An investing genius, Peter Thiel is perhaps one of the most successful venture capitalist in the tech industry. Prominently known as the co-founder of PayPal, the electronic payment site and as the first angel investor in Facebook, Thiel has acquired a reputation of one of the most influential Silicon Valley figures. He is a self-confessed libertarian who developed his keen competitiveness and intellectual skills playing the game of chess. His brimming self-confidence and brilliance astonished everyone since his days at school. A loner of sorts, Peter was a math genius and a national level chess player in his home country, Germany. One story has it that he carried a chess board with a sticker which said “ Born to Win”.
In 1996, Peter founded Thiel Capital Management, a multi strategy fund, which was a pre-cursor to his next venture, PayPal. He co-founded PayPal, with some of his like minded friends and took the company public on February 15, 2002. A year later he sold the company to eBay for $1.5bn and turned towards his most successful career till now, Investing. With 3.7 percent stake in PayPal which earned him $55M at the time of the acquisition, he started Clarium Capital Management. His company invested in many successful startups like Friendster, LinkedIn (founded by his friend Ried Hoffman), Rapleaf, Geni.com, Yelp.Inc, Palantir and Votizen among others. By 2008, Clarium had assets which were worth more than seven billion dollars. However, changing stock dynamics reduced his company to just three hundred and fifty million dollars in 2010, two-thirds of which is Thiel’s personal capital.
But he made one wise decision during that course of time which has helped him earn him a billionaire tag and even a 45 second depiction in an Academy award winning movie. In the summer of 2004, Hoffman, who had recently founded LinkedIn, and Sean Parker, the Silicon Valley enfant terrible, introduced Thiel to Mark Zuckerberg, who was looking for a major investor in Facebook, then a site for college students. He invested with a capital of $500,000 in return of 7 percent shares of Facebook. Today with a $100 billion dollar evaluation Facebook is staring at one of the biggest IPO and Thiel’s shares make him richer by more than $2 billion.
He doesn’t shies from living a splendid life. He regularly has intelligent discussions with his friends over dinner at his $70 million house that sits grandly between the Presidio and the bay in San Francisco. He drives around in a Mercedes SL500 and loves to hang out in coffee shops. His favorite movie is Star Wars and has Darth Vader replicas in his office in a stylish brick-and-glass building at the edge of San Francisco’s Presidio Park. He dreams of a technological utopian world, where everyone has a robot driven car and lives up to at least 150 years. Peter has invested millions of dollars in Seasteading
What is believed to be the biggest deal for a single-family home in Hawaai’s Maui County, Peter Thiel snatched a massive oceanfront mansion for befitting $27 million. Peter Thiel who was an early investor in Facebook bought the property thorough a Delaware limited-liability company.
Location: The 1.7 acre property is based in the Haawaai’s Maui County. Maui is the second largest island of Hawaai and is a major tourist attraction.
Features: The Makena property was built in 1991 and has over 4,500 square feet of living space. This oceanfront property comes with a pool and all other expected luxuries that come with a Hawaain Villa. The sellers were Dan Huish, the founder of private-label laundry- and dish-product maker Huish Detergents, and his wife, Kim. They bought the property in 2006 for $19.2 million. Simple mathematics show that the couple have made an healthy profit of $8 million.
Dave Chasen Residence
The real estate business is filled with rumors that Peter Thiel, the genius investor has bought the historic Dave Chasen Residence in Los Angeles. The house which was built on a residential plot back in 1950s provides one of the best panoramic views of the, which extends all the way from San Gabriel mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
Location: The Dave Chasen Residence is located in the city of Hollywood “LA”, California above the Sunset Strip.
Accomodations: The Paul Williams-designed house belonged to the Dave Chasen and his wife Maude who was a famous restaurateur. The 6000 square feet foot home has four bedrooms and five bathrooms. It also boasts of a pool which provides scenic views of the city. The previous owners had the home redesigned by Neil Korpinen and Rick Erickson. Thiel closed the sale in early February 2012, and reportedly paid around $11 million for the pad.
Neighborhood: The Sunset Strip has the highest concentration of celebrities living in Los Angeles. Some of the names that make the list are Halle Berry, Paris Hilton, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robbie Williams.
