Haute 100 San Francisco Update: Peter Thiel

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Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. Move over Facebook, Peter Thiel is investing in a new social networking site that is strictly for college students.

Peter Thiel

Category: Billionaires

Company: Clarium Capital

Industry: Technology

What Made Him Haute: Thiel is currently president and the chairman of Clarium Capital’s investment committee, which oversees the firm’s research, investment and trading strategies. He’s also managing partner at The Founders Fund. Before starting Clarium, Thiel was chairman and CEO of PayPal, which he co-founded in December 1998; four years later, it was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion.

What Makes Him Haute Now: Remember the days before everybody and their mother was on Facebook? Well, Peter Thiel does and he knows that many college students miss the time when they could share information with their friends and peers only. Thiel was one of the original Facebook investors and now he is putting down $1.5 million to back a new social networking site called CollegeOnly. The site requires a college e-mail address for registration and “expels” users once they graduate. CollegeOnly boasts, “Our site is the only one that is free from parents, potential employers and other folks that shouldn’t see what you are up to on a Saturday night or at any given point during the day.” For now the social networking site is only open to a few Ivy League students at Princeton, Yale and Cornell. CollegeOnly has a long way to go before it reaches Facebook’s popularity, but reportedly 50 percent of Yale students have already joined the site. Thiel must be aware that if at first you do succeed, invest again.

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