Chamath Palihapitiya is a Canadian and American venture capitalist, best known as the founder and CEO of venture capital firm, Social Capital. Prior to that, he served as an early senior executive at Facebook from 2007 to 2011. As of 2023, Chamath Palihapitiya net worth is estimated to be around $1.2 billion.
September 3, 1976
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Chamath Palihapitiya Net Worth & Career
Chamath Palihapitiya was born on September 3, 1976 in Sri Lanka. He was five when he moved along with his family to Canada. His father named Gamage has served to the High Commission of Sri Lanka, Ottawa. Though his posting ended in 1986, he thought of staying in Canada and applying for refugee status. Gamage didn’t want to return home as he was criticized earlier for sharing his views on the violence at the time of the Sri Lankan Civil War.
While staying in Canada, his father lost his job many times due to which his mother worked at low-paying housekeeping jobs. Chamath also worked at Burger King to support his family. Even after a financial struggle, he was able to complete his study and became graduated from the Lisgar Collegiate Institute at 17 years of age. Then he attended the University of Waterloo and earned a graduate degree in electronic engineering in 1999.
Chamath Palihapitiya Net Worth & Career
Palihapitiya has initially worked at the investment bank, BMO Nesbitt Burns where he served as a derivatives trader for a year. Then he was offered a job from Winamp, which he accepted and moved to California.
In 2004, he joined the online service provider, AOL and became the youngest president company. However, after a year he left the company and started working for the venture capital firm, Mayfield Fund. A few months later, he quit the job and joined Facebook, where he was responsible for looking at user growth.
The Facebook users hit the 1B mark after four years he joined the company. In 2011, he left his association with Facebook and went on to start his own venture capital firm called “The Social+Capital Partnership”. In 2015, the firm’s name was changed to Social Capital.
At that time, the firm had over $1.1 billion in total assets, which came from mass investment from external investors. In 2018, the firm had to return capital to its investor as the fund was not operating properly. Palihapitiya was reportedly not attending office at that time as he was busy spending more time with his new girlfriend in Italy.
After turning into a family office, he started working on the restructuring of the firm, and the firm made investments in Climate Science, biotechnology, and life sciences. Palihapitiya then served as a Chairman of the Board of Directors of spaceflight company, Virgin Galactic. He helped make the company public through a SPAC. In March 2021, he sold his personal stake in the company for around $213 million. However, he still remains as a Chairman of the Board of Directors of Virgin Galactic.
Palihapitiya has made investments in several startups through a venture capital fund, Embarcadero Ventures. He helped to purchase the professional basketball team, Golden State Warriors in 2010 and remains a minority stakeholder of the team.
In 2021, he announced that he is planning to take a financial services platform, SoFi, and a Medicare Insurance company, Clover Health through SPACs. However, he was criticized by Financial Times describing his act as a risky reverse merger.
Chamath Palihapitiya is currently staying with his present partner, Nathalie Dompe in California. Nathalie is an Italian pharmaceutical heiress, who works as the CEO of Dompe Holdings. Chamath started dating her in 2018, and currently, he shares a kid with her. Prior to dating Nathalie, he was married to Brigette Lau with whom he shares three kids.
Palihapitiya wants his children to stay away from technology as possible as he doesn’t want his kids to rely on him and doesn’t want to become a babysitter who would feed them a device. He was recently criticized for sharing his views on the Uyghur genocide during a podcast “All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg”.
During the podcast, he said that he and nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs in China. Rather than thinking about the abuse of Uyghurs, he is more concerned about the supply chain issues, America’s crippled healthcare system, climate change, and the political-economic fallout of the Chinese invasion of Taiwan. After his comment on Uyghurs was broadcast, he received a massive backlash on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Chamath Palihapitiya Net Worth
As of 2023, Chamath Palihapitiya’s personal wealth is estimated to be around $1.2 billion. In 2020, he purchased a business jet, Bombardier Global 7500 for $75 million.
Palihapitiya donated a huge amount of $25 million to the University of Waterloo in 2018 and made a donation of $7 million to 1,000 families in California’s central valley to provide clean drinking water.