A different shot
San Francisco home
A combination of sources suggests that Mr. Peter Thiel bought a 4-storey mansion in September 2009 for $6.5 million. The property comprises of two side by side houses and was initially for sale at an asking rate of $8.1 million, which quickly dropped to $7.4 million and eventually Mr. Theil was able to scoop it at even a lower price point.
Location: The mega mansion faces the Beaux Art-style Palace of Fine Arts on one side and has the gorgeous Golden Gate Bridge on the other and is located in Marina District area of San Francisco.
Accommodations: The mansion is the work of world famous architects Remick Associates and comes with 5 bedrooms, five and a half washroom and a two- car garage. However almost instantly after buying the mansion, Peter Theil wanted to rework the interiors of the place and for this he chose his favorite interior designer and Fog-city based decorator Shane Reilly. Although the place exhibits a classical architecture on the exterior, it has got a more modern and suave interiors on the inside. The home also has a private office that adjoins the master suite, and a roof top pavilion with marble-faced fireplace.
The dining hall
Guest room living hall
The master bedroom
The guest bedroom
The lounge area
The living room
San Francisco home
Peter Thiel has been playing chess since he was in 5th standard. He was so good at it that he carried a chess board with a sticker that said “Born to win”. Even if he lost in college, he would sweep the pieces off the board and say, “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser. Peter was a US-rated Chess Master and one of the highest ranked under-21 players in the country.
Lord of the Rings (reading)
Peter Thiel is a super fan of Lord of the Rings series. He has read the fantasy novel multiple times and still reads it whenever he finds the time. In fact he has named one of his firm Valar Ventures J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings universe. He has also invested in a couple of other ventures in New Zealand which he calls a utopian country. Coincidentally, the Lord of the Rings series was filmed in New Zealand itself.
Peter Theil owns a Mercedes SL500, which is a masterpiece of beauty crafted from the eminent car manufacturers Mercedes. Featuring a unique blend of beauty, smoothness, safety and power, SL500 is considered one of the finest automobile ever made. Equipped with a 5.5-litre V8 quiet engine developing 315hp, it offers greater power and refinement. The majestic car features a top speed of 155mph and easily attains 0-60mph in just 5.4 seconds. Its four-wheel fully independent suspension offers a comfy ride minimizing all road bumps while the influential braking system provides immense stopping power when needed.
Peter Theil has pulled all strings to ensure his idea of a utopian society is just not another fiction based story but becomes a practical reality. He was the first one to invest in the Seasteading Institute, a libertarian nonprofit group founded in 2008 by Patri Friedman. Seasteading is basically establishing new mini-countries on floating platforms in international waters, which will not be subjected to the laws of any nation.
Built on moveable platforms, similar to those that support oil rigs, these “countries” will be able to house at least a population of 270. He supports the idea big time and has poured in $1.5 million till now. To general population this may seem a distant reality, but Thiel is highly optimistic and has envisioned a fully settled island country by 2019. According to his estimates, there will be a micro-web of such countries connected to each other and over 10 million floating citizens residing on them by 2050.
Peter Thiel has a knack of investing in some of the most successful startups in the tech industry. But right now he is concentrating on investing in companies which have less to do with financial returns than his utopian ideas. One such organization is the Methuselah Foundation, for which he gave three and a half million dollars. The aim of the foundation is to reverse human aging aiming ultimately at immortality.
The Thiel Foundation
Mr. Peter Thiel has established The Thiel Foundation to initiate radical reforms in every possible dimension: political, personal, and economic. The main highlights of the foundation are the Thiel Fellowships, where Peter Thiel is giving a grant of $100, 000 to 20 such students who are willing to leave college and pursue a breakthrough idea that can help change the world for better. “If you have a good idea, the right time to work on it is right away,” said Thiel in a statement, “Our first class of fellows is busy working on difficult challenges to improve the lives of people across the world, and we’re looking forward to helping 20 more people skip college and start changing the world.” The Thiel Foundation affiliates itself with innovative scientific research and new technologies that empower people to improve their lives.
The PayPal founder and former CEO, Mr. Peter Thiel uses an iPhone. However he is not so impressed with the device which has taken the world by storm since its introduction. His views on the iPhone are visible in this quote “I don’t consider this to be a technological breakthrough”. More so he believes that what Apple does is nothing revolutionary, they are just design innovators.