Following a Rich Tradition (TechNews.com)
The insiders at Google really are insiders ;)
To quote the article Google ownership is a "carefully crafted roster of early-stage investors [that] reads like a Who's Who of Silicon Valley" or as Alan Meckler states in the article: ""It is a traditional Silicon Valley old boys network,...."It is very similar to what happened in the 1990s when there were a group of 20 or 30 venture capital firms and key people. There is a lot of history repeating itself here."
Some of the pre-IPO owners? Stanford University, Jeff Bezos, Andy Bechtolsheim the co-founder of Sun Microsystems Inc., as well as the VC firms of Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins.
Even more interesting thasn who owns the shares is the giganic returns that some of these can expect. For instance, the VC firms reportedly each invested $12.5 million in Google for their 9.4% stakes. After the IPO the investment could be worth over $1Billion!