These are the world's most important venture capitalists

The world is a big place, but for the world of venture capital, California is the place to be. 

Earlier this year the New York Times and CB Insights teamed up to crunch some numbers, creating a data-first approach to ranking the world's 100 top venture capitalists.

Of the top 10 VCs on their list, only Neil Shen is based outside of California. Though he may be based out of the state, his creation, Sequoia China, a franchise fund of Sequoia Capital, is still based in California.

The fact that there's a lot of money sloshing around the Bay Area should come as no surprise. We were more curious about the men themselves (the list is 93 percent male). Who are these guys who have risen to the top of the big money, high-stakes world of venture capital?

Here's a little more information about the top 5 venture capitalists in the world. 


#1: Bill Gurley at Benchmark

Gurley has a long history of working with technology. Before turning to investing, he worked for Compaq and Advanced Micro Devices. Since joining Benchmark, he has led investments in companies like DogVacay, GrubHub, Linden Lab, OpenTable, Sailthru, Stitch Fix, Uber, and Zillow. Gull was instrumental in the removal of Uber's controversial CEO and founder, Travis Kalanick. 


#2: Chris Sacca at Lowercase Capital

Sacca, who is actually known for wearing those shirts, has an interesting background. After leaving Google in late 2007, Sacca became an angel investor. His first investment was in Photobucket, followed by Twitter. Over the years, he helped build Lowercase Capital into one of the best performing firms ever, with timely investments in Uber, Kickstarter, Instagram and, oddly, Blue Bottle Coffee Company. Sacca announced his retirement earlier this year.

#3: Jeffrey Jordan at Andreessen Horowitz

Jeffrey Jordan, not to be confused with Michael Jordan’s oldest son, enjoyed a long career as a senior executive before joining Andreessen Horowitz in 2011. He acted as Senior Vice President and General Manager of eBay North America, then as president at PayPal. After that, Jordan was the President and CEO of OpenTable when the company’s shares rose 72 percent on their first day of public trading on the NASDAQ. Jordan has pledged to give half of the income he’s earned from venture capital to charity.

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#4: Alfred Lin at Sequoia Capital

Alfred Lin dropped out of a Ph.D. program at Stanford to work as CFO at LinkExchange with Tony Hsieh, the future CEO of Zappos. The gamble paid off and LinkExchange sold to Microsoft for $265 million a year and a half later. Lin went on to take a diverse set of roles at Zappos and was instrumental in its acquisition for $1.2 billion by Amazon. Lin joined Sequoia Capital in 2010 where he worked on investments in companies like Airbnb, Moovit, Uber, AppBistro and SalesCrunch.

#5 Brian Singerman at Founders Fund, San Francisco

Singerman joined a startup just out of college, before being wooed by Google where he founded iGoogle. While at Google Singerman started his own angel fund aimed at early-stage companies. He joined the Founders Fund in 2008 and has since been focusing on companies that are shaking up the healthcare, biotech and education industries.