Joe Lonsdale

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Joe Lonsdale
Born Joseph Todd Lonsdale V[1]
(1982-09-12) September 12, 1982 (age 34)
Fremont, California, United States
Nationality American
Alma mater Stanford University (B.S.)

Joseph Todd "Joe" Lonsdale (September 12, 1982) is an American entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. Lonsdale is a founding partner at Formation 8 Partners, a Silicon Valley technology investment fund that operates mostly in the United States and Asia.[2] Lonsdale also co-founded and serves as Chairman of Addepar, a private wealth management technology company. In 2004, Lonsdale co-founded Palantir Technologies, a private company focused on analyzing, integrating and visualizing data especially in defense and finance.

Early life and education[edit]

Lonsdale grew up in Fremont, California and attended Mission San Jose High School. He was a two-time scholastic chess champion.[3] He was raised in his mother's Jewish faith (his father is of Irish Catholic descent).[4]

Lonsdale graduated from Stanford University in 2003 with a degree in Computer Science.[5] He also studied financial markets and macro-economics, and served as Editor-in-Chief of The Stanford Review, the university’s conservative/libertarian newspaper. Lonsdale is a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity.


Early career[edit]

Lonsdale joined the financial arm of PayPal as an intern while a student at Stanford.[6] After graduation he left to work in a variety of roles with PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel. Lonsdale also served as an early executive at Clarium Capital, a macro hedge fund founded by Thiel. At Clarium's peak the fund had nearly $7 billion in assets under management.[7]

Palantir Technologies[edit]

In 2004, Lonsdale co-founded Palantir Technologies with Thiel, Alex Karp, Stephen Cohen, and Nathan Gettings. Palantir’s software allows human analysts to explore data from many sources, specifically in the intelligence and financial services sectors.[8] It had a corporate culture modeled on Google's.[9] Lonsdale initially served as co-head of product at Palantir. After the core leadership and engineering teams were established, Lonsdale and Eric Poirier built Palantir Finance (now known as Metropolis) as a separate division within Palantir. They created a technology platform analogous in scope to the government platform but focused on time series data and financial ontologies.


Lonsdale co-founded Addepar in 2009 with Jason Mirra.[10][11] Addepar works with Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), major private banks, and family offices to provide transparency into client portfolios. Currently Addepar has over $100 billion in assets managed on the platform. The company has attracted a cadre of supporters from the finance industry including Stanley Druckenmiller, Kenneth Langone, Harrison LeFrak, Poju Zabludowicz, Justin Rockefeller and a number of others.[11]

Lonsdale currently serves as Executive Chairman at Addepar.

Angel Investor and Venture Capitalist[edit]

Anduin Ventures[edit]

In 2010, Lonsdale launched Anduin Ventures, a seed fund focused on helping technology teams in Silicon Valley build information technology companies across a variety of industries. Anduin's advisors included Alex Moore, Steve Loughlin, Matt Michelsen, and Brian Koo. Anduin's portfolio companies include Addepar, Wish (Context Logic),[12], a project with Lady Gaga to launch Backplane,[13] Badgeville, Blueprint Labs, Edmodo, Healthtap, JoyTunes, Karma, Onramp, Ostendo, Ness, Practice Fusion and Vicarious.[14]

Formation 8[edit]

In 2011, Lonsdale co-founded Formation 8 with Brian Koo and Jim Kim.[15] Other senior members of Formation 8 include Gideon Yu and Pierre Lamond.[5] The fund has a broad mandate, investing across stages in both IT and energy companies.[16] Lonsdale manages the IT investments, often focusing on entrepreneurs building “Smart Enterprise” companies. Lonsdale represents Formation 8 on the board of Oscar,[17] Hyperloop Technologies, Blend Labs, RelateIQ,[18] Wish (ContextLogic),[19] Illumio and OpenGov.[20] Other Formation 8 investments include Revinate,[21] Taxon,[22] AKAStudy,[16] Blend Labs,[16] BuildZoom,[23] Foro Energy,[16] PeopleCo,[16] LearnSprout,[24] Oculus VR,[25] and Thalmic Labs.[16] In 2016,[26] Joe co-founded 8VC,[27] with a group that included 15 of the 25 colleagues from Formation 8.[27] 8VC funds include a 50 million angel fund, a 425 million venture fund, and a co-invest fund [size unreported]. Like Formation 8, the fund invests primarily in technology driven businesses positioned to redefine modern workflows and unlock otherwise untapped data assets.,[28] 8VC's portfolio companies include Asana, uBiome, LoadDocs, and Common.[29]

