed consistently on the Forbes Midas List and is considered one of technology’s top dealmakers. “My belief is that Silicon Valley has entered into a period that’s speculative and unsustainable,” Gurley said Tuesday during an on-stage interview at the Wall Street Journal's technology conference, [...], Bill Gurley is one of the best and most prominent venture capitalists in the U.S. right now. And let’s be honest, the current tech valuation climate has been very kind to him. But before rejecting him, the firm's partners also gave him some advice: Go to Wall Street. “I convinced him his best path to launching that career was by establishing himself as the most credible lead analyst on the best venture-backed internet IPOs.”. Added his partner, Marc Andreessen: “I can’t stand him. alma mater, the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. ", Before joining Benchmark in 1999, Gurley was a partner at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. “As an investor, your hope is to back the founder indefinitely. In October 2019, Gurley hosted an event to help popularize direct listings as an alternative to the traditional IPO. VideoEditor’s Note: The following is a guest post written by Bill Gurley, a general partner at Benchmark Capital who has led investments in OpenTable, Zillow and Uber (and many other successful startups). Replacing founders does happen, but it’s maybe 5% of the time,” said Shawn Carolan, a partner at Menlo Ventures which backed Uber just after Benchmark. Through a spokeswoman, Gurley declined to be interviewed for this article. The suit was later dismissed. A towering Texan at 6 feet, 9 inches, Gurley is a former jock known for his acid wit on Twitter and an easygoing, convivial demeanor in person. Will Hippo Be The Next Fintech Unicorn To Exit Via The SPAC Door? He was Uber’s most engaged board member and the closest thing Mr. Kalanick has to a consigliere. The Benchmark Capital partner was part of the investor group that pushed for CEO Travis Kalanick’s resignation after months of turmoil at Uber. He had also spent four years on Wall Street as a research analyst, including three years at CS First Boston. If you’ve seen ‘Seinfeld,’ Bill Gurley is my Newman.”. Google successfully sued Uber for knowingly stealing trade secrets, winning a sliver of Uber shares to settle the case. Crafting a reputation for being “founder friendly,” and remaining loyal to the original team, has become increasingly important in recent years as money from SoftBank Group Corp.’s investment vehicle and other megafunds has flooded the ecosystem and investors jockey to prove they’re good for more than simply writing a check.  An advisor for Uber during allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment, Gurley was reportedly instrumental in the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick. Net Worth: $2 billion. Identities / John William Gurley - Bill Gurley . , Previous investments have included: Avamar Technologies (acquired by EMC Corporation), Business.com (acquired by R.H. Donnelley), Clicker.com (acquired by CBS Interactive), Demandforce (acquired by Intuit), Employease (acquired by Automatic Data Processing), JAMDAT Mobile (acquired by Electronic Arts), Nordstrom.com (acquired by Nordstrom), Shopping.com (acquired by eBay), The Knot, Uber, and Vudu (acquired by Walmart). Venture investors’ success depends on their ability to convince entrepreneurs to sell them equity in their startup. In the beginning of the 2020 lockdown, venture capitalist Bill Gurley tweeted, “I am living through my third “reset” in Silicon Valley. Have a confidential tip for our reporters? In May 2019, Bill Gurley watched as Uber, the ride-hailing app in which he led a Series A in 2011, went public. The now-legendary investment banker Frank Quattrone was an early mentor of Gurley’s, convincing him to move to Silicon Valley to cover internet companies for his firm in exchange for helping Gurley navigate the region’s burgeoning venture scene. Microsoft to Join $100 Million Investment in Indonesia’s Buk... Twitter Says Won’t Let Candidates Claim Victory Themselves, Singapore Schools to Make Virus Tracing Token, App Mandatory. These Are the Airlines Teetering on the Brink of Covid Ruin, England Virus Lockdown May Be Extended Beyond December, Jack Ma Gets a Warning From China on Ant’s Rapid Expansion, U.S. Equities, Crude Oil Gain Ahead of Election: Markets Wrap. Gurley's firm is sitting on about $8 billion worth of Uber stock and has been at the center of the boardroom drama. Recently, Palantir (PLTR) and Asana (ASAN), used direct listings as an alternative to the traditional underwritten initial public securities offerings (IPO).
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