Founders Fund raises $1 bln for fifth fund

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San Francisco-based Founders Fund, an investor in Palantir Technologies, Practice Fusion, Ripple Labs, Twilio and others, announced it has raised $1 billion for its fifth fund. The firm raised $625 million for its fourth fund, which closed in December 2011, according to Thomson Reuters data. The firm, through co-founder Peter Thiel, was one of the earliest investors in Facebook, which went public in May 2012. However, other recent portfolio company exits for the firm have included Topsy Labs, which Apple bought in December for $200 million, and The Climate Corp, which Monsanto purchased in October for $930 million in cash.

Partners at the Founders Fund include Thiel, Ken Howery, Luke Nosek, Brian Singerman, Lauren Gross, Geoff Lewis and Scott Nolan. Gone is Bruce Gibney, an early investor in PayPal and who reportedly advised Thiel to invest early in Facebook. He left the firm in December 2012, according to TechCrunch.

The fund close is the largest for a venture firm since Greylock Partners raised more than $1 billion for its 14th fund in September.

PRESS RELEASE

Founders Fund Announces Closing of $1 Billion Venture Capital Fund

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Founders Fund announced today the close of a $1 billion fifth suite of funds.

Founders Fund V will be led by partners Ken Howery, Luke Nosek, Brian Singerman, Peter Thiel, Lauren Gross, Geoff Lewis, and Scott Nolan, a team that has deep expertise in founding and building companies. Members of the team have been investors, founders, and early employees of prominent technology companies including PayPal, Facebook, Google, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), and Palantir Technologies.

Since its inception in 2005, Founders Fund has raised over $2 billion with the goal of funding entrepreneurs that have a unique vision for changing the world. The firm has historically invested in a wide variety of sectors, including aerospace, artificial intelligence, advanced computing, energy, health, and consumer Internet, and Fund V will have a similarly broad investment strategy.

“We have a clear vision of what the world should look like decades from now, and we seek out entrepreneurs that can partner with us to build toward that future,” said Luke Nosek, Founder and Partner. “We want to find companies across all sectors and stages that are passionate about developing technologies to address the world’s most critical problems.”

“We invest in founders we believe in, not companies we want to run,” said Ken Howery, Founder and Partner. “We find the best entrepreneurs, empower them to make decisions in the long-term interests of their companies, and offer them strategic guidance at every step of the way. We see ourselves as partners to our founders, not adult supervision.”

Founders Fund was the first institutional investor in revolutionary companies SpaceX and Palantir Technologies, and one of the earliest investors in Facebook. The firm is sector and stage agnostic, with a portfolio that includes Airbnb, Counsyl, Knewton, Lyft, Oculus, SolarCity, Spotify, Stripe, and ZocDoc. Recent portfolio company exits include The Climate Corporation, DeepMind, and Yammer.

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