Other business activities[edit]

Lonsdale co-founded and serves as Chairman of OpenGov[30] and Zanbato.[31] He is also Chairman of The Backplane and serves on the Boards of RelateIQ, Oscar, Wish (ContextLogic), and Revinate.


Lonsdale is the Chairman of California Common Sense (“”), a non-partisan non-profit dedicated to opening government to the public, developing data-driven policy analysis, and educating citizens about how government works.[32] In July 2010, launched California’s first data transparency portal.[33]

Lonsdale is the Chairman of ONEHOPE Wine[34] and its charity ONEHOPE Foundation, a social enterprise company devoted to donating a portion of their profits to charity.[35]

Lonsdale also serves on the Board of Strive for College[36] and was the founding Chairman of The Seasteading Institute.[37]

Lonsdale is a supporter and adviser to Thorn, a non-profit founded by actors Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore which partners with innovative technology companies to prevent child-trafficking and child pornography.

Public speaking[edit]

Lonsdale often speaks at technology events and conferences around the world. Some notable appearances include:

On June 2, 2015 Lonsdale served on a panel about "Venture Capital Trends" at Rutberg's Future: Mobile conference, and on September 16, 2015, Lonsdale led a panel about Big Data Analytics at the BDO conference which hosts public company board members.

On September 29, 2015 Lonsdale and Addepar CEO Eric Poirier spoke at the a16z Capital Summit about technology trends and the future of global finance.

On August 23 and 24, 2014 Lonsdale hosted a hackathon with Ashton Kutcher to support Thorn. The event brought nearly 100 engineers, data scientists and designers together to build tools to help mitigate child trafficking. Other judges included Twitter's Head of Privacy Del Harvey and White House Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith. Lonsdale subsequently published an article calling on technologists to tackle social problems.[38]

On February 12, 2014 Lonsdale and Marc Andreessen were featured as the Keynote for the 2014 Goldman Sachs Technology Conference in San Francisco with Gary Cohn. They discussed a variety of issues including bitcoin, valuations of technology companies, and the impact of mobile.[39]

Lonsdale has been featured twice on CNBC’s SquawkBox. Lonsdale discussed big data and security in a June 26, 2013 episode titled “Big Data’s Past Present and Future.[40]” On April 29, 2013 Lonsdale was featured in an episode titled “The Disruptors” on which he discussed how Silicon Valley technology is beginning to emerge as a force on Wall Street.[41]

In 2011, Lonsdale participated in TEDxSilicon Valley. Lonsdale gave a speech titled "Learning from Numbers" where he discussed technology's role within finance.[42]

On August 25, 2008 Lonsdale was hosted by Glenn Beck on CNN, where he discussed the Seasteading Institute.[37]

The Smart Enterprise Wave[edit]

A common theme across the majority of Lonsdale’s public speaking and written work is Smart Enterprise. Lonsdale has coined the term to describe the companies leading the 6th wave of Innovation occurring in Silicon Valley.[43]

The Smart Enterprise Wave

Specifically, Smart Enterprise companies leverage recent IT advances in order to integrate heterogeneous big data and empower knowledge workers to solve non-linear problems across major economic industries. By doing so, these companies gain the potential to harness network effects within their industry vertical and become platforms, increasing innovation by enabling novel applications to quickly spread throughout the industry.[43]

Personal life[edit]

Lonsdale married Tayler Cox in September 2016.[44]

