elon musk

The PayPal Mafia

The PayPal Mafia is the group of people who founded the renowned payment service company PayPal. These individuals are behind most of the famous companies that exist today, even billion-dollar ones. The group got together in the early 2000s, founded PayPal, and then sold it to eBay in 2002 for 1.5 billion dollars. The founders of PayPal went on to create generation-defining companies respectively. As you can see in the picture below, the PayPal Mafia consists of the most notable entrepreneurs and companies in the world. These include people like Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, Reid Hoffman, and companies like Tesla, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Yelp! We will be looking briefly into who these founders are, what their role in PayPal was, and what have they been up to since 2002.

The Paypal Mafia

1. Peter Thiel:

peter thiel
Berlin, Germany, March 19, 2014. Hy! Summit – Image by Dan Taylor. www.heisenbergmedia.com

Role in PayPal:

Peter Thiel was the Co-founder and CEO of PayPal. He earned $55 million from his 3.7% stake in PayPal from the eBay deal.

Ventures after PayPal:

  • Founder Clarium Capital – A global macro hedge fund
  • Chairman Palantir Technologies – A big data data analysis company
  • Founder Founders Fund – A San Francisco-based venture capital fund

Major Investments:

  • Facebook – Peter Thiel was one of the early investors of Facebook. He invested $500,000 as an angel investor and received a 10.2% stake in Facebook in return.
  • LinkedIn
  • Airbnb
  • Slide.com
  • Yelp Inc.
  • Spotify
  • SpaceX
  • Quora
  • Stripe

Net Worth:

As of June 2020, Peter Thiel has a net worth of $2.3 billion.

2. Elon Musk

elon musk
image by Daniel Oberhaus (2018)

Role in PayPal:

Elon Musk originally founded financial services and email payment firm X.com in 1999. The company merged with Peter Thiel’s Confinity. The company was named PayPal and Musk became CEO for a short time. He was also the new company’s largest shareholder by the time of its sale to eBay. He earned $165 million from the deal.

Ventures after PayPal:

Elon Musk is the face of technology and innovation today. He founded several major companies after PayPal including the famous Tesla and SpaceX. Following is the list of ventures he has been a part of after PayPal.

  • SpaceX
  • Tesla
  • Hyperloop
  • The Boring Company
  • Neuralink
  • OpenAI
  • Solar City

Related Article: Elon Musk Inventions and Projects You Might Not Know Off

Net Worth:

As of June 2020, Elon Musk has a net worth of $42.1 billion.

3. Max Levchin

max levchin

Role in PayPal:

Max Levchin co-founded PayPal with Peter Thiel. He was the company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and was well recognized for his contribution in PayPal’s anti-fraud efforts.

Ventures after PayPal:

  • Slide – Max took his share from PayPal’s acquisition, and founded Slide. Google bought it for $182 million, and Max became Google’s Vice President of Engineering.
  • Yelp – He helped start Yelp, and became the company’s largest shareholder
  • Evernote – Member of Board of Directors
  • Affirm – A financial services company that Max founded
  • HVF – Project funding company
  • Yahoo! – Board of Directors

Major Investments:

  • Yelp
  • Evernote

Net Worth:

As of June 2020, Max Levchin has a net worth of $300 million.

4. Jawed Karim

jawed karim

Role in PayPal:

He created PayPal’s real time anti-fraud system, and was also responsible for a myriad of key components of the company.

Ventures after PayPal:

  • YouTube – Created the popular video sharing and streaming site.
  • Youniversity Ventures – Ventures investing group

Investment:

Airbnb – Jawed invested in the company’s first initial seed round

Net Worth:

As of June 202, Jawed has a net worth of $140 million.

5. Premal Shah

premal shah

Role in PayPal:

Product Manager

Ventures after PayPal:

Net Worth:

Premal Shah’s net worth is unknown, but is rumored to be between 1 – 5 million dollars.

6. David Sacks:

david sacks

Role in PayPal:

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Ventures after PayPal:

  • Room 9 Entertainment – Production Company
  • Entered Hollywood and produced the Golden Globe nominated 2005 movie Thank You for Smoking.
  • Geni.com – Founder of the genealogy website.
  • Yammer – Social Network for internal corporate communication and collaboration. Microsoft bought the company for $1.2 billion in 2012.

Major Investments:

  • Zenefits
  • Airbnb
  • Facebook
  • Research Gate
  • Slack
  • Scribd
  • SpaceX
  • Uber

Net Worth:

David Sacks’ net worth is unknown, though it is rumored to be between 1 – 5 million dollars.

7. Reid Hoffman

reid hoffman

Role in PayPal:

  • Member of Board of Directors
  • COO
  • Executive Vice President

Ventures after PayPal:

Major Investments:

  • Facebook
  • Airbnb
  • Flickr
  • Aurora
  • Blockstream
  • Xapo
  • Entrepreneur First

Net Worth:

As of June 2020, Reid Hoffman has a net worth of $2 billion.

8. Roelof Botha

Roelof Botha

Role in PayPal:

  • Director of Corporate Development
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Ventures after PayPal:

  •  Sequoia Capital – Partner at the firm
  • Board Member of 13 companies including Evernote, Square, Tumblr, Weebly and Xoom.
  • He was also on YouTube’s board before the company got acquired by Google.

Investments:

At Sequoia, Botha handled the firm’s investment in YouTube, Instagram, and Square, among others. 

Net Worth:

The net worth of Roelof Botha is unknown, however, it is rumored to be close to a million dollars.

9. Jeremy Stoppelman 

Jeremy Stoppelman

Role in PayPal:

Vice President of Engineering

Ventures after PayPal:

Founded Yelp along with fellow PayPal colleague Russel Simmons.

Net Worth:

As of June 2020, Jeremy Stoppelman has a net worth of almost $250 million.

10. Keith Rabois

Keith Rabois

Role in PayPal:

Executive Vice President, Business Development, Public Affairs and Policy

Ventures after PayPal:

  • Yelp and Xoom – Member of Board of Directors
  • Scribd – Member of Board of Directors
  • LinkedIn – Vice President for Business and Corporate Development
  • Slide – Executive
  • Square – Chief Operating Officer (COO)
  • Khosla Ventures – Partner
  • Opendoor – Co-Founder

Net Worth:

As of June 2020, Keith Rabois has a net worth of $1 billion.

Other members of the PayPal mafia include Russel Simmons, Ken Howery, Andrew McCormack, and Luke Nosek. The PayPal Mafia is the epitome of “Your network is your worth”.

“When we started PayPal, I remember one of the early conversations I had with Max was that I wanted to build a company where everybody would be really great friends and, no matter what happened with the company, the friendships would survive.”

Peter Theil

This just shows how important networking, and surrounding yourself with the right people is.

Read more: The First Mover Advantage and Why It May Not Be Important

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Sarim Siddiqui

Sarim is the founder of PACE enterprises currently comprised of two divisions, PACE events and PACE Business. He is a certified Digital Marketer and works as a Digital Consultant, Content Strategist, and Search Engine Optimization specialist.
He is passionate about educating on business and startups, as well as helping small businesses achieve their digital goals.
You can find him on Instagram @sarim112 or LinkedIn, or reach out to him at sarim@paceofficial.com.

Articles: 58

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