Chris Sacca is a prominent American venture investor known for having a good nose for opportunities and the guts to make a risky move when needed. Moreover, he is also one of the youngest self-made billionaires in the world. Who is he, and where did he come from? Let’s find out.
Venture capitalism has produced quite a few billionaires (check out our Tim Draper Bio for another great example). But not all of them can proudly say that they started from zero. Many also never seem to have enough.
Chris Sacca, however, is different – and not only because of his love for cheesy cowboy outfits. For one, he retired from venture capitalism at just 42, when many of his colleagues still worked hard to prove themselves.
In this Chris Sacca bio, let’s look at the unique life story of Chris Sacca, an investor behind the superbrands like Uber, Twitter, and many others.
Chris Sacca Quick Facts
|Full Name: Christopher Sacca|
|Birth Date: May 12, 1975|
|Birth Place: Lockport, New York, U.S.|
|Nick Name: Chris|
|Siblings: Brian Sacca (actor/producer)|
|Children: CC Eleven (b. 2011), Circa Luna (b. 2013), and Center Sky (b. 2015)|
|Partner / Spouse: Crystal English Sacca (married in 2011)|
|Profession: Venture investor, advisor, lawyer, and entrepreneur|
|Net Worth: $1.2 billion|
|Social Media: Instagram: @sacca, Twitter: @Chris Sacca|
|Companies Associated With: Lowercase Capital, Google, Twitter, Lowercarbon Capital|
|Last Updated: June 2022|
Chris Sacca Key Facts Summary
- He grew up in uptown New York. His father was a lawyer, and his mother was a professor.
- Chris graduated from a law school, but his legal career was only short-lived.
- He tried his luck with stocks but ended up with a $4 million negative balance.
- Between 2003 and 2007, he worked for Google.
- In 2010, he established Lowercase Capital, his main investment company.
- In 2006, he was one of the first angel investors behind Twitter.
- Through Lowercase Capital, Sacca made early bet investments in Uber, Twilio, Instagram, and numerous other successful businesses.
- During his active years, he mainly focused on social apps, cloud software, and tech-related related startups.
- In 2017, he ranked #2 on the Midas List of Top Tech Investors.
- The same year, he announced retirement from venture business to run a podcast, appear in TV shows, and be a good father.
- He is married (since 2011) with three kids.
- His net worth is around $1.2 billion.
- Chris Sacca is a vocal advocate of green technologies.
- He appeared in numerous TV shows, including the reality TV series Shark Tank.
Chris Sacca’s Birthplace and Early Life
Christopher Sacca was born on May 12, 1975, and raised in the city of Lockport in upstate New York. His father is of Italian origin and worked as an attorney. His mother is of Irish descent and worked as a professor at Buffalo State College.
Chris also has a younger brother, Brian Sacca, a renowned actor and producer. He recalls having a joyous childhood. His parents supported him in various interests, including books and art. From an early age, he was attracted to mathematics and had a talent for numbers.
Following his father’s footsteps, Chris attended The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He remembers this time as all parties, but the school also allowed him to spend a few semesters abroad (in Ecuador, Spain, and Ireland).
Chris Sacca graduated in 2000 with a Juris Doctor title in technology and law. Although he briefly worked in the field, he quickly realized that it was not what he wanted. After a short-lived career in a Silicon Valley-based law office, he started focusing on various types of investments.
Chris Sacca’s Early Career and Business Success
Chris Sacca founded his first company when he was still a law student. He reportedly used his student loans to experiment with investment, but it did not go very well. At some point, he decided to quit and put the remaining money into stocks.
However, that was not a very fortunate move either (I’ll get to the details later). When he managed to get out of all the incurred losses, Chris left the stock business and focused on a new emerging market of tech-startups investment.
Fenwick & West and Google
In 2000, Sacca moved to Silicon Valley and started working for Fenwick & West as associate handling venture capital, acquisitions, and licensing primarily for the company’s tech-focused clients. The job only lasted to 2001, though, when Sacca was laid off.
In 2003, after two years of networking and short-lived odd jobs, Chris was hired at Google for the position of Corporate Counsel within the legal and business development team. His job was to acquire data space on the global market. He also focused on the wireless grids.
Besides that, Sacca also conducted numerous mergers and acquisitions for the company and was part of the founding team of Google’s New Business Development organization. As a recognition of his work, he later received the Founders’ Award, Google’s highest honor.
