Ok. Here I said “[Angels] are so shrewd that they see right through you from a mile”. And here I said “As you move along, you might find the right Mentor. With a bit of luck, the right one may even find you.” Readers thought I was just coddling them up.
It was Oracle founder Larry Ellison who reportedly had called up Evan Goldberg, ex-Oracle employee, founding his startup NetSuite, way back in 2000. NetSuite was then operating out of a Silicon Valley apartment (over the hair salon and next to a liquor shop) , and Ellison had invested in NetSuite even as it was shaping up as a potential competitor. Not just he invested in it, he didn’t cannibalize it to save the mother brand Oracle.
Now he’s richer by a billion and one even as the company has yet to turn in profits. NetSuite came out with its IPO yesterday and by the close of trading, NetSuite shares climbed 36.5 percent to $35.50, putting the value of Ellison’s 54 percent stake above $1.1 billion. Ellison, NetSuite’s largest shareholder, has remained a close adviser to Mr. Goldberg and Zachary Nelson, NetSuite’s President and CEO, and is expected to continue in that role after the I.P.O…. Show me a better mentor if you can !
Meanwhile, Oracle shares soared 7 percent after it announced a 36 percent increase in quarterly revenue over the same period a year earlier. The value of Ellison’s 1.17 billion Oracle shares rose to about $26 billion. Mr. Ellison plans to transfer all of the 32 million NetSuite shares he holds to a “lockbox” limited liability company that will be managed by an unrelated third party to avoid conflicts with a potential competitor. Did you say foresighted…? I say, Larry is far-sighted too…I mean, he sees well into the future.
That’s what makes Ellison an angel. Isn’t he one…? Goldberg and Zach Nelson will tell you.