Facebook Alumni Making it Big on Their Own
Former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya left the social giant in order to launch his own VC fund. The Social+Capital Partnership (or SCP) focuses on early-stage startups in health care, , and education sectors, though its portfolio indicates a broad range of investments. Rather than courting institutional investors, SCP collects funds from who share Palihapitiya’s goals. They include big names like PayPal (NASDAQ:EBAY) co-founder Peter Thiel, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) co-founder Reid Hoffman, and former Facebook president Sean Parker.
Unlike other VC principals, Palihapitiya “doesn’t just go out and find the hottest thing of the day and put money into it,” Google Ventures (NASDAQ:GOOG) partner Kevin Rose said in this Bloomberg video. “He’s constantly looking for … very early-stage companies with big, bold, new ideas that nobody’s ever done before.”
In the world of tech, sometimes the “hottest thing of the day” can be the same as the “new idea that nobody’s ever done before.” The investments that SCP has made public don’t strictly reflect its social mission yet. Funded companies include private-company marketplace SecondMarket, Web-design education company Treehouse, cloud collaboration platform CloudOn, and enterprise social networking company Yammer, now part of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). One thing is clear: Palihapitiya, a former derivatives trader, AOL executive, and Mayfield Fund VC, knows how to follow the money in the online world.