Angel investments and Lowercase Capital
While still at Google, Sacca began funding promising startup businesses as an angel investor. He also shared his professional advice on various business strategy frameworks, innovative revenue models, optimization, and raising funds.
His very first angel investment was in Photobucket, and right after that, Chris poured $25,000 into an innovative microblogging service called Twitter (known as Twttr in 2006). He was one of the first Twitter investors (and users) and still has shares in the company.
In 2010, Chris Sacca founded Lowercase Capital, a company through which he ran some of his most prolific investments, including Docker, Uber, StyleSeat, Kickstarter, Twilio, Lookout, and Instagram.
Unlike many venture tycoons who see their role just in putting the money on the table, Chris prefers a hands-on approach. So, when he, for example, invested in Twitter, he was right there at the office, facilitating the first serious contracts with search engines.
Chris Sacca carefully picks his investments based on his real interests and areas where he feels strong. As a result, most of his ventures are tech-focused, often involving social-networking applications or cloud-based software, etc. Occasionally, he also invests in gastronomy.
In 2013, Chris introduced Matt Mazzeo as a new partner in Lowercase Capital and started focusing more on his side projects (Mazzeo previously worked at Creative Artists Agency just like, among others, Rich Paul)
In 2017, when Lowercase Capital had a portfolio of more than 80 startups and numerous mature companies, Chris Sacca surprised many by announcing that he was retiring from active venture investing.
Work in Media and Retirement
Sacca is a compelling speaker often sought after by media outlets as an investment and venture capital expert. Besides providing Business Week, BBC, CNN, and others with his statements, he also appeared in several TV shows, including Start-Up and Billions.
In 2015, Sacca first appeared in the ABC reality TV competition Shark Tank. He became a regular guest on the show, often interacting with his friend Mark Cuban (check our Mark Cuban Bio), another billionaire venture investor. Chris also appeared in the ABC sitcom Alex, Inc, playing himself.
In 2017, Chris shocked the business world by announcing his retirement from an active career in venture capitalism. In his own words, he simply “wasn’t feeling it anymore.”
The market changed, the fresh energy surrounding early tech startups faded away, and starting a company became a routine for “too many poseurs,” as Sacca explained for Forbes. Moreover, the entrepreneur says he always planned to retire at 40, so he was technically two years late.
When asked what he plans to do next, Chris made it clear that he, first and foremost, wants to focus on raising his kids. Besides that, he also intends to continue appearing in TV shows and launch his podcast.
Green energy and eco-solutions represent another vital field of Sacca’s interest. In 2020, he founded Lowercarbon Capital along with his wife, Crystal. It is a climate change-related fund. So far, the company has invested in more than 50 startups focused on green technologies.
Chris Sacca’s YouTube Videos
This short 2015 Forbes video introduces Chris Sacca as a self-confident, values-oriented, and savvy investor who’s constantly looking for new opportunities.
In a 2012 interview for This Week in Startups, Chris Sacca speaks mainly about his Lowercase Capital company and some of his most famous investments.
A scene from the 2016 Shark Tank reality TV show demonstrates Chris Sacca’s solid on-camera presence when fighting with his friend Mark Cuban over a potential investment.
Chris Sacca’s Business Failures
Chris Sacca is impressively successful, but not all the decisions he made in his career were fortunate. Here are a few failures he openly admits.
Stock Market Losses
In 1998, as a young and inexperienced investor, Chris took his chances in stock investment.
It looked like a great idea at first: The smart and enthusiastic math geek soon spotted a weakness in online trading software that allowed him to cross the established limit of 50% margin.
Thanks to this discovery, Chris smartly leveraged his moves, turning a few thousand dollars he saved from his student loans into a $12 million fortune in less than two years of trading.
But eventually, the bubble burst and the market went under, leaving Sacca with a $4 million negative balance which he couldn’t fully repay until 2005. He has reportedly hated stock markets ever since this experience.
Sacca always had an excellent nose for good investments and stood at the beginning of numerous successful businesses. Nevertheless, on a few occasions, his instincts epically failed.
In 2014, for example, he took to Twitter to admit that he had an early meeting with the GoPro representatives and dismissed them because: “how could hardware ever win, right?” As of 2022, GoPro is worth almost $1 billion.
Chris Sacca missed some other great opportunities too. For example, he turned down Airbnb out of fear that it would be misused by criminals, Snapchat because he thought people would use it to share naughty images and Dropbox since he was sure Google Drive would surpass it.
Chris Sacca’s Family
Chris Sacca is married to Crystal English Sacca, a Vietnamese-born entrepreneur, bestselling author, and a fellow venture investor.
