Sunday 17 December 2017

Kinsale-based O'Sullivan was an early backer of Google and Netflix and was one of the first people to use the term “cloud computing”. In past lives, he worked as a janitor, set up a rock band, lived in Baghdad during the Iraq War and nearly died in a helicopter crash.

A former Dragons' Den star, he helped set up mapping software company, MapInfo, and floated it in 1994. His shares were worth $17m before he cashed out to fund start-ups and other early stage investments. A one-time investor in Apple, he has estimated that his shares would be worth close to $500m if he had held on to them, but he did make a 30-fold return on his stake in Netflix. He now runs SOS Ventures, which has made good returns from exits including Storyful, Collaborate.com and Global Protein Solutions. He recently committed to doubling its annual investment in start-ups to $100m.

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