It's just the sort of improbable success that Silicon Valley adores. Two young entrepreneurs have, in a mere five years, turned an obscure Chicago venture capital firm into a presence visible from Sand Hill Road. This year Keith Daubenspeck and Dwight Badger's Advanced Equities Financial is on track to raise $1 billion for startups previously backed by industry Brahmins like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, New Enterprise Associates and Vinod Khosla.
In the process, closely held AE earned operating income (Ebitda) of $26 million last year on $300 million in revenue. Daubenspeck is ranked 72nd on the 2008 FORBES Midas 100 list of top tech dealmakers. He hopes to take AE public within 18 months."