Peter Thiel is known for co-founding PayPal and making a killing on that. And then he made a $500,000 angel investment in Facebook and made a killing on that too. Thiel founded a multi-billion dollar hedge fund called Clarium Capital in 2002; Clarium was hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis. Then he co-founded the Founders Fund investment firm and started making a killing on his investments through that company too. Now he has launched a $402 million growth fund called Mithril to put money into late-stage privately-held companies. The company was named after Mithril from “The Lord Of The Rings (LOTR).” In the LOTR book series, Bilbo Baggins gave Frodo a shirt made out of Mithril chain mail. ?It?s the choice form of silver from the deepest mines. It?s the toughest substance there is,? stated Mithril partner Jim O?Neill, who is also the former managing director of Clarium. ?Peter and I are fans of Tolkien.?
Mithril will not work with companies in their early stages like Founders Fund and it does not handle publicly traded assets like Clarium Capital. Mithril will invest across the entire technology industry and they will not have any preference between consumer and enterprise companies.
Ajay Royan, a managing director at Clarium will join Mithril. O’Neill said that Mithril will not be biased to co-invest or follow on with Founders Fund investments. “Mithril is a very separate organization with different teams and different decision processes,” O?Neill said. “It will take a more economic perspective on what potential exists in various industries.”