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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Twitter IPO gives Indian-born Rizvi $3.8 billion

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Washington, November 09, 2013
First Published: 00:38 IST(9/11/2013) | Last Updated: 00:43 IST(9/11/2013)

As Twitter debuted on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Thursday, its early investors saw their holdings rocket into billions of dollars, as expected.

But one of them, Indian-born Suhail Rizvi, was not present at NYSE with Twitter chairman Jack Dorsey, co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone and CEO Dick Costello on Thursday. In fact, he wasn’t around at all.

Rizvi runs a private investment company Rizvi Traverse Management, which is the largest outside investor in the micro blogging site with a 15.6% stake, which by the end of the day of trading was worth $3.8 billion.

He is famously reclusive, turning down requests from media —  including HT for comments and interviews.

Rizvi, who was born in India but grew up in Iowa, began his investment career with telecom and then the entertainment industry, before turning to IT.

He began investing in Twitter around 2010 when long-time friend Chris Sacca, a former Google executive, told him that Evan Williams, had stepped down as CEO of Twitter and was seeking to sell his 10% stake. Rizvi bought the shares for $340 million. There was no looking back from that.

Rizvi reportedly owns a sprawling three-home compound in Florida, and is friends with Virgin founder Richard Branson and has been seen partying on Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s yacht.

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