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Confinity Inc. was an American software company based in Silicon Valley, best known as the creator of PayPal. It was founded in December 1998 by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, and Luke Nosek, initially as a Palm Pilot payments and cryptography company.[1]


Many of Confinity's initial recruits were alumni of The Stanford Review, also co-founded by Thiel, and most early engineers hailed from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, recruited by Levchin. Early investors included Nokia Ventures, Deutsche Bank, and William N. Melton, the founder of CyberCash.[2]

Confinity's second office, 165 University Avenue in Palo Alto, California, is also known for being the former office of Google and Logitech.[3]

Confinity launched its milestone product, PayPal, in late 1999.[1] Confinity merged with, founded by Elon Musk, in March 2000.[4] The merged company became known as because this was thought to be a name with broader long-term potential than Confinity or PayPal. However, surveys showed that a majority of consumers considered the name vague and potentially pornographic and preferred that the company simply be called PayPal. After a corporate restructuring, the company adopted the name PayPal Inc.[citation needed]

After an IPO, the company was purchased by eBay. eBay and PayPal became separate companies in 2015.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lillington, Karlin. "PayPal Puts Dough in Your Palm". Wired. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  2. ^ "What I really want to say". Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  3. ^ "A building blessed with tech success". CNET. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  4. ^ Elon Musk: How I Became The Real 'Iron Man', Bloomberg, 10 June 2014, accessed 25 August 2018.
  5. ^ "EBay follows Icahn's advice, plans PayPal spinoff in 2015". Reuters. 2014-09-30. Retrieved 2019-08-16.