Dropbox, Ring, Spotify - billionaires and family offices

  Dropbox founders  Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston   (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage / Getty Images)

Dropbox founders  Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston  (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage / Getty Images)

It has been a big week for tech. The recent news that Dropbox and Spotify are to publicly list a part of their capital later this year will make their founders and its investors very happy - and richer. And the sale of Ring to Amazon is also a big liquidity event. Here’s a brief summary of those expected to be the biggest winners in the sale of one of tech’s most anticipated unicorns.


Silicon Valley venture fund royalty, Sequoia Capital, will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the initial public offering of Dropbox. The venture fund that’s created many billionaires over its 46 years of existence was an early investor in Dropbox. One of Sequoia partners, Bryan Schreier, sits on the board of the file hosting service, so he’ll be one of the biggest beneficiaries. Sequoia and Schreier, an ex-Google senior manager, backed San Francisco-based Dropbox at seed level as well as a number of other funding rounds.

Also likely to realise a sizable chunk of change is Pejman Nozad, founding partner of the Palo Alto fund, Pear Ventures. Nozad helped Dropbox at a very early stage and introduced the founders -  Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi - to Sequoia partners that secured early funding for the startup.

Brothers Ali and Hadi Partovi, well known US-based venture investors, also stand to make a sizable sum with the IPO. The Partovi brothers backed Dropbox in a Series B funding round with 12 other investors back in 2011. An interesting link between the Partovi brothers, Dropbox’s Ferdowsi and Nozad is they are all Iranian-Americans.

Also likely to make a sizable sum is Sameer Gandhi Of Accel Partners, which backed Dropbox at an early stage. So to did John Lilly at Greylock Partners.

Over on the other side of the Atlantic, the biggest beneficiary is likely to be Jacob Rothschild’s RIT Capital Partners, which again was an early investor in Dropbox.

And then there’s the senior staff of Dropbox. The founders will obviously clean up, but other senior members will also see sizable windfalls.


How much the lost making music streaming group Spotify will realize with its direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange remains to be seen, but it's likely to be north of $1 billion. Founder and CEO Daniel Ek should do well. But there's a long list of family-linked money that are in line for payoffs.  These investors include Dutch family office Rinkelberg, Paul Allen's Vulcan Capital, Groupe Arnault, controlled by the French-based Arnault family who own LVMH, Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, and Peter Thiel's Founders Fund. 


Founder Jamie Siminoff will be the biggest beneficiary of the reported $1 billion deal with Amazon. But there's a long list of investors with some big names including Goldman Sachs and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers on the list of backers. Richard Branson's Virgin Group was also a backer. Silicon investors like Stephen Russell and Konstantin Othmer were early backers and should realize a tidy sum.