Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund has raised $625 million for its fourth fund. The firm, which has been an early backer of companies including Facebook and Spotify, will invest in a mix of early-stage deals and follow-on investments across the aerospace, artificial intelligence, analytical software, emerging biotechnologies, robotics, education and consumer internet sectors.
Founders Fund announced that it has raised its fourth suite of funds, with $625 million accepted in total and a single, substantially oversubscribed close with the firm’s investors. Founders Fund, which was an early backer of companies including Facebook, Palantir Technologies, Spotify, SpaceX, Discovery Engine, and ZocDoc, will invest the new capital in a mix of early-stage technology start-ups and follow-ons, with an emphasis on technologies with the potential for transformative change.
“We’re grateful for the tremendous conviction of our investors,” said Bruce Gibney, the partner who led the fundraising with colleague Lauren Gross. “Our limited partners understand that extraordinary opportunities exist for venture firms willing to back truly outstanding entrepreneurs pursuing real innovation.”
The new fund will invest across sectors, including aerospace, artificial intelligence, analytical software, emerging biotechnologies, robotics, education, and consumer internet. Founders Fund looks for companies that advance human capabilities and ease, including through adaptive learning software, communications tools, robotics, and advanced programs that help people make sense of an ever-growing amount of data. The firm will also emphasize companies that can extend the IT revolution into sectors desperately in need of efficiency improvements, like healthcare, where real-time collection and analysis of bioinformatics can drive down costs while improving outcomes.
Founders Fund will also continue to pursue its founder-supportive philosophy, giving entrepreneurs latitude to build extraordinary businesses without unnecessary “adult supervision” or pressure to exit prematurely. “Founders Fund’s philosophy was a real differentiator for us when selecting a venture capital firm,” said Bill Mydlowec, of Discovery Engine. “They understand our technology and our team at a deep level, and that gives them the confidence to let us create a great company without the usual value-destroying distractions imposed by traditional VC firms.”
“Building a durable, multi-billion dollar business takes time, and Founders Fund is the rare firm with the patience and balance sheet to participate in that process,” said Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla Motors and PayPal. “The world faces a number of critical, perhaps existential problems, and none of them will be resolved by investors with time horizons measured in months.”
Founders Fund is managed by partners Peter Thiel, Ken Howery, Luke Nosek, Bruce Gibney, and Brian Singerman; the team also includes Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster, the first president of Facebook, and co-founder of portfolio company Airtime. “We’re looking forward to spending the coming years together finding terrific entrepreneurs who will change the world,” said Singerman.
ABOUT FOUNDERS FUND
Founders Fund provides capital to transformational businesses run by world-class entrepreneurs. Companies the firm has backed include Facebook (partner Peter Thiel was Facebook’s first outside backer), SpaceX, Palantir Technologies, Spotify, Knewton, and ZocDoc. The firm, which pursues a founder-friendly investment strategy, is managed by partners Peter Thiel, Ken Howery, Luke Nosek, Bruce Gibney, and Brian Singerman; the team also includes Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster and the first president of Facebook.