Founders Fund

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Founders Fund
Company typeVenture fund
IndustryVenture capital
FoundedJuly 2005
Letterman Digital Arts Center
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Key people
Peter Thiel
Ken Howery
Luke Nosek
Brian Singerman
Cyan Banister
Lauren Gross
Scott Nolan
AUMUS$11 billion (2022)

Founders Fund is a San Francisco based venture capital firm formed in 2005 and has roughly $12 billion in total assets under management as of 2023.[1] Founders Fund was the first institutional investor in Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Palantir Technologies, and early investor in Facebook.[2][3][4] The firm's partners have been founders, early employees and investors at companies including PayPal, Palantir Technologies, Anduril Industries and SpaceX.[5]


Peter Thiel

The firm was organized by Peter Thiel, Ken Howery, and Luke Nosek in early 2005 and raised its first fund of $50 million from individual entrepreneurs and angel investors in January of that year.[6] Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster and ex-president of Facebook, joined in 2006.[6] In 2007, the firm raised a new fund of $220 million.[7]

In 2010, the firm raised its third fund, with $250 million in committed capital,[8] and in 2011, a fourth fund with $625 million of committed capital was raised.[9][10]

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.[11]

In 2016, Founders Fund raised a sixth, $1.3 billion fund, bringing the firm's aggregate capital under management to more than $3 billion.[12]

In 2020, Founders Fund raised a seventh flagship fund and its first growth fund, representing $3 billion in new capital and bringing the firm's aggregate capital under management to more than $6 billion.[13]

In 2022, Founders Fund raised an eighth flagship fund and its second growth fund, representing over $5 billion in new capital and bringing the firm's aggregate capital under management to more than $11 billion.[14]

In 2023, Founders Fund advised companies to withdraw money from Silicon Valley Bank upon announcement of their attempt to raise capital, helping to spur a bank run on the bank and inducing the FDIC to take over.[15]

In March 2023, Founders Fund quietly cut the size of its eighth venture capital fund in half, from around $1.8 billion to around $900 million, to adapt to uncertain market conditions.[16]


As of winter 2023, the firm had thirteen Partners:

  • Lauren Gross[18]
  • Scott Nolan[19]
  • Trae Stephens
  • Napoleon Ta[18]
  • Matias Van Thienen[18]
  • Sam Blond
  • Joey Krug
  • Delian Asparouhov
  • Jennifer Campbell
  • Ryan Petersen

Former partners include:


Founders Fund is a generalist firm investing in companies across all sectors, stages and geographies.[citation needed]

The firm's investments include Airbnb, Armada,[25] DeepMind, Lyft, Facebook, Flexport, Palantir Technologies, SpaceX, Spotify, Stripe, Wish, Neuralink, Nubank, and Twilio.[26]


  1. ^ "A look inside Founders Fund, as it closes on $5 billion across two new funds". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 2, 2023.
  2. ^ "Thiel's Founders Fund sells remaining Facebook shares". Reuters. Retrieved August 2, 2023.
  3. ^ "Private rocket company SpaceX gets $20M from The Founders Fund". VentureBeat. Retrieved August 2, 2023.
  4. ^ "Palantir Technologies Files to Go Public". The New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2023.
  5. ^ Brehse, Tami. "The 'PayPal Mafia' formed in the early 2000s, and includes everyone from Elon Musk to the Yelp founders. Here's where the original members have ended up". Business Insider. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Guynn, Jessica (December 13, 2006). "The Founders Fund emerges as venture capital 2.0". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 20, 2007.
  7. ^ Jessica Guynn (December 18, 2007). "Facebook backer now a rival to venture capitalists". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 5, 2008. Retrieved November 23, 2007.
  8. ^ Founders Fund raises $250M vehicle (July 19, 2010). "Founders Fund raises $250M vehicle". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved August 27, 2013.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Rusli, Evelyn M. (December 1, 2011). "Peter Thiel's Founders Fund Raises $625 Million". New York Times.
  10. ^ "Want A Piece Of Founders Fund's Latest $625M Fund? Start By Trying To Change The World". TechCrunch. December 16, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  11. ^ VentureBeat (March 5, 2014). "Founders Fund raises a big $1B fund to plunk into startups". VentureBeat. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  12. ^ Scott Martin (March 25, 2016). "Peter Thiel's Founders Fund Bags $1.3 Billion". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  13. ^ "Founders Fund stocks up with $3B across two funds". PitchBook. February 20, 2020. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  14. ^ "Founders Fund Raises $5 Billion for Early- to Late-Stage Deals". Bloomberg. March 3, 2022. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  15. ^ Hogg, Ryan (March 11, 2023). "Peter Thiel's Founders Fund got its cash out of Silicon Valley Bank before it was shut down, report says". Business Insider. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  16. ^ "Founders Fund". Retrieved February 17, 2024.
  17. ^ a b c Primack, Dan. "Peter Thiel's Founders Fund isn't really Peter Thiel's Founders Fund". Axios. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  18. ^ a b c d "Founders Fund Raises $5 Billion for Early- to Late-Stage Deals". Mergers & Acquisitions. Retrieved August 2, 2023.
  19. ^ "VC Scott Nolan on using what he learned at SpaceX to invest at Founders Fund - Silicon Valley Business Journal". The Business Journals. Retrieved August 2, 2023.
  20. ^ "Kevin Hartz Is Stepping Down as Partner at Founders Fund". Fortune. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  21. ^ "Sean Parker formally leaves Founders Fund". Fortune. March 6, 2014.
  22. ^ Josh Constine (December 11, 2012). "Founders Fund Partner Bruce Gibney Has Left The Firm". Tech Crunch. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  23. ^ Susannah Birkwood (October 31, 2012). "Profile: Founders Fund's Bruce Gibney". Asian Venture Capital Journal. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  24. ^ McBride, Sarah (August 18, 2017). "Founders Fund's Geoff Lewis Leaves to Start His Own Fund". Bloomberg. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  25. ^ Konrad, Alex. "Startup Armada Is Bringing AI To Remote Places, Using SpaceX Starlink Satellites". Forbes. Retrieved January 30, 2024.
  26. ^ "Portfolio". Founders Fund. Retrieved March 9, 2023.

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