Chamath Palihapitiya is a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, known for his early involvement in Facebook and his outspoken views on technology and society
Chamath Palihapitiya was born in Sri Lanka in 1976 and grew up in Canada. In 1999, Palihapitiya graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo, which is located in the Canadian province of Ontario. After completing his education, he went on to work for a number of different technological businesses, including AOL and Mayfield Fund, a venture capital firm. He became Facebook's seventh employee in 2005 and held the position of vice president for user growth and mobile for the company until 2011.
After leaving Facebook, Palihapitiya established The Social+Capital Partnership, which is a venture capital business with a primary focus on investing in early-stage companies operating within the healthcare and technology industries. In addition to this, he was the founder of Social Capital Hedosophia, which is a public investment entity that assists firms in going public without following the conventional initial public offering (IPO) process.
Palihapitiya is known for being a critic of the technology industry as a whole, and more specifically social media businesses such as Facebook, which he was instrumental in founding. He has voiced his disagreement with the influence that they have had on society and has advocated for increased regulation and responsibility. In the year 2020, he made his resignation from the board of directors of Slack public, stating that he had reservations about the ethical procedures of the company.
Palihapitiya has also been a prominent proponent of harnessing technology and entrepreneurialism to address global concerns such as climate change and wealth inequality. He has launched several philanthropic initiatives, including the Social Capital Partnership Foundation, which supports education and healthcare initiatives in underprivileged communities, and the Social+Capital Partnership Fund, which invests in startups focused on solving pressing social and environmental problems.
In addition to his work in the technology and investment industries, Palihapitiya is a former professional poker player who has competed in a number of high-profile events.