Peter Thiel is a German-American billionaire entrepreneur and venture capitalist. A co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies, and Founders Fund, he was the first outside investor in Facebook. He was ranked No. 4 on the Forbes Midas List of 2014, with a net worth of $2.2 billion, and No. 391 on the Forbes 400 in 2020, with a net worth of $2.1 billion.
He founded Thiel Capital Management in 1996. He co-founded PayPal in 1999, serving as chief executive officer until its sale to eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion.
After PayPal, he founded Clarium Capital, a global macro hedge fund based in San Francisco. In 2004, he launched Palantir Technologies, a big data analysis company, and served as its chairman through 2019. In 2005, he launched Founders Fund with PayPal partners Ken Howery and Luke Nosek. Earlier, Thiel became Facebook’s first outside investor when he acquired a 10.2% stake for $500,000 in August 2004. He sold the majority of his shares in Facebook for over $1 billion in 2012, but remains on the board of directors. He co-founded Valar Ventures in 2010; co-founded Mithril Capital, serving as investment committee chair, in 2012; and served as a partner at Y Combinator from 2015 to 2017.
Thiel garnered attention in 2016 when he became a vocal supporter of Republican presidential nominee—and eventual winner of the election—Donald Trump, donating money and speaking at the party’s convention.
Thiel’s philanthropic works include the Thiel Foundation, which gives money to teenagers to start a business rather than attend college. The initiative reflected Thiel’s outspoken criticism of higher education and its escalating costs.
Source: ‘Peter Thiel on The Portal (with host Eric Weinstein), Ep. #1 – An Era of Stagnation & Universal Institutional Failure’ (Jul 19, 2019)
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