Data sourced from crunchbase 2022
About Founders Fund
Founders Fund is an American venture capital firm based out of San Francisco. The company was one of the earliest investors in Facebook, now Meta. They also were the first institutional investor in SpaceX. Other significant prior investments in Founders Fund’s portfolio include Spotify, AirBnB and Lyft. As of 2022 the company controls more than $11 billion in aggregate capital. All 35 members of the Founders Fund team practice a generalist approach to investing, spreading capital across sectors and growth stages.
Founders Fund was created by Peter Thiel, Ken Howery and Luke Nosek in San Francisco, California in January of 2005. The three investors had already worked together as a part of the founding team at PayPal. That month, Founders Fund sourced $50 million of startup capital from angel investors and entrepreneurs. In 2006, the firm brought in Sean Parker, the ex-president of Facebook and co-founder of Napster. In 2007 the firm pursued their second funding round, raising an additional $220 million.
After 2007, Founders Fund raised a number of consecutive funds, including two growth funds, with exponentially increasing returns. In 2017, the firm also took steps to diversify their holdings and Founders Fund pumped around $15-20 million into Bitcoin across a few funds. Founders Fund told investors that this investment is now worth hundreds of millions. All told, the firm currently has a little over $11 billion in aggregate capital under management. Since the firm was founded, it has been an early-stage investor in some of the most significant technology and business investments in the world, including Palantir, Wish and Stripe.
Founders Fund is composed of 35 members who all practice a generalist investment strategy. Investors are encouraged to work across sectors and across stages to attack opportunities and create substantial returns for clients and partner companies. This has allowed Founders Fund to be at the forefront of some of the biggest investment opportunities of the last two decades. SpaceX is one such example of this, as Peter Thiel got the firm involved with Elon Musk’s behemoth at its early outset and the company is now worth over $10 billion. Founders Fund was also an early investor in AirBnB but made their exit before the company was taken public. Founders Fund practiced this same strategy with Lyft, GoodRx and Spotify.
Founders Fund in the News
In August of 2022, fintech company Pomelo received assistance in their goal to simplify international financial transactions when Founders Fund and Xoom co-founder Kevin Hartz combined to help the company raise $20 million in seed money. In July of 2022, Founders Fund participated in and led a seed round for HGen, an experimental modular electrolyzer producer focusing on clean hydrogen applications in heavy industry. Angel investor firms Climate Capital and Fontinalis Partners joined Founders Fund to raise capital for this company, founded by Tesla and SpaceX alums Molly Yang and Colin Ho. That same month, Founders Fund also participated in a $40 million Series B funding round for Pulley, an equity management and cap table platform for startups and investors