Peter Thiel is best known these days for becoming a billionaire from his early investment in Facebook. But he also runs a global macro hedge fund, Clarium Capital, which has had tremendous ups profiting from the financial crisis, and then tremendous downs, losing 90% of its assets.
Now Bloomberg writes that Clarium is trying to revive itself by doing what Thiel has been so successful at: investing in private technology companies, the firm said in a regulatory filing.
It makes sense. Thiel is one of the greatest technology investors on the planet, and hedge funds like Tiger Global have been investing in private technology companies more and more. What’s more, Thiel recently said in an interview that he plans to focus Clarium on long term investments, as part of his broader focus on transformative technology investments.
So it makes sense.
It could be argued that, despite Clarium’s recent woes, the long-term thinking Thiel is just as good a hedge fund manager as a venture investor. After all, Clarium had very high highs before its current low lows. The difference is that venture investments are measured over 10 years where the winners outshine the losers. Hedge funds are measured on a quarterly basis where no one remembers last year’s big wins if you’re delivering a big loss this time.
So the renewed focus on long-term investments, and private equity as part of that, probably makes more sense given Thiel’s style.