Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# Peter A Thiel

Random fact: Earned lifetime "National Master" designation by U.S. Chess Federation.

Overview

Thiel is a founding partner of Founders Fund, a venture capital firm, and Facebook's first outside investor. He is also a co-founder of PayPal and seeded closely held analytical software firm Palantir Technologies. The former derivatives trader was also part of the transition team of President Donald Trump.

As of Sept. 22, 2017:
Last change ()
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Industry Venture Capital
Biggest asset N/A
Citizenship United States
Age 48
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Peter A Thiel's net worth of can buy ...

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Net Worth Summary

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Biography

Birthdate: 10/11/1967
Family: Single, No children
Education: 1992, Stanford Law School, JD 1989, Stanford University, Philosophy, Bachelor's Degree

A self-described contrarian, Peter Thiel made his fortune by appealing to the masses. He co-founded PayPal in 1999 on expectations that people would want a more integrated way to spend money online. He ended up making as much as $90 million after the company's public offering and subsequent all-stock sale to EBay in 2002.

His success with PayPal led the one-time derivatives trader and trained attorney to start the Clarium Capital hedge fund. Bets on increasing consumer demand for commodities such as oil helped the fund grow to over $8 billion in assets within six years. While the financial crisis helped reduce Clarium to a few hundred million dollars in assets -- almost all of which belonged to Thiel -- his personal fortune continued to grow thanks to his early recognition of the power of social networking. Thiel was the first outside investor in Facebook, initially loaning $500,000 to Mark Zuckerberg in June 2004.

Growth in the digital sphere also boosted his stake in Palantir Technologies, a company he co-founded in 2004 with Alexander Karp that is now valued at $9 billion. Palantir sifts through the growing reams of digital data to find meaningful patterns for customers, including the federal government.

Thiel also has a history of making numerous small and profitable venture-stage investments in companies, including LinkedIn, Zynga and Space Exploration, among others. He inaugurated the Thiel Fellowship program with 24 awardees in 2011. Thiel fellows are college-age people granted $100,000 to skip college and focus on their entrepreneurial efforts and "self-education."

Thiel's philanthropic efforts are directed toward projects intended to influence the masses in constructive ways, such as promoting planned alternative government experiments on sea colonies and supporting research into prolonging lifespans. He also gives heavily to philosophical efforts that promote religious non-violence based on the theories of French-born Stanford University professor Rene Girard. He was revealed to be financing lawsuits against gossip site Gawker Media in May 2016.

He was one of the few tech industry executives who supported Republican candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 election. He joined the transition team of President-Elect Trump and will play a role in vetting presidential appointments and selecting which of Trump’s campaign promises will become the policies of America’s 45th president, according to a Nov. 11, 2016 article in Bloomberg News.

Milestones
  • 1967 Peter Andreas Thiel is born in Frankfurt am Main, West Germany.
  • 1989 Graduates with a degree in philosophy from Stanford University.
  • 2002 PayPal sells shares in a public offering at $13 a share.
  • 2002 PayPal is acquired by EBay for $1.2 billion.
  • 2004 With Dr. Alexander Karp, founds Palantir Technologies Inc.
  • 2004 Loans Mark Zuckerberg $500,000, later converts it into Facebook equity stake.
  • 2015 Palantir valued at $20 billion in $680 million fundraising round.
  • 2016 Joins transition team of President-Elect Donald Trump.