Founders Fund

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Founders Fund
Type Venture fund
Industry Finance
Founded July 2005
Headquarters Letterman Digital Arts Center
San Francisco, California
Website www.foundersfund.com

Founders Fund is a San Francisco based venture capital firm investing in companies building revolutionary technologies. The firm invests at all stages across a wide variety of sectors, including aerospace, artificial intelligence, advanced computing, energy, health, and consumer Internet, with a portfolio that includes Airbnb, Knewton, Lyft, Spotify, Stripe, and ZocDoc. Founders Fund was the first institutional investor in Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Palantir Technologies, and one of the earliest investors in Facebook. The firm’s four General Partners, Peter Thiel, Ken Howery, Luke Nosek, and Brian Singerman, have been founders and early employees of companies including PayPal, Google, Palantir Technologies, and SpaceX. Formed in 2005, Founders Fund had more than $2 billion in aggregate capital under management as of 2014.

History[edit]

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]

In 2014, Founders Fund raised a $1 billion fifth suite of funds, bringing the firm's aggregate capital under management to more than $2 billion. [6]

Partners[edit]

As of the fall of 2014, the firm was made up of the following partners:

  • Peter Thiel, founder and former CEO and chairman of PayPal[7]
  • Ken Howery, founder and former CFO of PayPal[7]
  • Luke Nosek, founder and former vice president of PayPal[7]
  • Brian Singerman, founder of iGoogle[7]

Investments[edit]

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 firm's investments include Facebook, SpaceX, Spotify, Palantir Technologies, Airbnb, Lyft, Yammer, Stripe, Knewton, Practice Fusion, Quantcast, Nanotronics Imaging, ZocDoc, Hampton Creek Foods, Planet Labs, Pathway Genomics, and Vicarious Systems.[8][9]

References[edit]

  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/. Prnewswire.com (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. ^ VentureBeat (March 5, 2014). "Founders Fund raises a big $1B fund to plunk into startups". VentureBeat. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Founders Fund Closes Fourth Suite of Funds". PRNewswire. December 1, 2011. 
  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. 

External links[edit]