A quarter century after graduating from Berkeley, Gene Frantz, BS 88, has found himself back on another vibrant campus. But here, most everyone has already earned a degree.
Frantz is a general partner at Google Capital, the tech giant’s year-old investment arm. Unlike Google Ventures, which funds startups, Google Capital invests in growth-oriented companies farther along in development.
“They’re companies that have reached a scale where they’re having an impact,” says Frantz, who assists the companies in hiring and building.
After earning his undergraduate degree at Cal, Frantz worked for Morgan Stanley, had a stint with a bank in Argentina, earned an MBA from Stanford (’94), and launched Oracle’s venture capital arm. He moved to Google in June after 13 years with the private equity group TPG Capital in San Francisco, where he was a partner investing in technology and telecom companies.
“Google’s different from TPG in that we have so much more knowledge and strategic perspective,” he says. “It gives us insights that a private equity group doesn’t have.”
So far Google Capital has invested in Survey Monkey, a free online survey tool, and Lending Club, a financial website that allows individuals to lend to or borrow money from other individuals.
“Both companies are fascinating,” Frantz says. “They have the opportunity to transform their industries.”
Frantz says his education at Haas, where he first became interested in the investment business, serves him still.
“The basics of finance, the foundation I developed at Haas, has been useful my entire career,” he says. “Also, Berkeley is a big place where you need to chart your own course.”
Which is exactly what Frantz has done to build a successful tech investment career.
Mountain View, Calif.