Once considered an outsider, Ozi Amanat has broken stereotypes and is making waves in the venture capital world.
Inside a society where face value and making impressions are everything, authenticity has become an almost rare commodity. But for venture capitalist Ozi Amanat, there is nothing more important than relationships – especially in the realm of deal-making.
It was through this – he had coffee with “a friend of a friend of Twitter co-founder Evan Williams” – that led to Amanat investing US$25 million (S$34 million) in the social media company, an amount that ballooned to more than US$100 million when it listed in 2013. He counts notable families from Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia and Singapore as investors in his four-year-old VC firm K2 Global.
“What sets Ozi apart,” says Andrew Schoen, principal of prominent US venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, “is his authenticity and humanness. It is extremely refreshing in the VC world, which has lately become dominated by an excess of posturing, hype and flashiness.” Amanat sealed his reputation as a bona fide dealmaker when he got his hands on Alibaba’s pre-IPO shares at under US$60 a piece, totalling US$35 million. Investors are sitting on returns of over 200 per cent.
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