Chamath Palihapitiya Bio

I have always been interested in influential people who have worked hard to get into high positions and found their way to the top to become successful and wealthy. This is why I thought Chamath Palihapitiya would be a great person to discuss after he solely founded one of America’s leading investment companies.

Chamath Palihapitiya is the CEO and sole founder of the venture capital firm Social Capital. Though personally, I first knew him as working for the social media platform Facebook. He was also Vice President of AOL, where he was in charge of their Instant Messenger service.

After working for Facebook for 4 or 5 years, he then went on to launch The Social-Capital Partnership, now known simply as Social Capital. The company has grown to a point where it currently manages $1 billion worth of assets.

Throughout this Chamath Palihapitiya Bio, I will be talking about where it all began, looking into his time at Facebook, and I will be finding out what his business is looking like today. Once you’ve finished here, you should find out about Elon Musk, who recently tried to buy the famous social media platform Facebook.

Chamath Palihapitiya Bio Facts

Chamath Palihapitiya bio

Full Name: Chamath Palihapitiya
Birth Date: 3rd of September 1976
Birth Place: Sri Lanka
Nick Name: N/A
Nationality: Canadian
Siblings: Unknown
Children: Four children
Partner / Spouse: Nathalie Dompe
Profession: Entrepreneur, businessman, investor, founder
Salary: Unknown
Net Worth: 1.2 billion
Social Media: Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) / TwitterChamath Palihapitiya | Facebook
Companies Associated With: Facebook, Social Capital
Last Updated: August 2022

Chamath Palihapitiya Bio: Key Facts Summary

  • Chamath is involved with sponsoring SPACS (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies)
  • In 2021 he sold his stake in Virgin Galactic for $213 million.
  • He has received a lot of backlash for coaxing investors into problematic businesses.
  • He has donated to both of the major US political parties.
  • In 2020, he supported Michael Bloomberg during the election.
  • He founded the lobbying group in 2013, which revolves around education improvement, reformed immigration policies, and technology innovation.
  • In 2021 he intended to run for governor but changed his mind a month later.
  • He has invested in multiple start-up companies through Embarcadero Ventures.
  • He helped to buy the Golden State Warriors and still has a small stake in them today.
  • He has donated $25 million to the engineering department at the University of Waterloo.
  • He also donated $7 million towards providing sanitary drinking water to people living in California’s Central Valley.

Chamath Palihapitiya Birthplace and Early Life

Chamath Palihapitiya childhood picture
Image from Twitter

Chamath was born in Sri Lanka on the 3rd of September 1976, and he and his family moved to Canada when he was five years old. [1] This was because his father had been posted to the Ottawa High Commission of Sri Lanka. After five years, when his father’s position ended.

When he was in his teenage years, he realized that his parents were struggling for money, his father was in and out of employment and often out of work, and his mother was a housekeeper, which didn’t pay very well. As a way to help his family, Chamath went and got himself a job at Burger King when he was 14 years old.

Chamath studied at Lisgar Collegiate Institute, where he graduated when he was 17 years old. [2] He then continued his studies at the University of Waterloo. He graduated from there in 1999 after earning a degree in electrical engineering.

He then spent a year working at an investment bank called BMO Nesbitt Burns as a derivatives trader.

It was only when he was offered a job at Winamp that he relocated to California.

Chamath Palihapitiya Early Business Success

While Chamath was working for Winamp, it was acquired by the online portal and service provider AOL. He worked his way into the position of Vice President of the company and was in charge of their instant messaging department. At this point, Chamath was the company’s youngest ever Vice President [3], which I imagine he was rather proud of.


When he left AOL in 2005, he joined a global venture capital firm called Mayfield Firm, where he worked for two years before joining the Facebook business community.

When he joined Facebook, the social media platform was still relatively new, just three years old in fact, and Chamath had a bit of a rocky time during his first year. [4] He played a lead role in the release of the Facebook Beacon, which was meant to introduce targeted ads by sending external information from other sites to Facebook. This turned out to be a massive failure and resulted in lawsuits against the company.

After this epic fail, he decided to concentrate more on the company’s growth, which paid off because, within four years, Facebook had gained over 1 billion users.

Chamath left Facebook after four years, and during his time there, he always played a large part in the launch of the Facebook Phone and Facebook Home. [5]

I believe that during his time at Facebook, he got a bit of a bad reputation for himself, with reports of him bullying others and even having people in the company in tears on occasion. [6]

See also: Mark Zuckerberg Bio

Social Capital

After leaving his position at Facebook, Chamath took the risky leap and started his own company with his wife, which given his strong business history, I presume was something he felt pretty confident in doing.. At the time, the company specialized in funding tech start-ups. When the company was first founded, it was known as The Social+Capital Partnership, but then in 2015, the name was changed to what we know today, Social Capital.

Using his company, Chamath could invest in companies such as SecondMarket, Glooko, Yammer, and Slack; when he did this, Social Capital was worth around $1.1 billion in assets.

During 2018, the company noticed quite a severe decrease in activity. This coincided with Chamath holidaying in Italy with his then-girlfriend, barely showing his face in the office and not even bothering to respond to business queries. Because of how he was behaving, Social Capital became a family office in 2018.

After this transition, Chamath decided that he wanted to rebuild the company so they could provide a better service to other aspiring entrepreneurs instead of already established partners. Through Social Capital, he invested in areas such as climate science, biotechnology, and life science.

Chamath Palihapitiya Videos

Chamath Palihapitiya talks about the 1929 stock market crash that was a catalyst for the Great Depression. It abruptly ended a period of economic growth and stock market boom known as the Roaring Twenties.

Listen to Chamath revealing some of the secrets to his wealth and success.

Watch this inspiring and factual interview with America’s Dictator Billionaire: Chamath Palihapitiya. A man of wealth, success, and a few drawbacks. Listen while he talks about how he went from zero to billion, and also find out tips about how you might be able to follow in his footsteps.

Chamath Palihapitiya Business Failures

As far as his founded company goes, there isn’t much to report regarding business failures. In fact, throughout his career, he has managed to stay close to the top. His first year working for Facebook was probably the closest he had come to a failure when he led the launch of the Facebook Beacon surrounding customized advertising, but it never took off.

He was recently in the firing line after making some controversial comments expressing his doubts about human rights violations against Uyghurs. Because of Chamath’s 2% stake in the NBA, his actions compromised the company’s future relationship with China in the process. [7]

If you want to find out about other controversies surrounding those involved with the NBA, you should have a read of our Rich Paul Bio and find out about the accusations that overshadowed his gleaming career.

Chamath Palihapitiya Family

chamath palihapitiya and nathalie dompe
Image from Facebook

During his college years, Chamath met his first wife, Brigette Lau. Brigette was starting a new life in California, and Chamath decided to support her decision and go with her. Once they had settled down, they got married and went on to have three children. The couple ended their marriage with divorce in 2018. [8]

Chamath met his current partner in the same year as his divorce. Nathalie Dompe is an Italian model, pharmaceutical heiress, and also CEO of Dompe Holdings, a pharmaceutical investment company that focuses on innovations and research development. [9]

The couple has one child together, but they are not yet married.

Chamath has publicly known that he raises his children as far away from social media and technology as possible. Despite having a hand in one of the biggest social platforms in the world, he doesn’t believe that technology should be used as a babysitter. [10]

Chamath Palihapitiya Net Worth and Career Earnings

As you can imagine, having a high position in one of the leading social media platforms, and then going on to own a successful business in investment, Chamath has worked hard to earn himself the net worth he has today.

As it stands today, his net worth is $1.2 billion, and his company Social Capital manages over $1 billion in assets alone.

Although I am not sure what his yearly earnings are from his company, I know that he does also make an income from other investments that he’s made, such as Bumptop, Pure Storage, Palantir, and Playdom.

He also owns a small percentage of the Golden State Warriors and co-hosts a podcast about technology called “All In,” which both contribute to his salary.

If you want to learn more about other successful and wealthy businessmen in the investment world, then you should have a read of our Chris Sacca Bio and learn how he became a billionaire and retired at the age of just 42.

Chamath Palihapitiya Real Estate Holdings

Chamath Palihapitiya Private Jet
Image from Twitter


It goes without saying that with the amount of money Chamath has in the bank, he also has some nice houses and engines to show for it.

It appears he likes to keep a lot of private life behind closed doors, and some of those doors’ locations aren’t known to the public. I am pretty sure he owns a lot more than we know about, but here’s what we do know.

The house that he seems to reside in the most is located in Palo Alto, and he lives there with his current girlfriend, Nathalie. I have read reports about regular poker games with his friends at the property. Poker is his hobby, and he also competed in the main event for the World Series in 2011. So I would imagine he is pretty well practiced.

I also recently learned that he owns another home in the Sierra Nevada, which he uses for vacations. It has impressive views across the mountains, is modernly decorated, and has a media room, which I presume his children aren’t allowed to use very often.

Other Assets

It also probably won’t surprise you that Chamath owns a private jet. The plane is a luxury Bombardier Global 7500 worth around $75 million. Inside it has a large living area, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a separate suite for the crew. It can fly up to 19 passengers at a time. [11]

He owns a Renovo Couple, which is an electric supercar. He was the first person to have one of these on order, and it cost him $530,000.

More often than not, though, he uses a much more practical vehicle, a Tesla Model 3, although it is a Founder’s Edition, so still more impressive than your average Tesla. I am not 100% sure what he paid for this car, but some of the models start at $40,000, so I am guessing it was far from the starting price.

Chamath Palihapitiya Quotes

Chamath Palihapitiya speaking

Whether or not you’re a fan of Chamath Palihapitiya or agree with his views, he still has some insightful thoughts when it comes to running a business, investing, and following your dreams. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

“Good investors must choose how to allocate their mind share with their precious capital.”

“After leaving Facebook, I left an enormous amount of equity on the table. I thought I didn’t want to be a slave to money. I want to be a slave to something bigger: an ambition, a goal.”

“Betting against entrepreneurs changing the world will never be a profitable endeavor.”

“Your job as an investor is to separate facts and the news from fiction and noise.”

“Today, we are in a world where it’s easy to confuse truth with popularity. You can use money to amplify what you believe, and get people to believe what’s popular is now truthful. And what is not popular may not be truthful.”

Chamath Palihapitiya FAQs

Question: How Did Chamath Palihapitiya Make His Money?

Answer: When Chamath was working for Facebook, he was on an impressive salary. This gave him the financial ability to start his own business, now known as Social Capital. Since the company began, it has expanded and grown more prosperous, getting him to the wealthy position he is in today.

Question: What was Chamath Palihapitiya’s role at AOL?

Answer: AOL hired Palihapitiya in 2004 as vice president and general manager of AIM and ICQ, a position he then held for over a decade.

Question: Is Chamath Palihapitiya Married?

Answer: No. Chamath is currently living with his partner Nathalie, who has been in a relationship since 2008. The couple has one child, and Chamath has three children from a previous marriage. He still lives nearby to his ex-wife and children.

Recommended Reads:

Research Citations

  7. Chamath Palihapitiya’s Uyghur Controversy Is Latest in NBA’s Awkward China Relationship (
  9. Homepage |
  11. Chamath Palihapitiya [Update 2022 ]: Career & Watches
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