With tech companies waiting later than ever to go public, some investors believed they may miss out on the biggest gains if they wait to buy shares in public markets, when a company’s value may no longer rise exponentially. DEEP-POCKETED INVESTORS The son of an Iowa psychology professor, Rizvi has networked with rich and powerful people including Queen Noor of Jordan and Google Inc’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, devising financing schemes that leveraged his access to deep-pocketed investors, according to people who know Rizvi. Those who invest with Rizvi include British billionaire Richard Branson and Jeffrey Skoll, the former eBay executive and film producer, according to people with knowledge of the matter. It is not clear whether they are among the investors he brought into Twitter. Before turning his attention to the Internet, Rizvi’s deal-making focused on Hollywood. He helped Hugh Hefner take Playboy Enterprises private; bought and then sold the Hollywood film studio behind the “Twilight” series; and led the buyout of a leading talent agency, International Creative Management (ICM). Rizvi is not alone among entertainment investors who have turned their focus to Silicon Valley. Former News Corp executive Peter Chernin’s Chernin Group has invested in Tumblr, Pandora and Flipboard, while Michael Ovitz, the talent agent and former Disney CEO, has invested in Ron Conway’s SV Angel funds, the tech incubator Y Combinator and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. But few have operated on the scale of Rizvi. Twitter has a policy of restricting outside investors to only a handful, but Rizvi has had more freedom to bring in additional investors since he bought a large slice of the company. “He’s not to be underestimated. His approach to traditional media as well as technology has put him in a great position,” said Jeremy Zimmer, chief executive of United Talent Agency, a competitor of ICM. “His ICM investment was viable and gave him a seat at the table and a chance to make a sound investment in Twitter.” TAG-TEAMING TWITTER In late 2010, Sacca approached Rizvi with an offer: Sacca’s friend Evan Williams had stepped down as CEO of Twitter and was seeking to sell 10 percent of the company. Rizvi soon snapped up the shares for $340 million, according to people familiar with the matter. Following that first transaction, the two men formed a highly efficient tag team, the sources said.
Connecting our diverse communities. October 5th, 2013, 3:48pm Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC File: Immigration protesters take to the streets of Los Angeles for a May Day rally march, May 1, 2013. Add your comments Update 3:45 p.m.:About 2,000 supporters of immigration reform marched through Hollywoodon Saturday as part ofralliesnationwide to push for congressional action, while California’s governor signed a series of bills on the topic , saying he was not going to wait on Washington. The Los Angeles demonstration called “March of the Stars” kicked off shortly after Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that included a bill prohibiting local law enforcement agencies from detaining people for deportation if they are arrested for a minor crime and otherwise eligible to be released from custody. “While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead,” Brown said. “I’m not waiting.” March organizers in Los Angeles had expected tens of thousands to turn out to therally, which was among some 150 demonstrations on a day billed as the “National Day for Dignity and Respect.” Roughly 2,000 people participated, some holding signs that read “Education Not Deportation” and “Congress get back to work!” Others carried elephant pinatas, blaming the impasse on Republicans. The mobilization is a prelude to arallyand free concert Tuesday on the National Mall in Washington. Immigration has been a rare area of bipartisan cooperation. Confidence was boosted earlier in the year on a sweeping overhaul of the system and a path to citizenship for millions, but the crisis over Syria, and now the partial shutdown of the federal government, has diverted lawmakers’ attention. The chances an immigration bill makes its way through Congress before the year ends are slim. But advocates want to make sure reform stays front and center despite lawmakers’ pressing concerns. “This cannot be stopped,” said activist Eliseo Medina, marching in Los Angeles. “This is growing.” The Alliance for Citizenship, a broad coalition of organizations that includes the AFL-CIO, the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center, is driving the mobilization.