Most influential South African VC – Roelof Botha

Posted by on Mar 30, 2008 in Entrepreneurship, South Africa, Technology, Venture Capital

Roelof Frederik Botha is a partner at Sequoia Capital, one of the most influential VC firms in the world. Sequoia has the highest rating on TheFunded website of 3.9. Here is his bio from the Sequoia website:

Roelof Botha is a venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital focusing on services and software investments. Prior to joining Sequoia Capital in 2003, Roelof served as the Chief Financial Officer of PayPal (EBAY). Earlier, he worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company. Roelof is a certified actuary (Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries), and has a BS in Actuarial Science, Economics, and Statistics from the University of Cape Town and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.                                     

Botha is the grandson of Pik Botha (not to be confused with PW Botha), South Africa’s former minister of foreign affairs. He was born in South Africa and completed his Actuarial Science degree at the University of Cape Town. Botha also graduated with an MBA from the Stanford Business School in 2000. He received 3 MBA awards including the Henry Ford II award for being the top scholar.

Elon Musk, then CEO of Paypal, hired Botha in 2001 and 7 months before Paypal’s IPO he became its CFO. After Paypal’s acquisition by eBay for a cool $1.5bn he joined Sequoia Capital. According to the Mercury News Botha is one of a few VCs to turn its first deal into a billion dollar deal. That’s exactly what Botha did with Sequoia’s small investment in YouTube in 2006. The following SiliconBeat Q&A with Botha provides insight regarding YouTube before the Google acquisition.Botha is #22 on the 2008 Forbes Midas List, moving up one position from 2007. The Midas List chronicles the top deal makers in the world. He is also listed as one of the PayPal Mafia in a 2007 Fortune article.

 Here is Kara Swisher’s July 2007 interview with Botha at the Sequioa’s offices on Sand Hill Road: 

Botha is involved in the following Sequoia investments:

Not a lot is known about Botha’s personal life. He is married and has two sons aged 2 and 5 years old. He likes to play chess. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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