Joseph Todd "Joe" Lonsdale V (September 12, 1982) is an American entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. He is a founding partner at 8VC, a technology investment firm. Most recently, Lonsdale was a founding partner at Formation 8, one of the top performing private funds and the precursor firm to 8VC.[2] Together, the 8VC and Formation 8 funds manage over $2.7 billion.[3] He was an early investor in many companies including Wish, Oculus, Illumio, Oscar Health, Blend Labs, Joby Aviation, Guardant Health, Synthego, and RelateIQ. Lonsdale also co-founded and serves as chairman of Addepar, a wealth management technology company, and OpenGov, a technology platform that helps manage data intelligence and budget processes of governments. In 2004, Lonsdale co-founded Palantir Technologies, a company focused on analyzing, integrating, and visualizing data especially in defense and finance.[4] Joe was the youngest-ever member of the Midas List when he debuted in 2016. [5]

Joe Lonsdale
Joseph Todd Lonsdale V[1]

(1982-09-12) September 12, 1982 (age 37)
Alma materStanford University (B.S.)

Early life and educationEdit

Lonsdale grew up in Fremont, California and attended Mission San Jose High School. He was a two-time scholastic state chess champion.[6] He was raised in his mother's Jewish faith (his father is of Irish Catholic descent).[7]

Lonsdale graduated from Stanford University in 2003 with a degree in computer science.[7] He also served as Editor-in-Chief of The Stanford Review, the university’s conservative/libertarian newspaper. Lonsdale is a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.


Early careerEdit

Lonsdale joined the financial arm of PayPal as an intern while a student at Stanford.[citation needed] After graduation he left to work in a variety of roles with PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel. Lonsdale also served as an early executive from 2002-2009 at Clarium Capital, a macro hedge fund founded by Thiel.[8] At Clarium's peak the fund grew to $8 billion in assets under management, but eventually shut down after a series of unprofitable investments and client redemptions resulting in its assets declining to between $300-400 million as of 2011.[9]

Palantir TechnologiesEdit

In 2004, Lonsdale co-founded Palantir Technologies with Thiel, Alex Karp, Stephen Cohen, and Nathan Gettings. Palantir’s software allows human analysts to explore data from many sources, specifically in the intelligence and financial services sectors.[10] It had a corporate culture modeled in part on Google's.[11] Lonsdale initially served as co-head of product at Palantir. After the core leadership and engineering teams were established, Lonsdale and Eric Poirier built Palantir Finance (Later known as Metropolis, and then replaced by Foundry) as a separate division within Palantir. They created a technology platform analogous in scope to the government platform but focused on time series data and financial ontologies.

The company was valued at $20 billion in 2015.[12]


Lonsdale co-founded Addepar in 2009 with Jason Mirra.[13] Addepar works with Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), major private banks, and family offices to provide transparency into client portfolios. Currently Addepar has over $1.8 trillion in assets managed on the platform.[14]

Lonsdale currently serves as Executive Chairman at Addepar.

Angel investor and venture capitalistEdit

Anduin VenturesEdit

In 2010, Lonsdale launched Anduin Ventures, a seed fund focused on helping technology teams in Silicon Valley build information technology companies across a variety of industries. Anduin's advisors included Alex Moore, Steve Loughlin, Matt Michelsen, and Brian Koo. Anduin's portfolio companies include Addepar, Wish (Context Logic),[15], a project with Lady Gaga to launch Backplane,[16] Badgeville, Blueprint Labs, Edmodo, Healthtap, JoyTunes, Karma, Onramp, Ostendo, Ness, Practice Fusion and Vicarious.[17]

Formation 8Edit

In 2011, Lonsdale co-founded Formation 8 with Brian Koo and Jim Kim.[18] Other senior members of Formation 8 included Gideon Yu and Pierre Lamond. The fund had a broad mandate, investing across stages in both IT and energy companies, with an intended emphasis on business development in Asia.[19] As of December 2015, Formation 8 recorded an 84% internal rate of return in its first fund, putting it among the top funds of its class.[19]

In the fall of 2015, Formation 8 announced the partners would not be raising a third fund together. [20]


In 2015,[21] Lonsdale co-founded 8VC with a group that included 15 of the 25 colleagues from Formation 8.[22] 8VC manages ~$1.5bn in AUM across its funds.[23] Like Formation 8, 8VC invests primarily in technology-driven businesses positioned to redefine modern workflows and unlock otherwise untapped data assets.

8VC's portfolio companies include Synthego, Joby Aviation, Deliverr, Common, Asana,[24] IDx,[25] Orca, The Boring Company, Vector, Honor, Flexport, Epirus [26] and Assembly. [27]

Other business activitiesEdit

Lonsdale co-founded and serves as chairman of OpenGov.[citation needed] Lonsdale also co-founded and serves on the boards of Esper, Anduin Transactions, Affinity, Epirus Systems, and Zanbato.

The Cicero Institute

In 2018, Lonsdale started The Cicero Institute, a public policy research think-tank to deliver entrepreneurial solutions to public problems. The Cicero Institute works on a variety of federal, state, and local domestic policy issues including housing, criminal justice, healthcare, and regulatory reform.