The two are considered one of America’s greatest power couples. They have known each other since 1993 and have collaborated on dozens of successful projects together over the years. Crystal is even a partner in Chris’ Lowercase Capital investment company.
Besides that, she also pursued a career in the advertisement, working as an art director for large brands like Audi, HBO, Napster, Barclays, and Intel.
Crystal is also an outspoken wine-lover: Her 2013 book, The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert, ended up being a New York Times Bestseller.
The pair got married in 2011, shortly after Chris proposed to Crystal during their travels through Southeast Asia. Chris and Crystal have three daughters together: CC Eleven (b. 2011), Circa Luna (b. 2013), and Center Sky (b. 2015).
Chris Sacca’s Net Worth and Career Earnings
Founder of Lowercase Capital boasts an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion. Although his fortune has most likely shrunk since he officially retired from active venture investment in 2017, he is still a very wealthy man.
Chris Sacca never publicly disclosed his salary, and given the fluctuating character of venture investment in general, his income most likely changed from year to year.
Chris Sacca’s Real Estate Holdings
Chris and his wife Crystal own a range of properties in several U.S. states. Still, given their enormous wealth, the Sacca family lives quite a humble, down-to-earth lifestyle.
Manhattan Beach Residences
Sacca’s modern townhouse at 112 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, California, is probably his dearest property and the one where he spends a lot of time with his family. It was built in 2011 and boasted four bedrooms and four bathrooms spread across the 2462-square-feet area.
The contemporary-styled residence stands right by the sandy beach and benefits from mesmerizing views from its terraces.
As if it wasn’t enough, Chriss Sacca bought two more elegant houses in the same area – reportedly for his and Crystal’s parents and other relatives.
Truckee Natural Retreat
Whenever Chris can, he packs his bags and leaves the hustle and bustle of the city for the peacefulness of his natural retreat in Truckee, close to Lake Tahoe. Besides spending time there with family, he says this calm and relaxing place also inspired many of his business decisions.
The contemporary-style residence enclosed by lush greenery was built in 2016. It has four bedrooms, a lovely terrace overlooking the forested surroundings, and a nice big fireplace for cozy winter evenings.
Since his retirement, Chris is reportedly spending significantly more time here than before.
Montana Mountain Hut
When the billionaire investor wants to escape miles away from California, he goes to Big Sky Montana, where he owns a beautiful hut in the mountains. Chris Sacca keeps this place pretty private, so we don’t know much about its layout or interior design.
The area, however, is also home to one of America’s favorite skiing resorts. It also hosts a luxurious Yellowstone Club sprawling across 15,200 acres and offering dozens of exquisite amenities. The limited prominent member list includes Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Eric Schmidt, and Bill Gates (see our Bill Gates Bio).
Chris Sacca Quotes
“Hats off to everyone who has been paying a little more to buy “green” stuff.”
“When it comes to investing, my rule has always been to only invest in things where I think I can personally help the outcome.”
“Simplicity is hard to build, easy to use, and hard to charge for. Complexity is easy to build, hard to use, and easy to charge for.”
“Good stories beat good spreadsheets.”
“If you learn to live pretty simply and well, well under your means, you feel incredibly, incredibly rich, and that frees you up and gives you the option to start something new, to leave the job you’re not excited about, where there might be a glass ceiling on you.”
“Just don’t spend your money, and you’re well on your way to becoming a millionaire.”
“The biggest journey in all of our lives is the journey from external to internal validation.”
“What’s success anyway? Is success about making the most money? No, money, for the most part, turns people into jerks.”
“The very best products and the very best entrepreneurs are the ones worth arguing with.”
“Be your unapologetically weird self.”
Question: How much of Uber does Chris Sacca own?
Answer: Answer: One of Sacca’s many successful investments is Uber. He owns 4% of the company’s shares. He also helped the company with licensing its name in the early days.
Question: Why does Chris Sacca always wear the same shirt?
Answer: Chris Sacca has a distinctive clothing style dominated by cowboy-type shirts. He can also often be seen in the same outfit on many occasions. In his own words, he hates having to choose clothes every day in the morning, so he picks a uniform and wears it for weeks in a row instead.
Question: How much of Twitter does Chris Sacca own?
Answer: Before Twitter went public in 2013, Sacca owned about 9% worth roughly $400 million. Later, Sacca acquired through various affiliated funds more Twitter shares, raising his total ownership to approximately 18% of the company, worth $1 billion.
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