On January 27, 2015, former Stanford student Ellie Clougherty filed a lawsuit against Lonsdale accusing him of rape and sexual and emotional abuse.[4][45] Lonsdale denied the claims and filed a counter suit against Clougherty.[46] Stanford University banned Lonsdale from campus as a result of the allegation.[47]

Clougherty dropped all of her legal claims against Lonsdale in a court filing November 2, 2015. Lonsdale also dropped his counterclaims.[48] Stanford University investigators, citing evidence uncovered during discovery, said Lonsdale did not violate Stanford's sexual harassment policies and there was no basis to support a ban from Stanford's campus.[47]


  1. ^ "Joe Lonsdale Co-founded Palantir Technologies". LittleSis. Retrieved May 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ Lashinsky, Adam (2013-04-11). "The hottest VCs since Andreessen". Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  3. ^ "30 Executives Who Are Excellent At Chess". Business Insider. 2012-06-24. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  4. ^ a b Bazelon, Emily (2015-02-11). "The Stanford Undergraduate and the Mentor". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ a b "Team". Formation 8. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  6. ^ "Joe Lonsdale | CrunchBase Profile". Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  7. ^ Packer, George. "No Death, No Taxes: The libertarian futurism of a Silicon Valley billionaire". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2011-12-07.
  8. ^ Ari Gesher(2010-03-08). "Palantir Technologies » BlogArchive » Friction in Human-Computer Symbiosis: Kasparov on Chess". Retrieved 2012-01-30.
  9. ^ Gorman, Siobhan (2009-09-04). "How Team of Geeks Cracked Spy Trade". Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
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  11. ^ a b "Addepar | CrunchBase Profile". 2013-01-20. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  12. ^ "Investments". Anduin Ventures. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "From Hedge Funds to Lady Gaga". Business Week. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 2015-02-16. 
  14. ^ "Investments". Anduin Ventures. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
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  16. ^ a b c d e f "Portfolio". Formation 8. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  17. ^ "Josh Kushner Raises Another $80 Million For Oscar Health". Jewish Business News. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "RelateIQ Launches With $29M From Formation 8, Dustin Moskovitz And More To Be Your Next-Gen Relationship Manager". TechCrunch. 2013-06-12. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
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  22. ^ "DuPont Acquires Taxon Biosciences". Ag Funder News. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  23. ^ "YC-Backed Contractor Directory BuildZoom Raises $1.4 Million Seed Round". TechCrunch. 2013-06-25. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  24. ^ "Andreessen-Backed LearnSprout Wants To Help Developers Unlock Educational Data". TechCrunch. 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
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  30. ^ "OpenGov | CrunchBase Profile". Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  31. ^ "Zanbato | CrunchBase Profile". 2011-12-13. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  32. ^ "Supporters Team". CACS. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  33. ^ Dakin Sloss (August 24, 2011). "Stanford Group Works to Fix Government with Data". Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  34. ^ "About Us - Team | ONEHOPE Wine". Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  35. ^ "ONEHOPE Foundation". Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  36. ^ "Board of Directors". Strive for College. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  37. ^ a b "Glenn Beck talks to Joe Lonsdale about Seasteading". YouTube. 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  38. ^ "Technologists' Duty Can Go Beyond For-Profit Industries". 2014-09-13. Retrieved 2016-08-26. 
  39. ^ "Marc Andreessen: Tech Is Still Recovering From A Depression". 2014-02-12. Retrieved 2016-08-26. 
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  42. ^ "TEDx Silicon Valley » Learning from Numbers". Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  43. ^ a b "The Smart Enterprise Wave". Formation 8. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  44. ^ James, Susan Donaldson. "At high risk for breast cancer, why she's decided against a mastectomy". Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  45. ^ "Tech investor Joe Lonsdale counters rape allegations". Mercury News. Retrieved 2016-08-26. 
  46. ^ "Joe Lonsdale Personal Statement". 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2015-10-15. 
  47. ^ a b "Woman drops sex assault case against U.S. venture capitalist". 2015-11-03. Retrieved 2016-08-26. 
  48. ^ Levine, Dan (2015-11-02). "Woman drops sex assault case against U.S. venture capitalist". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-08-26.