Chamath Palihapitiya isn’t exactly a household name outside of Silicon Valley.
But within the high-tech community, he’s known as a sharp investor and executive who made it big when Facebook went public.
His venture capital firm, the Social+Capital Partnership (or Social Capital), has invested in fast-growth startups like Slack, Sprig, and Wealthfront.
He became the youngest VP in AOL’s history at the age of 26, and he spent four years as an executive at Facebook during a huge growth period for the social network.
His net worth is rumoured to be close to $US1 billion.
He’s also a part of the group that owns the Golden State Warriors, the most recent NBA champions.
Chamath Palihapitiya was born in Sri Lanka and emigrated to Canada when he was six years old. He started working at AOL in 2001, eventually rising through the ranks to become the head of AIM in 2004.
He really made it big, however, when he joined Facebook to lead the social network's mobile and international user growth initiatives. He became Facebook's longest tenured senior executive and amassed a fortune rumoured to be worth $1 billion.
As a child, Palihapitiya dreamed of striking it rich and obsessed over Forbes' Billionaire List. Still, now that he has struck it rich, he's realised he should use wealth 'as a bridge to a more meaningful, long-term, largely unrealistic goal that can keep you focused, grounded and helpful to others,' he told Business Insider's Eugene Kim.
That's not to say he doesn't have a bit of fun. He tweeted this photo of his $5,000 on the college football national championships. The Ohio State Buckeyes ended up winning the game.
Palihapitiya hosts one of Silicon Valley's most popular poker games at his home in Palo Alto. 'It was meant to basically put together 9 or 10 of the most competitive people in Silicon Valley and play poker,' Palihapitiya told Business Insider's Eugene Kim. Yammer founder David Sacks, Inside.com's Jason Calacanis, and World Series of Poker's Phill Hellmuth are among the regular attendees.
He also tweeted about being the first to order a Renovo Coupe, an electric supercar that will be released later this year. The car will reportedly cost $529,000.
Palihapitiya fulfilled a childhood dream when he joined the Golden State Warriors' ownership group in 2011.
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