Founders Fund

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Founders Fund
Type Venture fund
Industry Finance
Founded July 2005
Headquarters Letterman Digital Arts Center
San Francisco, California

Founders Fund is a San Francisco based venture capital investment firm. The firm’s five partners, Peter Thiel, Sean Parker, Ken Howery, Luke Nosek, and Brian Singerman were founders or early investors in companies such as Facebook, PayPal, Napster, and Palantir Technologies. Founders Fund was formed in 2005 and launched four funds with more than $1 billion in aggregate capital under management by 2011.


Peter Thiel

The firm was organized by Peter Thiel and Ken Howery in early 2005 and raised its first fund of $50 million from individual entrepreneurs and angel investors in January of that year. In 2006, Sean Parker, an early employee of Napster and ex-president of Facebook, and Luke Nosek joined as managing partners.[1] In 2007, the firm raised a new fund of $220 million.[2]

In 2010, the firm raised its third fund, with $250 million in committed capital,[3] and in 2011, a fourth fund with $625 million of committed capital was raised.[4][5]


As of the end of 2012, the firm was made up of the following partners:

  • Peter Thiel, founder and former CEO and chairman of PayPal[6]
  • Ken Howery, founder and former CFO of PayPal[6]
  • Luke Nosek, founder and former vice president of PayPal[6]
  • Sean Parker, former president of Plaxo and Facebook, served as managing partner from the time he left Facebook in 2008 until 2011, when his title became Executive General Partner. Parker left in March of 2014. [7]
  • Brian Singerman, founder of iGoogle[6]


Unlike many venture capital funds in Silicon Valley, Founders Fund does not limit itself to Web 2.0 companies. According to its website,[8] Founders Fund invests in the following five areas:

Some of the Fund's investments include Facebook, SpaceX, Spotify, Palantir Technologies, Yammer, Knewton, Practice Fusion, Powerset, Quantcast, Slide, Geni, Causes, Moat, Inigral, Nanotronics Imaging, ZocDoc, Taskrabbit, IronPort, 140 Proof, Pathway Genomics, Vicarious Systems, Path, Ripple, Betable and Votizen.[8][9]


  1. ^ Guynn, Jessica (December 13, 2006). "The Founders Fund emerges as venture capital 2.0". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-01-20. 
  2. ^ Jessica Guynn (December 18, 2007). "Facebook backer now a rival to venture capitalists". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  3. ^ Founders Fund raises $250M vehicle (July 19, 2010). "Founders Fund raises $250M vehicle". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ Founders Fund Closes Fourth Suite of Funds - SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/. (2011-12-01). Retrieved on 2013-10-23.
  5. ^ Rusli, Evelyn M. (December 1, 2011). "Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund Raises $625 Million". New York Times. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Founders Fund Closes Fourth Suite of Funds". PRNewswire. December 1, 2011. 
  7. ^ Dickinson, Boonsri (December 9, 2011). "No, Sean Parker Didn't Just Get Ousted From Founders Fund". Business Insider. 
  8. ^ a b Founders Fund. Founders Fund. Retrieved on 2013-10-23.
  9. ^ Arrington, Michael (December 17, 2007). "Founders Fund Closes $220 Million Second Fund". TechCrunch. 

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