by Paul Mampilly
The Sovereign Investor
Big bets don’t scare me. One of my first big bets was made from an Internet cafe in Ghana.
For me, this Internet company was different. Its service was something I used every day, allowing me to find exactly what I was searching for on the Internet every time. Before this, Internet search was horrible. This company had no competition. Other than its programmers and its computer servers, it had no costs. And it was being used worldwide. Even in West Africa, everyone was using it. Now, the company was selling shares to investors for the first time through an initial public offering (IPO).
It seemed like a sure thing to me, but most people were skeptical. And it was easy to see why. The Internet bubble had popped in 2000. Wall Street had taken junky companies and sold shares in them, destroying the wealth of so many people. No wonder most investors stayed away even when a really good company’s shares were being sold.