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Joe Lonsdale

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 fund. Most recently, Lonsdale was a founding partner at Formation 8, one of the top performing private funds and the precursor fund to 8VC.[2] Together these funds manage over $2.7 billion.[3] He was an early institutional investor in many notable companies including Wish, Oculus, Illumio, Virgin Hyperloop One, RelateIQ, ZenReach, Color Genomics, and uBiome. 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] In 2018 Joe placed #22 on the Midas List, which makes him the top ranked venture investor in the world under 40 years old. [5]

Joe Lonsdale
Born Joseph Todd Lonsdale V[1]
(1982-09-12) September 12, 1982 (age 36)
Fremont, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater Stanford 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.[8] He also studied financial markets and macro-economics, and 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.[9] 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.[10] 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 resulted in its assets declining to between $300-400 million as of 2011.[11]

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.[12] It had a corporate culture modeled in part on Google's.[13] 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 (now known as Metropolis) 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 $15 billion in November 2014.[14] In June 2015, Buzzfeed reported the company was raising up to $500 million in new capital at a valuation of $20 billion.[15] By December 2015, it raised a further $880 million, while the company was still valued at $20 billion.[16]

In addition to its business activities, Palantir is actively involved in philanthropic efforts. In 2014, in collaboration with the Clinton Global Initiative, Palantir conducted a pro bono in-depth analysis of 3,000 'commitments to action' made by nonprofits, corporations, unions, and other organizations. Palantir's report found that, of all CGI commitments made from 2005 to 2013, more than 80% had been completed or were ongoing, whilst only 5% had been unsuccessful.[17] Palantir has also been heavily involved in helping the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for a number of years, donating its software and engineering support to help the NCMEC discover hidden links in their data.[18]


Lonsdale co-founded Addepar in 2009 with Jason Mirra.[19] Addepar works with Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), major private banks, and family offices to provide transparency into client portfolios. Currently Addepar has over $1 trillion in assets managed on the platform.[20] The company has attracted a cadre of supporters from the finance industry including Stanley Druckenmiller, Kenneth Langone, Harrison LeFrak, Poju Zabludowicz, Justin Rockefeller and a number of others.[21]

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),[22], a project with Lady Gaga to launch Backplane,[23] Badgeville, Blueprint Labs, Edmodo, Healthtap, JoyTunes, Karma, Onramp, Ostendo, Ness, Practice Fusion and Vicarious.[24]

Formation 8Edit

In 2011, Lonsdale co-founded Formation 8 with Brian Koo and Jim Kim.[25] Other senior members of Formation 8 included Gideon Yu and Pierre Lamond.[8] The fund had a broad mandate, investing across stages in both IT and energy companies.[26] Lonsdale managed the IT investments, often focusing on entrepreneurs building “Smart Enterprise” companies. Lonsdale continues to represents Formation 8 on the board of Wish (ContextLogic),[27] Illumio and OpenGov.[28] Other Formation 8 investments included Oscar Health, Radius, Virgin Hyperloop One, Revinate,[29] Taxon,[30] AKAStudy,[26] Blend Labs,[26] BuildZoom,[31] Foro Energy,[26] PeopleCo,[26] LearnSprout,[32] Oculus VR,[33] and Thalmic Labs.[26] 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.[34]


In 2015,[35] Lonsdale co-founded 8VC[36] with a group that included 15 of the 25 colleagues from Formation 8.[36] 8VC funds include a $425 million venture fund, a $50 million angel fund, and a follow-on fund [size unreported]. 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 Joby Aviation,[37] Senti,[38] Asana, [39] uBiome,[40] LoadDocs, Honor,[41] Showroom, Plated, Rested, Flexport,[42] and Common.[43]

Other business activitiesEdit

Lonsdale co-founded and serves as Chairman of OpenGov.[44] Lonsdale also co-founded and serves on the boards of Esper Anduin Transactions, Affinity, and Zanbato.


Lonsdale is 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.[45] In July 2010, launched California’s first data transparency portal.[46] He also chairs CACS affiliate Argive, which is dedicated to regulatory transparency and accessibility for all citizens.

Lonsdale is the Chairman of ONEHOPE Wine[47] and its charity ONEHOPE Foundation, a social enterprise company devoted to donating a portion of their profits to charity.[48]

Lonsdale also serves on the Board of Strive for College[49] and was the founding Chairman of The Seasteading Institute.[50]

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.

Public speakingEdit

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

On November 8, 2016 Lonsdale was part of a panel discussion on the role of ethics in technology at Web Summit in Lisbon. Lonsdale described 8VC's dual mandate to mentor businesses that are both profitable and socially impactful, and touched on the importance of philosophy in thinking about the venture capital industry.

On November 3, 2016 Lonsdale spoke at the WIRED 2016[51] 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.[52]

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.[53]

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.[54]” 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.[55]

In 2011, Lonsdale participated in TEDxSilicon Valley. Lonsdale gave a speech titled "Learning from Numbers" where he discussed technology's role within finance.[56]

On August 25, 2008 Lonsdale was hosted by Glenn Beck on CNN, where he discussed the Seasteading Institute.[50]

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.[57]

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.[57]


On January 27, 2015, former Stanford student Ellie Clougherty filed a lawsuit against Lonsdale accusing him of rape and sexual and emotional abuse.[7][58] Lonsdale denied the claims and filed a counter suit against Clougherty.[59] Stanford University banned Lonsdale from campus as a result of the allegation.[60]

Clougherty dropped all of her legal claims against Lonsdale in a court filing November 2, 2015. Lonsdale also dropped his counterclaims.[61] 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.[60]

Lonsdale married his long-term girlfriend, Tayler (Cox) Lonsdale, in September 2016.[62]


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