In 1999, Mike Walsh cut his first check as a hobby venture capitalist to a little-known cloud startup called Salesforce.com. He used the company’s product as a customer first, and liked it enough to invest.
Almost two decades later, Salesforce does over $8 billion in revenue annually, and has a market cap of $94 billion. Walsh gave half his stock to his dad, a plumber, as a birthday present and sold the other half after the company went public in 2004. He continued to write angel investment checks while also running a software company that provides social networking services to enterprises.