Tim Draper is an American venture capital investor and founder of several companies such as Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), Draper University, Draper Venture Network, Draper Associates, and Draper Goren Holm. He was born on June 11, 1958, and is the son of Phyllis and William Henry Draper III, who is the founder of Draper & Johnson Investment Company and former chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States
Draper attended Stanford University and graduated with a BS in electrical engineering in 1980, and later earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1984.
Draper started his career in venture capital in 1985 after leaving the investment bank Alex. Brown & Sons. He founded his own venture capital firm. His most prominent investments include Baidu, Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, AngelList, SolarCity, Ring, Twitter, DocuSign, Coinbase, Robinhood, Ancestry.com, Twitch, Cruise Automation, PrettyLitter, and Focus Media. Draper is a proponent of Bitcoin and decentralization and was one of the first investors in Theranos.
Draper was an early investor of Hotmail. He was the first Silicon Valley venture capitalist to invest in China through the global fund DFJ ePlanet. In 2001, he negotiated with CEO Robin Li of Baidu to buy 28% of the company on behalf of ePlanet for USD $9 million. Draper's father was an early investor in Skype, and DFJ backed Skype in 2004. The company owned 10% of Skype in 2005 when it was sold to eBay for US$4.1 billion. In 2006, Draper was an investor in the Series C venture round of Tesla through DFJ, and in 2007, he again invested in Tesla's Series D venture round through Draper Associates.
In 2014, Draper paid about US$19 million for nearly 30,000 bitcoins which had been seized from the Silk Road by the US Marshals service and auctioned to the public. He predicted that one bitcoin would reach $10,000 "in three years". In April 2018, Draper predicted during an Intelligence Squared debate that "In five years you are going to try to go buy coffee with fiat currency and they are going to laugh at you because you're not using crypto." In December 2019, he predicted that bitcoin would reach US$250,000 by the end of 2022.
Draper's recent investments include Robinhood, Coinbase, eShares, Tezos, among others.