Palantir cofounder Joe Lonsdale is moving his VC firm from Silicon Valley to Austin, in part because it’s ‘more tolerant of ideological diversity’
Palantir cofounder Joe Lonsdale already moved his family outside of the Bay Area, and now, he’s moving his venture capital firm too.
Lonsdale, a Silicon Valley veteran who started his career at PayPal, moved to Austin, Texas, earlier this year, according to CNBC. He’s since decided to relocate his VC firm, 8VC, to the Austin area as well. Lonsdale told CNBC that 10 to 15 of the 45 employees at his firm will likely move to Austin, and he’ll keep the firm’s San Francisco office open for the remaining employees.
Lonsdale told CNBC he has already had Michael Dell and Elon Musk over to his house since moving to Austin — Dell has long been based in the Austin region, and Musk announced in July that Tesla would build its new Cybertruck factory in Austin.
The move places Lonsdale closer to the 8VC portfolio companies that based outside of Silicon Valley, according to CNBC.
“I’ll be flying 125 hours less next year being here,” he told CNBC. “I’m saving a ton of time being in Texas. And it’s a great place to build.”
8VC invests in a range of startups, including Anduril, the startup founded by Palmer Lucky that’s building a virtual border wall, and Asana, the workplace software company built by Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz. The firm has a number of health-focused investments, including health insurance startup Oscar, men’s health company Hims, and home-care startup Honor.
Lonsdale’s fund isn’t the only Bay Area company that has left the region since the onset of the coronavirus in the US — Palantir, the company he helped create, has left town as well. In August, Palantir officially moved its headquarters to Denver, a move that had been in the works for a while.
In an interview with Axios in May, Palantir CEO Alex Karp said he was living in New Hampshire during the pandemic and that he liked “living free” outside the Bay Area — he said he sees an “increasing intolerance and monoculture” in the tech industry.
Lonsdale, who has described himself as a contrarian and appears to hold conservative viewpoints, tweeted that he decided to move to Austin for a variety of reasons, but implied that he disagrees with the way the government is run in California as well as the culture that has developed in Silicon Valley.
“Austin is *far* more tolerant of ideological diversity than SF,” Lonsdale tweeted. “It’s generally a good idea to have awesome left hippies around for great culture / music / food etc … just rather they don’t all run the state.”
This content was originally published here.