First Round: Man-ifest destiny

You’ll probably be familiar with Peter Thiel, the legendary German-born Silicon Valley investor who recently launched a new growth equity firm called Mithril Capital Management.

Renowned as both entrepreneur (he co-founded PayPal) and venture capitalist, Thiel was most recently in the news for making impossibly huge sums of money from Facebook – of which he was, inevitably, one of the earliest backers.

However, what you may not know is that Thiel has some rather ‘colourful’ political views. For instance, in one 2009 essay, he posits that freedom and capitalist democracy are no longer compatible – a conclusion that is partly based on some fairly scathing views on the influence of the fairer sex. “The 1920s were the last decade in American history during which one could be genuinely optimistic about politics. Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women – two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians – have rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron,” he rants.

In addition to decrying women’s suffrage, Thiel also advocates “seasteading” as a way to escape the shackles of the Man – which, according to First Round’s extensive research (sc. Google), appears to mean establishing floating human settlements in the ocean.

Sadly, this doesn’t appear to mean that his new venture will be staffed entirely by subjugated women and headquartered 20 miles off the coast of Northern California. But maybe if it gets to Fund II?