Chamath Palihapitiya

Chamath Palihapitiya

Chamath Palihapitiya is a venture capitalist, and entrepreneur, known for his early involvement in Facebook. He is also the founder and CEO of Social Capital

Personal Stats 

Age: 46
Source of wealth: Entrepreneur
Residence: USA
Citizenship: USA, Canada 
Marital status: Divorced
Education: University of Waterloo


Palihapitiya graduated from the University of Waterloo in 1999 with a degree in electrical engineering.


After graduation Palihapitiya worked as a derivatives trader at the investment bank BMO Nesbitt Burns for one year.  Then, he joined Winamp, which was later acquired by AOL, and became the company's youngest-ever vice president, heading its instant messaging division in 2004.

Palihapitiya left AOL in 2005 to continue his career at Mayfield Fund, and in 2007, he joined Facebook, where he worked for four years as an early senior executive. During his time at Facebook, Palihapitiya led the release of Facebook Beacon, which failed and led to lawsuits. After this failure, he focused on new user growth, and Facebook hit 1 billion users four years later. Before leaving Facebook, Palihapitiya led the Facebook Phone and Facebook Home projects.

In 2011, Palihapitiya left Facebook and started his own fund, The Social+Capital Partnership, with his then-wife. The firm later changed its name to Social Capital in 2015. The fund invested in several companies, including Glooko, Inc, Yammer, SecondMarket, Slack, and Box. As of 2015, the fund had more than $1.1 billion in total assets, most of which came from external investors.

In 2018, the operations of Social Capital decreased significantly, and many top management and co-founders left. The firm returned investor capital and converted into a family office, but it continued to manage some external capital on a no-fee basis. Since then, Palihapitiya has managed from a balance sheet of permanent capital, making investments in three areas: climate science, life sciences, and biotechnology, and the decentralization of the digital economy through platforms such as blockchain, crypto, and digital assets.

Palihapitiya is also known for his involvement in SPACs. In 2019, he helped take Virgin Galactic public through a SPAC, previously known as IPOA. He also took Opendoor, an online real estate marketplace, public through a SPAC in 2020. In March 2021, Palihapitiya sold his stake in Virgin Galactic for around US$213 million, and in February 2022, he stepped down as chairman of the company. Palihapitiya is now a co-host of the technology podcast All In.

Personal Life

Chamath Palihapitiya was born on 3 September 1976 in Sri Lanka. He moved to Canada with his family at the age of five when his father was assigned to the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Ottawa in 1982. However, when the posting ended in 1986, the family opted to apply for refugee status rather than returning home, as his father had been censured for his stance on the violence during the Sri Lankan Civil War. Due to his father's frequent unemployment, Palihapitiya's mother had to take up low-paying housekeeping jobs to support the family. At the age of 14, Palihapitiya worked at Burger King to help his family financially. 

Social Media

Twitter - https://twitter.com/chamath

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/chamath/

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