Yahoo Chairman Maynard Webb on His Giant, Low-Flying Investing Network

November 26th, 2013 / No Comments »

By Connie Loizos

Silicon Valley veteran Maynard Webb has a knack for winding up at the center of things. The former COO of eBay and CEO of LiveOps is the chairman of Yahoo’s board, a director on the board of Salesforce.com, and just yesterday was nominated for election to the board of Visa.

Webb isn’t content to live in the world of public companies, however. On the contrary, since 2010, Webb has been quietly building one of the most sprawling, and lowest-profile, investment networks in Silicon Valley.  Called Webb Investment Network, the outfit, cofounded by Webb’s former LiveOps colleague Michael Neril, has now amassed a network of 90 “friends” who are invited into every deal that Webb is himself invited into — and he has backed 50 startups so far. 

Webb calls giving these opportunities to invest alongside him “gifts.” I chatted with Webb yesterday to learn more. Our conversation has been edited for length…….