How DFJ Missed Google (and Yahoo)

The SF Chronicle has an interview with DFJ’s Tim Draper. While it is mildly entertaining, there are no real revelations — other than some comments from Tim on how DFJ managed to miss out on investing in both Yahoo and Google:

Q: Which ones passed you by?
A: Google and Yahoo.
Q: Ouch.
A: I made Yahoo their first offer. I got outbid by that Sequoia guy (Michael Moritz).
Q: And Google?
A: And Google — I met one of the guys on an airplane and then the partnership turned it down because we had already seen 20 search engines and we already had invested in six of them.
Q: Which Google guy did you meet?
A: I think it was Sergey (Brin, cofounder of Google).
Q: Were you a believer in what they were saying?
A: I liked it. I thought, “This is interesting,” but I knew it was late. I brought it to the partnership, and the partnership turned it down.

Given that DFJ is a fairly small partnership, and given that the partnership nixed a Google investment, that means there is a reasonable chance that Steve Jurvetson didn’t like the Google deal. Granted, he wouldn’t have been the only one to pass on Google, but it is quite a thing for DFJ gang to admit that it didn’t get Google.
As an aside, in both the textual interview and a related video interview Draper talks about DFJ’s Hotmail investment. Note to Tim: “Yo Tim, you did the Hotmail investment a decade ago, way back in 1995; you sold Hotmail to Microsoft in early January of 1998, which is more than seven years ago. Don’t you have any stories from this decade about decent exits?”

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