Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Peter Thiel Launches Mithril Capital, a New $402M Growth-Stage Investment Firm

PayPal co-founder and influential investor Peter Thiel is reallocating some resources — both people and money — to create a new growth-stage venture capital firm called Mithril Capital Management.

Ajay Royan, Mithril co-founder and managing general partner

Mithril is aimed at fast-growing companies that “prefer to remain private as they mature.”

Thiel is the largest individual investor in Mithril’s $402 million fund, and he will lead the firm’s investments along with Ajay Royan.

Royan was previously managing director at Clarium Capital, Thiel’s hedge fund, which has had a rocky record. Thiel also runs the early-stage VC firm Founders Fund. And a third Mithril partner is Jim O’Neill, who was previously at Clarium and is also co-founder of the 20 under 20 Thiel Fellowship.

Despite all that overlap — and the fact that Mithril is yet another project named after a term from the J. R. R. Tolkien lexicon (see: Palantir Technologies and lots of others) — Royan emphasized in a phone interview that Mithril is a “completely independent new franchise.”

He said he expects a typical investment for the firm to be around $20 million, or as much as $100 million. Mithril’s intended targets are “the non-fashionable companies,” Royan said. Don’t expect social media or cloud investments, he said.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik