WS Investment Co. is the investment fund of law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. The fund was formed in 1978 and has been managed throughout by Mario Rosati. All fundraising is internal, with mandatory participation by partners and is occasionally opened to associates. Among other investments, the fund was a pre-IPO investor in Google, Brocade (partner Larry Sonsini contributed the options he received from his post as a director), Juniper Networks and Avanex.
Annually, Rosati sets a budget which the firm partnership agrees upon and then these partners suggest clients that may be worth investing in. WS Investments typically has one but maybe two funds and requires partners to participate with their partnership interest in the firm. WS Investment is relatively secretive but there is a bit of mythology about the fund given some of its past success which reports have suggested outperformed other venture capital firm returns. The firm's notable investments include a $72,000 investment in Google which reports indicate became worth $28 million. The fund's investment also include Juniper Networks, Avanex and Brocade Communications which provided returns during the dot com boom. Partners who've invested in the WS Investment fund estimate that it has returned 20% annually over time. Despite concerns about conflicts of interest, WS Investment continues. And other law firms with a Silicon Valley presence have also created similar investment funds.
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Larry W. Sonsini
Founder and Managing Director