26 – 100 in alphabetical order by company: Paul Asel, co-founder and managing partner, NGP Capital
Paul Asel is a co-founder and managing partner of NGP Capital, the venture capital firm spun off from Finland-based communications technology manufacturer Nokia, with $1.2bn under management and offices in Silicon Valley, China and Europe.
NGP Capital, an early investor in 12 companies that eventually became unicorns, was founded in 2005. It offers entrepreneurs funding, entry into global markets, deep thematic expertise and access to vast networks as well as a technology corporate. The firm focuses on growth-stage companies to create financial and strategic value.
The fund’s initial ticket size typically ranges between $8m and $12m with the possibility of follow-on investments. Its limited partners include Nokia and its Bell Labs subsidiary, which have created many connected technologies around 5G and the internet of things.
Asel has been investing in startups for more than 25 years, having achieved over 20 successful exits including five IPOs and four mergers and acquisitions (M&A) exceeding $1bn. E-commerce group Alibaba purchasing mobile browser provider UCWeb and online marketplace 58.com buying local services platform Ganji are two of the largest technology acquisitions in China.
Other notable exits have included mobile game and web content producer KongZhong, data analysis software provider Gridsum, automotive software provider KPIT Technologies, animation studio DQ Entertainment, image processing technology developer Morpho, mobile advertising network Madhouse, pet care hardware developer Whistle, social mapping platform developer CityMaps, cloud business software provider Intermedia and artificial intelligence (AI) platform developer Xnor. Asel has completed acquisitions and IPOs valued cumulatively at over $25bn.
Current investments Asel is involved in include automation software provider WorkFusion, urban mobility service Lime, e-commerce logistics service Fetchr, financial identity technology developer Juvo, online trucking services marketplace Next Trucking, carpooling service Scoop, on-demand car rental service Zoomcar and child transportation service Zūm.
Prior to joining NGP Capital, Asel led technology investments in Southeast Asia at the International Finance Corporation. Previously, he was a partner at investment firm Telos Venture Partners, oversaw M&A and investments at design automation software producer Cadence Design Systems and worked at wealth management firm Merrill Lynch in investment banking. He is an adviser to investment fund Garage Capital in Canada.
Asel received an MBA from Stanford University and a bachelor of arts from Dartmouth College. He has taught at the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government and China Europe International Business School in Shanghai and has lectured at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Asel has co-authored Upward Bound: Lessons of How Nine Leaders Achieved their Summits. His articles have appeared in Barron’s, CB Insights, Forbes, Global Corporate Venturing, The Journal of Private Equity, Knowledge@Wharton, Stanford Business Magazine, TechCrunch and Venture Capital Journal. His commentary has also appeared in Business Standard, Forbes, Fortune, Reuters and The Wall Street Journal among others.