Peter Thiel is a technology entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist.
He first gained attention for innovations in banking and startup finance. Today he is known as the mentor of the PayPal mafia of entrepreneurs, as well as for his warnings of a coming technology deficit with severe economic consequences. He works to accelerate innovation to prevent such a crisis by identifying and funding promising technology ideas and by guiding successful companies to scale and dominate their industries.
In 1998, Mr. Thiel made e-commerce easier, faster, and more secure by co-founding and leading PayPal, which now has more than 100 million active financial accounts. In 2002, he sold PayPal to eBay and founded a global macro fund, Clarium.
In 2004, he co-founded Palantir Technologies, which offers platforms for finance companies and intelligence, defense, and law enforcement communities to integrate, visualize, and analyze the world’s information.
In the same year, he made the first outside investment in Facebook, a social networking hub that now has more than 800 million active members. He serves on its board.
Building on his personal success as a venture capital investor, Mr. Thiel co-founded and manages Founders Fund, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital fund that has pioneered new methods of venture financing that benefit founders. Through Founders Fund, as well as through his private investing, he has helped the next generation of tech companies, such as SpaceX, LinkedIn,Yelp, Zynga, RoboteX, and Spotify.
Mr. Thiel promotes better health through investments in innovative companies like Halcyon Molecular, Practice Fusion, and ZocDoc, and by funding the longevity research of Dr. Cynthia Kenyon and the SENS Foundation.
Mr. Thiel advances freedom by sponsoring the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Seasteading Institute, and the Human Rights Foundation. He funds the artificial intelligence research of the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence. He also aids work against violence through the Oslo Freedom Forum and through the research of philosopher René Girard, which is extended and promulgated by Imitatio.
In 2010, Mr. Thiel created the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship, which nurtures the tech visionaries of tomorrow.
Mr. Thiel earned a B.A. in philosophy from Stanford University and a J.D. fromStanford Law School, where he occasionally teaches on globalization and technology and serves on the board of overseers of the Hoover Institution. His articles have appeared in Policy Review and the Wall Street Journal. He co-produced the film Thank You for Smoking, was rated a master by the United States Chess Federation, and received the Innovation Award from theEconomist in 2010.
Mr. Thiel established and funds the Thiel Foundation. He lives in San Francisco.