1) Businessman and Investor, Peter Thiel is one of those revolutionary men who like to find their own way in the world. With a net income of $204,000,000 each year, Thiel is undoubtedly the smartest entrepreneur you will ever come across.
2) Born in West Germany and bred in America, Thiel has had a good background in education. He finished a B.A degree in Psychology and acquired a J.D from Stanford later on. However, for Thiel, true love lies in an entrepreneurial venture. Therefore, he formed the Thiel Fellowship Program that vowed to fund 20 individuals under 20 who would leave university and start up their own innovative businesses.
3) Having amassed millions from his interest in financial securities and hedge funds, Thiel was ranked #293 on the Forbes 400 with a net worth of $1.5billion as of March 2012. Living in California, he is famously known as the Silicon Valley Investor.
4) Being a pro at chess, Thiel was rated as a ‘master’ by the United States Chess Federation. At the young age of 21, he was able to strategize and win the game like none of his competitors.
5) Having an uncanny ability to deal his money and his hand efficiently, Thiel is known to be a venture capitalist for the most eccentric projects. While previously he has been involved in making youngsters quit college and start their own businesses, recently the Thiel Foundation has invested big bucks, approximately $350,000 for 3D printed meat.
6) Thiel is a staunch believer in the concept of liberty. In all his philanthropic projects, his believes stand out clearly, because all technological investments that he makes fight for a better and liberated future for humans. Previously he had been seen making investments for a Libertarian Island Nation, a concept where communities will be free of politics.
7) In 1998, he co-founded PayPal with Max Levchin. Thiel’s eye for a smart business investment never failed him. Within 4 years of its existence, a mere 3.7% stake in PayPal summed to approximately $55million, now imagine what the rest of it was worth.
8) Not only did Thiel become a financial support to PayPal’s existence, he had a mission for this business. His far sightedness is reflected in his inspirational speech in which he defines PayPal as revolutionizing and liberating people all around the world from paper money, which is unreliable and unsafe.
9) His success and excitement from the launch and sale of PayPal was enough to fuel its predecessor. Clarium Capital, a global hedge fund was launched by Thiel with $700 million in assets under management. In 2005, Clarium was titled as the ‘Global Macro Hedge Fund’ by two trade magazines namely; MarHedge and Absolute Return.
10) Even though every investor has his own way of doing business and making money, you do not often find an investor whose way of investing is quoted in famous books. In the book, Inside the House of Money by Steve Dhrobny, the Thiel way of management and investment has become an intense subject of discussion.
11) Peter Thiel has numerous feathers in his cap including the glorious one he acquired by being the first outside investor of the famous social network, Facebook. His experience and intellect made him foresee the immense success that would follow Facebook in the coming years. With $500,000 in investment, Thiel took ownership of Facebook with a 10.2% share, which he sold later for over a million dollars.
12) Apart from Facebook, many other online businesses owe their success today to Thiel’s investments in them as infant units. These include LinkedIn, Booktrack, Slide, Friendster, Rapleaf, Geni.com, Yammer, Yelp Inc., Powerset and Practice Fusion. The grand total amount that he is reported to have spent on startup concerns is close to $30million.
13) Because of his services as a venture capitalist and an angel investor for small businesses, Thiel was awarded the TechCrunch Crunchie Award for being the Venture Capitalist of the Year in February 2013.
14) Being an angel investor in a number of start-up concerns like those mentioned above, Thiel founded an angel investment company called the Founders Fund in 2005. This Fund had its aim in helping young entrepreneurs start up their dream businesses without worrying about finances, which is the number one reason most businesses wrap up in their initial years despite the brilliance of their selling proposition.
15) Theil’s philanthropic efforts are concentrated in areas of human affairs, technology and government. He formed the Thiel Foundation that organizes conferences such as the BreakThrough Conference and The Fast Forward Conference, to discuss areas of development in which Thiel invests money, making them grow.
16) The depth of financial services that Peter Thiel deals in is arguably unmatched. His experience with financial securities and the art of speculation drives his purpose behind many companies that spring up under his name. Mithril, launched in June 2012, is a last-stage investment fund for companies that feel the need for finances just when they are going public. For Thiel, every phase of a successful business needs different amounts and kinds of finances.
17) An interesting discovery about Thiel’s sense of business is that one never sees him invest in ‘boring’ or ‘safe’ projects. The Thiel Foundation has donated millions of dollars to fund the research for anti-aging medication and the biological reversal of the effects of age. For Thiel, this research means longevity of a healthy life for our loved ones.
18) Liberty and human right hold a high place in Thiel’s believes. Being openly gay, he supports the American Foundation for Equal Rights and GOProud, to raise his voice against the injustice towards various factions of society.
19) Having a few tricks up his sleeve, Peter Thiel is not all about numbers. In 2005, he co-produced a film called Thank You For Smoking, which was a based on Christopher Buckey’s book. Apart from this, Thiel’s presence at Stanford as a lecturer is not a surprise. With the immense success in his wake, his advice and contribution to the classroom is invaluable.
20) It is safe to say that for Thiel, PayPal was one of his biggest and most highly regarded projects. Even today when PayPal has been sold, Thiel is known as the Don of the PayPal Mafia, a name that fits the personality of this fearless investor well.