Early Facebook investor Peter Thiel once had 45 million shares in social media company Facebook, but he recently let go of most of them, and now he’s left with a comparatively paltry $2 million, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Thiel is a part of Facebook’s board, and he reportedly sold 53,602 shares for $11 million, according to a regulatory filing Friday (Feb. 7).
Thiel has been steadily selling his Facebook shares over the past few years, and he sold most of them in 2012. He has 9,948 left.
In the last year, Facebook shares have risen 27 percent through Friday, and the ensuing value has pushed company CEO Mark Zuckerberg into the position of fifth-richest person in the world, with an estimated $81 billion fortune.
Thiel is worth about $3.4 billion, which includes his stake in Palantir Technologies, a data analytics company.
In October, Thiel announced that he was raising $3 billion to invest in late-stage companies that haven’t gone public yet. Thiel’s venture capital firm, Founders Fund, said at the time that it was going to pour money into companies like payments outfit Stripe and Palantir Technologies. The move was seen as a strategy shift for the billionaire, who generally backed newer companies.
“Winning in venture means riding your winners all the way to the finish line,” said Jeremy Liew, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners.
He noted that investment firms need to make sure they keep a high ownership percentage: “If you can’t continue to be a major source of financing, you get diluted,” he said.
Founders Fund set a goal of raising $2.7 billion, and it said it would put $1.5 billion toward older companies, and everything else would go to newer ones. The company said late-stage companies have a tendency to be more stable.
In May, Founders Fund will host Hereticon, aimed at what it calls “heretical thinkers.”