The iconic Twitter bird will turn into a Hadeda if this takeover attempt gets any more South African: Pretoria-born Elon Musk has reached out to an old friend who grew up in Cape Town – and worked with him at PayPal – in a bid to raise the financial commitments needed to prove he CAN buy the social media platform.
Elon Musk calls in the cavalry for Twitter bid
Roelof Botha is the 48-year-old senior steward of Sequoia. The American venture capital firm is one of the most successful in the world, and Botha has been part of their journey for the past 20 years.
It was revealed on Thursday that the UCT and Stanford University graduate had instructed his company to plough $800 million into Musk’s bid for Twitter, making him the second-highest financier on the list.
Only Larry Ellison, one of the top 10 richest people in the world, has committed more to the cause – offering a flat $1 billion for the investment opportunity. Ellison also has an enormous stake in Tesla, so it’s easy to see why the man worth an estimated $92 billion is willing to do more business with the tech entrepreneur.
Who is Roelof Botha? Eight things you need to know…
In total, Elon Musk has been able to stump-up $7.1 billion for the guarantee, according to sources at Bloomberg. The final sum for the takeover is expected to top $44 billion. So, how exactly did Roelof Botha find himself at the forefront of one of the biggest business deals in history? Well, he’s had quite a journey…
- Botha earned a BSc in Actuarial Science, Economics, and Statistics in 1996, before working for McKinsey.
- Just two years later, he moved to the USA, securing an MBA from the prestigious Stanford Business School.
- From 2000 to 2003, Roelof Botha worked in close quarters with Elon Musk at PayPal, eventually becoming the CFO.
- Musk’s company was sold for a monster fee October 2002, prompting Botha to shift to Sequoia.
- His grandfather, Pik Botha, served 17 years as the Foreign Minister of SA’s apartheid government.
- However, he also worked under Nelson Mandela’s administration, and was seen as ‘relatively’ liberal.
- Roelof himself often boasts about being ‘one of the youngest actuaries in South African history’.
- He was also an early investor in YouTube and Instagram.