Leading venture capitalist who started the first Net VC fund. Backed successful networking-gear maker Foundry Networks.
Make Wal-Mart.com a success. He thinks some of the best e-businesses will be online-offline combos.
In a business that's all about seeing the future first, venture capitalist Jim Breyer applies his ''better radar'' to stay ahead of the pack. Case in point: While other VCs were pouring gazillions into pet food startups and other pure e-commerce plays, Breyer, 38, was already well on to the next trend: clicks-and-mortar. The managing partner of Accel Partners in Palo Alto, Calif., closed a deal in January to be the sole outside investor in Wal-Mart.com Inc., an independent company formed to accelerate the Net strategy of the nation's largest retailer. ''We believe we can revolutionize e-commerce on the Web,'' crows Breyer, who will help craft Wal-Mart.com's plans.
The deal is the latest evidence of Breyer's vision. In 1993, he led one of the first Web investments in Net access provider UUNET Technologies, now part of MCI WorldCom. In 1995, Accel created the first Internet-only venture-capital fund to invest in Net infrastructure.
Now, the easygoing Breyer needs to demonstrate his thesis that the Net's next phase turns on the ''seamless integration of the offline and online worlds.'' The smart money may want to follow him.