Joe and his wife Tayler are active in a variety of philanthropic and mission-driven pursuits. In 2018, Joe founded the Cicero Institute, which works on a variety of federal, state, and local domestic policy issues including housing, criminal justice, healthcare, and regulatory reform. The Cicero Institute is interested in policy frameworks that spur entrepreneurial innovation to solve public challenges and allow the best ideas to win.[28]

Lonsdale is the Chairman of ONEHOPE Wine[29] and its charity ONEHOPE Foundation, a social enterprise company devoted to donating a portion of their profits to charity.[30]

Lonsdale is a board member and adviser to Thorn, a non-profit founded by actors Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore which partners with innovative technology companies to prevent child-trafficking and child pornography.

Lonsdale also served on the Board of Strive for College[31] and was the founding Chairman of The Seasteading Institute.[32] He was previously the Chairman of California Common Sense (“”), a non-partisan non-profit dedicated to opening government to the public, developing data-driven policy analysis, and educating citizens about how government works.[33] In July 2010, launched California’s first data transparency portal.[34] He is also involved with Argive, which is dedicated to regulatory transparency and accessibility for all citizens.

Lonsdale is a large supporter of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is also an active donor to the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) which is an academic partnership between UC Berkeley and UCSF that supports collaborative research projects across the Bay Area.

Lonsdale is a supporter of Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation which identifies and enables young scientists to pursue high risk, high-reward research for cancer.

Public speakingEdit

Lonsdale often speaks at technology events, US national TV, and at conferences around the world. A few notable appearances include:

On September 3, 2019, Lonsdale joined CNBC to discuss direct-listings and tech company IPOs.

On May 8th, 2019, Lonsdale joined CNBC "Squak Box" to discuss the Bay Area housing crisis and solutions to improve it.

On November 3, 2016 Lonsdale spoke at the WIRED 2016[35] conference in London on a few of the most innovative industries today. Lonsdale discussed transportation, government, and finance, with a special emphasis on Hyperloop One and the role it will play in transforming cities into more powerful engines of growth.

On September 14, 2016 Lonsdale spoke at the Second Annual GSV Pioneer Summit. In a fireside chat alongside Michael Moe, Lonsdale discussed emerging areas of entrepreneurship and the implications of big data.

On May 24, 2016 Lonsdale delivered a keynote speech at the Pioneer Festival in Vienna. Lonsdale spoke about the evolution of the technology ecosystem and lessons learned in building a billion dollar business.

On February 26, 2016, Lonsdale spoke at the Pacific Pension & Investment Institute's Winter Roundtable in Los Angeles. Lonsdale spoke about technological transformation in the context of global financial markets and the impact of these trends on investing.

On June 2, 2015 Lonsdale served on a panel about "Venture Capital Trends" at Rutberg's Future: Mobile conference, and on September 16, 2015, Lonsdale led a panel about Big Data Analytics at the BDO conference which hosts public company board members.

On August 23 and 24, 2014 Lonsdale hosted a hackathon with Ashton Kutcher to support Thorn. The event brought nearly 100 engineers, data scientists and designers together to build tools to help mitigate child trafficking. Other judges included Twitter's Head of Privacy Del Harvey and White House Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith. Lonsdale subsequently published an article calling on technologists to tackle social problems.[36]

On February 12, 2014 Lonsdale and Marc Andreessen were featured as the Keynote for the 2014 Goldman Sachs Technology Conference in San Francisco with Gary Cohn. They discussed a variety of issues including bitcoin, valuations of technology companies, and the impact of mobile.[37]

Lonsdale has been featured twice on CNBC’s SquawkBox. Lonsdale discussed big data and security in a June 26, 2013 episode titled “Big Data’s Past Present and Future.[38]” On April 29, 2013 Lonsdale was featured in an episode titled “The Disruptors” on which he discussed how Silicon Valley technology is beginning to emerge as a force on Wall Street.[39]

In 2011, Lonsdale participated in TEDxSilicon Valley. Lonsdale gave a speech titled "Learning from Numbers" where he discussed technology's role within finance.[40]

On August 25, 2008 Lonsdale was hosted by Glenn Beck on CNN, where he discussed the Seasteading Institute.[32]

The Smart Enterprise WaveEdit

A common theme across the majority of Lonsdale’s public speaking and written work is Smart Enterprise. Lonsdale has coined the term to describe the companies leading the 6th wave of Innovation occurring in Silicon Valley.[41]

Specifically, Smart Enterprise companies leverage recent IT advances in order to integrate heterogeneous big data and empower knowledge workers to solve non-linear problems across major economic industries. By doing so, these companies gain the potential to harness network effects within their industry vertical and become platforms, increasing innovation by enabling novel applications to quickly spread throughout the industry.[41]


On January 27, 2015, former Stanford University student Ellie Clougherty filed a lawsuit against Lonsdale accusing him of rape and sexual and emotional abuse.[7][42] Lonsdale denied the claims and filed a counter suit against Clougherty.[43] Stanford University banned Lonsdale from campus as a result of the allegation.[44]

