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How Peter Thiel Achieved a Net Worth of $5.2 Billion

Peter Thiel

Born on 11 October 1967, Peter Thiel is a well-accomplished business entrepreneur who made most of his fortune by appealing to the large public masses. One of his most notable achievements is co-founding PayPal back in 1999 with Max Levchin, a Ph.D. Stanford student. The main objective of this company was to create a fully-integrated way where people could spend their money online. In 2002, the company realized profits of up to 90 million USD after the company's subsequent all-stock sale to eBay and its public offerings. After successfully launching the PayPal company, Thiel went on to establish the Clarium Capital hedge fund. This was during the time when there was a significant increase in the consumer's demand for essential commodities such as oil, which helped the fund grow to about $8 billion in assets within six years.

In 2004, Peter Thiel expanded his digital sphere by investing in Palantir Technologies, an organization he co-founded with Alexander Karp. The company's primary objective was to develop reams of digital data to find valuable patterns for many customers, including the federal government. According to Bloomberg, Thiel made history by becoming the first outside investor in Facebook, a social media platform, after he loaned the platform's founder Mark Zuckerberg around 500,000 USD. Additionally, Thiel has been actively involved in making several small but profitable venture-stage investments in many organizations, including Zynga, SpaceX, and LinkedIn, among many others. Here, we will discuss Peter Thiel's Net Worth of 5.2 Billion USD.

Early life

Peter Thiel was born on 11/10/1967 in Frankfurt, Germany, where his family later moved on to the United States. Thiel settled with his family in Cleveland, Ohio, where his father was employed as a chemical engineer. Much of Thiel's childhood was spent in South Africa, and he became a passionate player of Chess & Dungeons and Dragons. During his stay in Africa, he was enrolled in an elementary school and seven other different schools. When he and his family moved back to the United States, he was admitted to San Mateo High School, where he graduated in 1985 as a Valedictorian. In 1989, he went to Stanford University, where he attained a BA and later completed his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in 1992 at the same Law School. According to Forbes, Peter Thiel first attracted mass attention with his numerous innovations and contributions to the field of startup finance and banking.

He was also well-known as a technology investor after investing in a number of small, profitable businesses at the time. During his stay at Stanford Law School, he founded The Standard Review, a newspaper that addressed the country's politics. Following his graduation from the university, he was employed as a judicial clerk for Judge James Larry Edmondson. He was later employed to work as a securities lawyer for Sullivan & Cromwell. Thiel also, later on, went to work as a speechwriter for the former United States Secretary of Education, William Bennett. Currently, Peter Thiel has been working on solving the technology deficit crisis, which he strongly believes could be the lasting solution to the extreme economic imbalance in all countries worldwide. In his efforts to stop this impending disaster from escalating, he has provided plenty of recognition and funding to numerous technological concepts that exhibit the ability to solve this crisis.

PayPal

In late 1998, a 23-year-old Stanford Ph.D. student named Max Levchin attended one of Thiel's lectures, and the two became friends. Max explained to Peter about the need to establish a system that allows people to spend their money online, and Peter agreed to find Max to launch what today is known as PayPal. The company rented office space in downtown Palo Alto; coincidentally, a competing digital payment company known as X.com happened to be renting an office space on the same floor. The difference between the two companies was that PayPal focused on facilitating payments between Palm devices, while Elon Musk's X.com facilitated payments through the newly-established World Wide Web. Later on, X.com and PayPal agreed to merge due to the stiff market competition and increased venture capital funds. In 2002, PayPal was bought by eBay for approximately $1.5 billion, and Peter Thiel walked away with $60 million after the sale.

Facebook

In August 2004, Peter decided to invest $500,000 to purchase a 10.2% stake in Facebook, becoming the company's first outside investor. Later in 2012, Thiel sold around 638 million USD worth of his equity and his remaining stake in the company for $395 million. As a result, he earned enormous returns from his investment in Facebook and used the returns to invest in many other companies like Yelp, Quora, Yammer, Stripe, and LinkedIn.

Clarium Capital Management

Out of the profits he received from selling PayPal to eBay, Peter decided to invest $10 million to launch an investment management and fund company known as Clarium Capital Management." The company was established in San Francisco by Peter Thiel, who is the co-founder and CEO of the company. In 2008, this hedge fund company experienced massive losses in its asset value after investing in the US dollar, anticipating it would drop value in the future. According to a trusted source, the company has lost about 13% of its book value as of August 2008. Nonetheless, the company later recovered from these massive losses.

Other milestones

Thanks to his numerous contributions to entrepreneurship, finance, and technology on a global level, Peter Thiel has been recognized with various recognitions and awards, including the most notable one by the World Economic Forum, which handed Peter the ''Young Global Leader Award''. Peter Thiel was also an active participant in various academic, cultural, and philanthropic activities. For instance, he was a strong supporter of the Committee to Protect Journalists and his teaching practices at the Stanford Law School. According to Hitc, Thiel is also an active supporter of the medical charity SENS Foundation and the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, as well. Moreover, Peter has established his Thiel Foundation, which loans young entrepreneurs with $100,000 over a two-year period to skip college and pursue their business ideas.

Bottom Line

Peter Thiel earned his 5.2Billion net worth by investing in many companies, namely; LinkedIn, Yammer, Strike, Quora, PayPal, Palantir Foundation, and Facebook, even after selling most of his stock in the social network company. Thiel is also the co-founder of the CIA-backed Palantir Foundation, which went public in 2020, directly listing Peter Thiel as the company's Chief Executive Officer.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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