Greg Kouri is a former Palo Alto resident that was an early investor in PayPal. Kouri passed away this past Saturday in New York City. PayPal co-founder Elon Musk was 23 when he and his younger brother Kimbal met real estate developer and friend of their parents in Toronto around 1995.
The three of them moved to Silicon Valley and Kouri helped the brothers launch a startup called Zip2, an early door-to-door direction service. Kouri was the VP of business development. Compaq’s AltaVista acquired Zip2 for $307 million in 1999.
The Musks and Kouri took the proceeds and put it into X.com, an online financial services company. In 2000, Musk had merged it with a payments startup company called Confinity, which was being led by Peter Thiel.
Kouri was also an investor in Elon Musk’s startups Tesla Motors and SpaceX. “I talked to Greg all last week. It’s insane that he died,” stated Kimbal Musk. Musk said that his friend was “always an extremely helpful, egoless guy.” Kouri lived in Miami Beach, Florida with his wife and two young daughters. He was 51 and had succumbed to a heart attack.