Clougherty dropped all of her legal claims against Lonsdale in a court filing on November 2, 2015. Lonsdale also dropped his counterclaims.[45] Stanford University investigators, citing evidence uncovered during discovery, said Lonsdale did not violate Stanford's sexual harassment policies and there was no basis to support a ban from Stanford's campus.[44]


In September 2016, Lonsdale married Tayler Aleta Cox (maiden; born 1986).[46][47]


  1. ^ "Joe Lonsdale Co-founded Palantir Technologies". LittleSis. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  2. ^ Alden, William. "Out of Formation". BuzzFeed.
  3. ^ "Joe Lonsdale - 8VC". 8VC. Retrieved 2018-10-05.
  4. ^ "The return of Joe Lonsdale: How the cofounder of multibillion-dollar company Palantir was vilified in Silicon Valley, then bounced back".
  5. ^ "The Midas List".
  6. ^ "30 Executives Who Are Excellent At Chess". Business Insider. Business Insider Inc. 24 June 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Bazelon, Emily (2015-02-11). "The Stanford Undergraduate and the Mentor". The New York Times.
  8. ^ O'Mara, Kelly (10 June 2012). "Addepar means to be the only technology platform RIAs will ever need -- and has MIT minds and PayPal money to back it up". United States: RIABiz. RIABiz LLC. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  9. ^ Burton, Katherine. "Clarium's Thiel Says Bearishness on Dollar 'Wrong'".
  10. ^ Ari Gesher(2010-03-08). "Palantir Technologies » BlogArchive » Friction in Human-Computer Symbiosis: Kasparov on Chess". Retrieved 2012-01-30.
  11. ^ Gorman, Siobhan (2009-09-04). "How Team of Geeks Cracked Spy Trade". Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  12. ^ Buhr, Sarah (Dec 23, 2015). "Palantir Has Raised $880 Million At A $20 Billion Valuation". TechCrunch.
  13. ^ "Addepar Names CEO, President and COO" (Manufacturing Close-Up). United States: Close-Up Media, Inc. Close Up Media, Inc. 20 July 2013.
  14. ^ Hobey, Erin (26 October 2016). "Addepar: With $500B in Assets & New Salesforce Partnership, Launches Open API". United States: Crowdfund Insider. Crowded Media Group. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  15. ^ "Investments". Anduin Ventures. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  16. ^ "From Hedge Funds to Lady Gaga". Business Week. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 2015-02-16.
  17. ^ "Investments". Anduin Ventures. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  18. ^ "Formation 8 Raises Its First Fund Of $448M To Plug Silicon Valley Startups Into Asian Conglomerates". TechCrunch. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  19. ^ a b Alden, William. "Out of Formation".
  20. ^ "What Caused Formation 8 To Split, and What Comes Next?". 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  21. ^ "Formation 8 Axes Plans For Third Fund, Lonsdale Now Raising $400M For "8 Partners"". 4 November 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  22. ^ "Homepage - 8VC". Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  23. ^ techcrunch Retrieved 18 April 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ "TechCrunch". 31 January 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  25. ^ Venture Beat Retrieved 18 April 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ Retrieved 22 Nov 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ Retrieved 18 April 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ "The Cicero Institute". Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  29. ^ "About Us - Team | ONEHOPE Wine". Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  30. ^ "ONEHOPE Foundation". Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  31. ^ "Board of Directors". Strive for College. Retrieved 2018-11-25.
  32. ^ a b "Glenn Beck talks to Joe Lonsdale about Seasteading". YouTube. 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  33. ^ "Supporters Team". CACS. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  34. ^ Dakin Sloss (August 24, 2011). "Stanford Group Works to Fix Government with Data". Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  35. ^ Burgess, Matt. "Governments should be transparent. Joe Lonsdale is trying to hold them to account". WIRED.
  36. ^ "Technologists' Duty Can Go Beyond For-Profit Industries". 2014-09-13. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  37. ^ "Marc Andreessen: Tech Is Still Recovering From A Depression". 2014-02-12. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  38. ^ "Big Data's Past, Present and Future - CNBC". Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  39. ^ "Funding Startups in Silicon Valley - CNBC". Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  40. ^ "TEDx Silicon Valley » Learning from Numbers". Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  41. ^ a b "The Smart Enterprise Wave". Formation 8. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  42. ^ "Tech investor Joe Lonsdale counters rape allegations". Mercury News. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  43. ^ "Joe Lonsdale Personal Statement". 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  44. ^ a b "Woman drops sex assault case against U.S. venture capitalist". 2015-11-03. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  45. ^ Levine, Dan (2015-11-02). "Woman drops sex assault case against U.S. venture capitalist". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  46. ^ James, Susan Donaldson. "At high risk for breast cancer, why she's decided against a mastectomy". Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  47. ^ "Tayler Aleta Cox" (born September 8, 1986, Orange County, California),, "California Birth Index, 1905–1995" (database on-line); original data: State of California, "California Birth Index, 1905–1995," Sacramento, California Department of Public Health, Center for Health Statistics