James W. “Jim” Breyer (born July 1961) is an American venture capitalist, founder and CEO of Breyer Capital, an investment and venture philanthropy firm, and a partner at Accel Partners, a venture capital firm. Breyer has invested in over 30 companies that have gone public or completed a merger, with some of these investments, including Facebook, earning over 100 times cost and many others over 25 times cost. On the Forbes 2016 list of the world’s billionaires, he was ranked #722 with a net worth of US$2.4 billion.
Early life and education
Breyer was born in 1961 in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Hungarian immigrants. His father, John P. Breyer, was an engineer and executive at International Data Group; his mother Eva was a technology executive at Honeywell. In 1983, Breyer received a B.S. with Distinction in Interdisciplinary Studies from Stanford University. He spent his junior year studying in Florence, Italy and is active in what is now Stanford’s Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence. He was drawn to Silicon Valley’s technology industry and during college he worked part-time for both Hewlett-Packard and Apple Inc.. After college, he accepted a job as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company in New York for two years. In 1987, he earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University where he was named a Baker Scholar graduating in the top 5% of his class.
Accel Partners and Breyer Capital
In 1987 he accepted a job with the venture capital firm Accel Partners in San Francisco and was mentored by founders Arthur Patterson and Jim Swartz. In 1990, he was named a partner and in 1995, he became a managing partner.
Accel Partners was Facebook’s biggest shareholder after Mark Zuckerberg, owning an 11% stake at the time of the company’s IPO. In 2005, Breyer led Accel Partners’ $12.7 million deposit at a $98 million valuation in the then ten-employee startup Facebook. In 2000, Breyer also established Accel-KKR, a joint venture between Accel Partners and the private equity firm KKR. Breyer also led the 2004 management buyout of BBN Technologies from Verizon.
Breyer has led several Series A investments, including Etsy, Clinkle and Circle Internet Financial. He has also led investments in Legendary Pictures and Spotify. Forbes said of Breyer, “He glides easily within and between circles: Silicon Valley, China, Europe, and Hollywood.”
In 2006, Breyer founded Breyer Capital, a global equity investor focused on providing capital to help catalyze high impact social and for-profit entrepreneurs. The fund focuses on emerging markets such as China, Brazil, and India. Breyer continues to manage the fund as CEO. Breyer Capital has participated in a number of investments including Harvard’s Experiment Fund, Brightcove, Marvel Entertainment and Legendary Pictures.
In 2014 Breyer joined the Wickr board of directors, pledging $30 million in funding. Wickr is a messaging app that seeks to provide encrypted and self-destructing messages for users which pledges a strict commitment to user privacy.
|Born||James W. Breyer
July 1961 (age 55)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
|Residence||Woodside, California, U.S.|
|Education||Stanford University (BS)
Harvard University (MBA)
|Known for||Founder of Breyer Capital|
|Net worth||US$2.4 billion (Forbes 2016)|
John P. Breyer
|Website||Profile at Breyer Capital|