Silicon Valley's Pakistani-American Founder Makes it Big in Technology IPO

NASDAQ IPO of Silicon Valley's cyber security firm Fire-eye has made its Pakistani-American founder Ashar Aziz worth $430 million at the market close on Friday, according an estimate by Forbes magazine.

The high-tech company priced its initial public offering of 15.2 million shares at $20 per share late Thursday, raising about $304 million after increasing its expected price range to $15 to $17 per share. Shares of FEYE were trading up by more than 100% during the day before closing up $16 or 80% to $36.00 on the Nasdaq Friday. FEYE closed up another 4% to $37.45 on Monday.

Aziz owns about 10.91 million shares in the Milipitas, Calif.-based security company; that 9.3% stake after the offering alone is now worth more than $392 million.

Fireeye Founder and CTO Ashar Aziz
FireEye, founded in 2004, has a virtualization engine which protects its customers' infrastructure from attacks that may come through the web and email. Its dynamic virtual cloud analyzes incoming data, providing real-time intelligence to its users.

FireEye is riding high on a wave of growing cyber security concerns amid increasing cyber attacks being reported almost daily from around the globe. FireEye's founder Ashar Aziz is among the top recognized experts in the field of Internet and computer security. With the $50 million round from top investors in January 2013, the company raised $100 million in venture money before going public. The venture funding came from investors including Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Goldman Sachs, Juniper Networks, Silicon Valley Bank, and others.  Several other security companies including Illumio, CipherCloud, Mocana  have recently significant sums of money from venture capital firms.

Here's a video of Ashar talking about  the effectiveness of his technology in blocking new and  previously unidentified attacks by not relying on signatures:

Interview with Ashar Aziz, CEO of FireEye from Richard Stiennon on Vimeo.

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Riaz Haq said…
Here's an Economist mag report comparing entrepreneurship in Europe and America:

standing before Germany’s newly minted entrepreneurs is a series of hurdles that have so far kept them from getting bigger and changing the world. The last German tech start-up to become a global star is SAP—founded in 1972. German firms, both the biggest ones and the much-lauded, family-owned Mittelstand, are innovative themselves. But founders dream of German Googles, and the government is keen to encourage them. The barriers are coming down. Unlike the Berlin Wall, however, they will not tumble quickly.

One problem is that popular attitudes towards entrepreneurship are lukewarm (see chart). Just under 50% of Germans polled by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) agreed that starting a business was an attractive idea. Compare that with attitudes in Germany’s neighbours: 65% in France, 68% in Poland and 79% in the Netherlands had positive views. Germans are no more begrudging of success than the others. The problem seems to be that few start-ups achieve it.

Lack of finance is a big reason. Small companies need angel investors and venture capital to survive and grow. But these sources of capital are puny in Germany. Deutsche Bank reckons that there are as many venture-capital investments in Germany as in America (11-12 per million inhabitants). But the average investment in Germany is just €780,000 ($1m), compared with €6m in America. Lars Hinrichs, founder of Xing, a social network for entrepreneurs (and a growing public company), says that a big reason is that successful entrepreneurs do not become investors themselves, as they do in Silicon Valley.

German venture capitalists are cautious. Rather than bet on many companies in the hope that one will grow explosively, they invest more selectively and expect a high proportion to break even within 18 months. Germany’s banks—the local savings banks and co-operatives that fund many traditional companies—are hesitant to lend to untested digital entrepreneurs.

Fear of failure is another dampener. It would deter 42% of Germans from starting a company, GEM’s polling finds. That is far behind Japan’s 53%, but well ahead of the 32% in the United States, where having flopped a few times is a point of pride. Mr Nohroudi says “there’s no one [in Germany] asking ‘what did you learn?’” Instead, when his first company was shuttered, friends urged him to go back to the comfortable university job he had held....
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani-American Entrepreneur Ahmed Khattak's GSM Nation revolutionizes America's cell phone market, launches unlocked phones and MVNO service
Riaz Haq said…
Here's Yahoo Finance news on Pakistani start-up Convo getting $5 million from US VC Morgenthaler Ventures:

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Convo, a cloud-based collaboration service, today announced a $5 million Series-A investment from Morgenthaler Ventures. This financing is the company's first investment by an institutional venture capital firm. The funding will be used to evolve its offerings, introduce their service on more platforms, and accelerate user reach and growth.

Convo is a multi-platform service designed to allow teams to share and work together simply and naturally by combining discussions with messaging, images, docs, presentations and PDFs.

Since 2012, Convo has seen exceptionally high levels of engagement in their paying accounts, with an average monthly-active over daily-active ratio of 75%, which is noticeably higher than even the 30% of most social games.

Convo is available across all major platforms and has launched versions of its software for Windows, Mac, Web, iPhone, and Android.

"We built our company with slim resources and a small team, and therefore are excited about our prospects with Morgenthaler Ventures in our corner. They have helped companies at our stage and with our enterprise focus grow exponentially," said Faizan Buzdar, founder and CEO of Convo. "Our immediate priority is to use the new infusion of capital to continue delivering a service that meets the ease-of-use, reliability, and security demands of our customers."

Said Rebecca Lynn, Partner at Morgenthaler Ventures, "We have been amazed at the level of engagement we have seen from Convo's early customers, including many global brands. These organizations won't settle for inconsistent, light-weight solutions. Multinational organizations have selected Convo after putting them through a battery of security tests. There are collaboration services you use to run chit chat, and there are those that run your company. Convo is relied on for the latter."

"Looking across our portfolio, there is a common trait amongst our entrepreneurs, one of extraordinary tenacity and vision, which Faizan has in spades," said Alex Nigg, Venture Partner, Morgenthaler Ventures. "Faizan started his business in Pakistan, moved it to San Francisco, and overcame considerable odds to attract a list of loyal customers from around the world."

About Convo

Convo ( is designed to help any group of people working together to achieve great things. Convo allows creative and innovative teams to easily have the real-time conversations needed to advance a cutting-edge campaign, launch a new product or break the latest news story. Convo, an interactive workspace, is made for people who thrive on the creative process and who want to "get there first." The company (formerly Scrybe) has recently reincorporated in the United States and is headquartered in San Francisco with an offshore office in Pakistan.

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