This Startup Investor's Teen Daughter Helped Him Turn $500,000 Into $31 Million In 18 Months

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Barry Eggers Lightspeed Venture Partners

Lightspeed Venture Partners

Barry Eggers's daughter told him she loved to use Snapchat

Somewhere in California, there's a teenage girl who deserves a much bigger allowance.

In April 2012, venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners invested $485,000 in a startup called Snapchat. 

Snapchat allows users to send each other self-destructing photos.  According to reports, the investment gave Snapchat a $12.5 million valuation.

Today, Snapchat is worth $800 million.  According to the  Pew Research Center, 9% of all American cellphone owners use the app.

The stock that Lightspeed bought in 2012 for less than $500,000 is now worth ~$30 million.  Roughly, that's a 63X gain in 18 months.

That's a pretty good investment.

So who deserves credit for it?

Obviously, one person who does is the partner at Lightspeed who closed the deal: Jeremy Liew. 

But Liew didn't discover Snapchat for Lightspeed. Actually, another partner did.  According to an AP story , that was Barry Eggers.

That's odd, because according to Lightspeed's website, Eggers specializes in "information technology infrastructure, with a specific interest in cloud computing, big data, storage, consumerization of IT, and networking."

So who turned Eggers onto Snapchat?

According to an interview with Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, the answer is Egger's high school-aged daughter.

Asked, "How'd you go about getting your first round of funding?,"  Spiegel answers:

This guy named Jeremy Liew, who works at Lightspeed Ventures, one of his partners, Barry Eggers had a daughter who was using Snapchat. She said her three favorite apps of the world that everyone was using at her high school were Angry Birds, Instagram and Snapchat. And (Liew and Eggers) had never heard of Snapchat, so they were like we've got to find those guys. So Jeremy sent me a Facebook message. I ended up meeting with him and showed him some of the early data we had. That was the month we were not going to be able to pay our server bills any more.



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