Biggest ballers in 2011 IPOs; Lefkofsky leads posse

Groupon, LinkedIn, Zynga, Angie's List mint the top investors in this year's Web IPOs

Technology trends and news by Krystal Peak
December 30, 2011
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2318

While this year was not the most robust in the field of Internet tech IPOs, there are several people that aren't queueing up to for new employment anytime soon. In fact, five of the 10 biggest individual winners from the 2011 IPO session were from the inconsistent and spiky Groupon debut.

I took a look at who, of the tech companies that went public this year, had the most substantial stock shares to be thankful for as we close out the year.  

1- Groupon's Eric Lefkofsky

Coming in as the biggest individual winners this year is VC investor Eric Lefkofsky. Lefkofsky is the co-founder of LightBank, a venture fund focused on helping disruptive technology businesses.

Lefkofsky snapped up 129.3 million shares of Groupon stock which, as of Friday morning (where Groupon was set to open at $21.24), puts his stake in Groupon at a staggering worth of $2.78 billion.

Much of this wealth started with $1 million started of seed funding to Andrew Mason to foster the idea for the coupon buying site. Lefkofsky and his wife are currently the biggest shareholders in the company. According to Forbes, Lefkofksy is now worth around $4 billion. 

2- LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman 

Co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman still owns 21.4% of his professional networking company. With the company trading at $63.63 in the pre-market Friday morning, this becomes a stellar year for the entrepreneur.

Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn in December 2002, and has made various other investments in the tech industry (including fellow IPO-newbie company Zynga.)  His stake in LinkedIn, factoring the stock price Friday morning, brings his stake near $1.3 billion.

3- Groupon's Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason made out well on Groupon’s IPO, which raised $700 million. With roughly 46 million shares in the company he founded, the 31 year old Mason can say that his stake in Groupon is now worth about  $1 billion. 

4- Groupon's Brad Keywell 

Fellow Groupon founder Brad Keywell and his wife are securely on the winners' list, holding onto 41.2 million shares of the couponing company -- bringing their stake in the company to a comfortable $885 million.

5- Zynga's Mark Pincus 

CEO and founder, Mark Pincus owns 12% of the stock in Zynga, placing his stake in the company near $774 million as of the pre-market trading price Friday -- $9.32. 

 The Zynga IPO, which raised about $1 billion from the public, will make Mark Pincus Silicon Valley’s next billionaire, but currently his stake in just his own gaming company has him living on the edge.

Forbes estimates that, overall, Pincus will soon be worth about $2 billion.

6- LinkedIn's Jeff Weiner 

After LinkedIn debuted, Jeff Weiner made $26 million selling a chunk of his shares thus far but still holds more than 2 million shares, putting his stake in the company today at $127.3 million.  

Weiner had been the CEO of LinkedIn for less than two years when the company went pubic this May and turned his 2.5% stake in LinkedIn into many pretty pennies.

7- Groupon's Rob Solomon 

While the former second in command at Groupon is no longer with the company, his 4 million shares left this COO comfortable for his move back from Chicago to the Bay Area.

As of Friday morning, his shares totaled roughly $86 million.

8- LinkedIn's Steve Sordello 

Steve Sordello has been overseeing the financial operations at LinkedIn since 2007, after he left TiVo.

The CFO joined the company with plenty of time to collect several million shares that are now worth $65.9 million -- after one of the only substantially profitable tech IPOs of the year.

9- Groupon's Ken Pelletier 

Following the COO Rob Solomon, Ken Pelletier also left Groupon this year, but not without his 2.7 million shares in the digital group-buying company. His share in the company is now worth $58 million.

10 -- Angie’s List's William Oesterle

Co-founder and CEO William Oesterle rounds out the top ten winner this year with his 3.7 million shares in the service recommendation site Angie's List. Oesterle became CEO of Angie's List 1999. Prior to that, he was a partner with CID Equity Partners, a Midwest-based venture capital firm.

Angie’s List closed its debut day at $16.26, a full 25% above the initial share price.  As of Friday morning the Angie's List stock was a modest $15.91. Oesterle put 184,000 shares up for sale early in the company's trading -- to pocket a $3.3 million, but still owns almost a $50 million stake in his company.  

(Image source: halloweenplayground)



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