Elad Gil, a seasoned entrepreneur and prolific investor, has earned a reputation as Silicon Valley’s most prominent individual venture capitalist, thanks to the enormous sums he has invested in recent years. His investments reportedly include substantial funds on behalf of institutional investors like Harvard’s endowment.
Gil’s impressive investment history accounts for his ascension in the investment world. For instance, his portfolio boasts an early investment in Stripe, the esteemed payment software company, 11 years ago, and he has continued investing in many of its subsequent funding rounds. Other notable investments include stakes in Notion, a note-taking app, Airtable, a cloud collaboration platform, Anduril, a military tech contractor, and Figma, a design tool company that agreed to a $20 billion acquisition deal with Adobe last September — a deal still under review by Justice Department authorities.
In a recent discussion, Gil, known for his minimalist online presence, remained tight-lipped about specifics regarding the amount he’s managing or his investments in companies. However, the quantitative venture capital group TRAC has dubbed him a “superforecaster,” attributing to him investments in at least 155 companies and a “batting average” of .671. This indicates that 67% of his early-stage investments have managed to raise at least one subsequent round of funding, according to TRAC data. (TRAC also reports that at least 30 of the startups in Gil’s portfolio have achieved “unicorn” status.)
During our conversation with Gil, we explored potential strategies for founders in challenging times. We also delved into his ongoing interest in AI and his early investments in startups now raising significant venture capital, including Character.AI (backed this year by Andreessen Horowitz), Perplexity.AI (backed by NEA), and Harvey (backed by Sequoia Capital).
Gil also shared how he’s leveraging AI to enhance his own work. The full interview provides further insights into his investment philosophy and approach, and here we share excerpts from the conversation, edited for brevity.