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Peter Thiel and crew closed their third fund, according to an SEC filing Wednesday.
The Founders Fund is one of the more interesting tech investment funds, and not just because it's tied up with Peter Thiel and the PayPal mafia, nor just because Thiel is an investor in Vator.tv. Nor because angel partner Dave McClure will be one of our judges at Vator Splash next week.
The fund's portfolio is full of household names, though it remains pretty small. The $107 million it raised according to SEC filings today is less than some tech companies are raising in a single round.
The firm's portolfio includes Facebook (from way back in 2006, in the company's B round; Thiel was the company's first outside investor before that), Slide, Quantcast, Gowalla, Clickable, IronPort, Yammer, Mint, YouNoodle, Worldly Developments (makers of Plancast) and many more.
This is the firm's third fund. It raised its first $50 million fund in 2005 from select individuals, and then raised another $220 million in December 2007 that included undisclosed institutional investors (the WSJ reported that Stanford's Endownment was one such--a likely scenario given that it's Theil's alma mater). The half-sizing of this fund is par for the course in the VC industry, which is shrinking to about half the size it was in 2007, due to widespread cutbacks in the amount of money big endowments and pension funds are allocating to risky investments.
(image: left to right: Peter Thiel, Ken Lowry, Luke Nosek, Sean Parker)
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We are company founders first and investor second: we have built companies from the ground up, including PayPal, Facebook, Napster, Plaxo, Palantir Technologies, and Clarium Capital. We have experience from concept to realization, from shared offices to public offerings. Every stage of the company creation process is familiar to us, from finding seed capital, to building defensible products, scaling up the organization, and realizing lasting value for employees and shareholders.
Our current investments include Facebook, Slide, Geni, Powerset, IronPort Systems, Zivity, Quantcast, and Project Agape. Our fund is $50 million and we focus on investments in early-stage consumer Internet companies. We typically invest $500,000 - $1 million per investment. At the end of 2007, we raised $220 million for The Founders Fund II.