By Liz Sullivan
A unique investment five years ago has proved momentous for Saint Francis High School in Mountain View.
On March 2 school president Simon Chiu sent a letter to the school community explaining some significant news. In the letter Chiu explained:
“In early 2012, Saint Francis parent Barry Eggers, a founding partner at the venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, was intrigued as his two children, Andrew ‘12 and Natalie ‘14, returned home from school one afternoon enthralled by a new social media app called Snapchat. After learning the extent of Snapchat’s popularity and conducting some due diligence with his firm, part of which included one of his partners tracking down the founder who was operating the business out of a Stanford dorm room at the time, Barry knew he wanted to invest in the promising company, and in a stroke of remarkable generosity he decided to invite Saint Francis to join him.
As a board member of the SF Growth Fund-an investment fund created in 1990 by parents and former Saint Francis president Kevin Makley, who was then serving as director of development, to support the school’s long term initiatives through investments in venture-backed start-ups and emerging growth companies-Barry pitched the opportunity to the board and they agreed. Soon after, Snapchat received its first seed investment of $500,000-$485,000 from Lightspeed and the remaining $15,000 from the SF Growth Fund.
The school’s investment in Snap-which this morning announced the completion of its IPO-has matured and given us a significant boost as we continue our work towards realizing the bold vision and goals set out in our community-inspired strategic plan: Leading with Hope & Zeal.”
Saint Francis officials confirmed the return this investment was $24 million. And as with all SF Growth Fund returns, the proceeds from the investment will not be used to support the school’s annual operating expenses.
Chiu concluded the letter by saying he would be sharing more information in the coming weeks about how this opportunity would help Saint Francis achieve its goals.
For more information regarding Saint Francis High School visit, www.sfhs.com.