Peter Thiel

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Peter Thiel

Born 1967 (1967)
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Peter Andreas Thiel (born 1967) is an American entrepreneur, hedge fund manager, and venture capitalist. With Max Levchin, Thiel co-founded PayPal and was its CEO. He currently serves as president of Clarium Capital Management LLC, a global macro hedge fund with more than $6 billion under management, and a managing partner in The Founders Fund, a $275 million under management venture capital fund he launched with Ken Howery and Luke Nosek in 2005. He was an early investor in Facebook, the popular social-networking site, and sits on the company’s Board of Directors.

Thiel was ranked #377 on the Forbes 400, with a net worth of $1.3 billion. [1]


[edit] Biography

Born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and raised in Foster City, California, Thiel was a US-rated Chess Master and one of the highest ranked under-21 players in the country [2] He studied 20th century philosophy as an undergraduate at Stanford University. An avowed libertarian, he founded The Stanford Review, now the university's main conservative/libertarian newspaper.

After earning his J.D. from Stanford in 1992, Thiel clerked for Judge J.L. Edmondson of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, practiced law and later traded derivatives. He eventually founded Thiel Capital Management, a multistrategy fund, in 1996. After co-founding PayPal, Thiel took the company public on Feb. 15, 2002, and sold it to eBay for USD 1.5 billion later that year.[3] His 3.7 percent stake in PayPal was worth approximately $55 million at the time of the acquisition.[4] Immediately after the sale, Thiel relaunched his fund with a new name, Clarium, pursuing a global macro strategy. In 2005, Clarium was honored as global macro fund of the year by both MarHedge and Absolute Return, two trade magazines. Thiel’s approach to investing became the subject of a chapter in Steve Drobny’s book, Inside the House of Money.

In addition to Facebook, Thiel has made early-stage investments in several startups, including Slide, LinkedIn, Friendster,, Yammer, Yelp, Powerset, Vator, Palantir Technologies, Joyent and IronPort. Slide, LinkedIn, Yelp,, Yammer, and IronPort were each founded by colleagues of Thiel’s from PayPal. Fortune magazine reports that PayPal alumni have founded or invested in dozens of startups with an aggregate value, according to Thiel, of around $30 billion. In Silicon Valley circles, Thiel is colloquially referred to as the "Don of the PayPal Mafia", as noted in the Fortune magazine article [5]

Thiel is an occasional commentator on CNBC, having appeared numerous times on both Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo, and Squawk Box with Becky Quick [6]. He's twice been interviewed by Charlie Rose on PBS [7]. In 2006, he won the Herman Lay Award for Entrepreneurship.[8] In 2007, he was honored as a Young Global leader by the World Economic Forum as one of the 250 most distinguished leaders age 40 and under.[citation needed] [9] He was also reported to be an attendee of the elite and highly secretive Bilderberg Group conference in both 2007 and 2008[10].

Thiel’s cultural pursuits have recently included executive producing “Thank You for Smoking,” a feature film based on the Christopher Buckley novel of the same name. He is the co-author (with David O. Sacks, who produced TYFS) of the book, The Diversity Myth: 'Multiculturalism' and the Politics of Intolerance at Stanford, and has contributed articles to The Wall Street Journal, First Things, Forbes, and Policy Review, the journal of The Hoover Institution (on whose board he sits).

[edit] Facebook

In late 2004, Peter Thiel made a $500,000 angel investment in Facebook.

[edit] Philanthropy

In February 2006 Thiel provided $100,000 of matching funds to back the Singularity Challenge donation drive of the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Additionally he joined the Institute's advisory board and participated in the May 2006 Singularity Summit at Stanford.

In September 2006 Thiel announced that he would donate $3.5 million to foster anti-aging research through the Methuselah Mouse Prize foundation.[11] He gave the following reasons for his pledge: "Rapid advances in biological science foretell of a treasure trove of discoveries this century, including dramatically improved health and longevity for all. I’m backing Dr. de Grey, because I believe that his revolutionary approach to aging research will accelerate this process, allowing many people alive today to enjoy radically longer and healthier lives for themselves and their loved ones."

In May 2007 Thiel provided half of the $400,000 matching funds for the annual Singularity Challenge donation drive.

On April 15th, 2008, Thiel pledged $500,000 to the new Seasteading Institute, whose mission is "to establish permanent, autonomous ocean communities to enable experimentation and innovation with diverse social, political, and legal systems"[12]

Thiel is a supporter of the Committee to Protect Journalists, which promotes the right of journalists to report the news freely without fear of reprisal. [13]

He often extends invitations to promising young entrepenuers who need a little help getting started - persons such as gas station attendants, retail workers, and vagrants.

[edit] Politics

When asked about his political beliefs in a 2006 United Press International interview, Thiel stated, "Well, I was pretty libertarian when I started [in business]. I'm *way* libertarian now." [14] In December 2007, he endorsed Ron Paul for President. [15]

[edit] References

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "eBay picks up PayPal for $1.5 billion". Archived from the original on 2008-07-14. Retrieved on 2008-01-24. "On Monday, eBay said it is acquiring online payments company PayPal in a deal valued at $1.5 billion. [...]" 
  4. ^ "SEC Info - Ebay Inc - S-4 - On 8/6/02". Archived from the original on 2008-08-26. Retrieved on 2008-01-24. 
  5. ^ "The PayPal mafia - Nov. 14, 2007". Archived from the original on 2008-08-26. Retrieved on 2008-01-24. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "The Association of Private Enterprise Education". Archived from the original on 2008-08-26. Retrieved on 2008-01-24. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "The Mprize-PayPal Founder pledges $3.5 Million to antiaging research". Archived from the original on 2008-08-26. Retrieved on 2008-01-24. 
  12. ^ "Introducing The Seasteading Institute". Archived from the original on 2008-08-26. Retrieved on 2008-04-16. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Endorsements » Blog Archive » Peter Thiel". Retrieved on 2008-01-24. 

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

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