Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya Forms New Venture Fund, The Social+Capital Partnership

Facebook vice president Chamath Palihapitiya will leave the company as he launches a large new venture fund called The Social+Capital Partnership, with backing from some of the worlds leading business and technology leaders. The new fund will be up to $400 million in size, he says, and will focus on a wide range of investments in technology, healthcare, education and financial services.

Investors in the fund are not yet being disclosed, although Palihapitiya is the largest single limited partner. Facebook is also investing, says the company.

Palihapitiya, who joinedFacebook in 2007 and led the launch of the Facebook platform, has been investing for the last several years through a fund called Embarcadero Ventures. Not all of his investments through that fund have been disclosed, but they include Playdom, Peixe Urbano, Pure Storage, Yammer and others.

The new fund will have an initial size of $200 – $400 million, with the ability to make large secondary investments as well. But what Palihapitiya is really focused on isn’t the fund size; rather, he talks about the extraordinary nature of the investors. “These are fifteen of the most important technology and business leaders in the world,” he says.

The fund will specifically leverage the Facebook Platform in many of its investments, says Palihapitiya. One example he gives is about how traditional risk models around lending aren’t efficient. “We can rewrite these models to leverage social data,” he says, to increase efficiency.

Not many details about the fund are being disclosed yet. No investments have been made, although Palihapitiya says that a couple of deals are pending. Investors in the fund and more details will be announced over the next several weeks, he says.

Palihapitiya posted a note on Facebook talking about his new project:

i leave with incredible hope for how you will continue to make this place awesome. every tuesday, i talk to the n00bs. and i generally tell them the following, which i leave for you as a reminder:

its easy to get distracted. everyone thinks we are much better than we actually are. be humble and honest about the fact that more is left to do than has already been done. keep moving quickly and don’t get bogged down in the things that don’t matter.

we risk becoming like everyone else. the only chance we have is the discipline and resolve of the silent majority who needs to and MUST become more vocal as the company gets bigger. fight for the culture the way it should be…not the way it was or the way its becoming.

be afraid of the company you don’t know. there is someone out there lurking with a small idea that will grow into a giant. don’t ignore that which you don’t immediately understand and keep pushing to evolve faster than what people expect. it can create unease at times but its our only path to long term relevance.

speak the truth. its too easy to “manage” – upwards, sideways, downwards and be rewarded for it. this is death. speak candidly especially when it means it won’t be well received. respect the person but don’t let bad ideas go unchallenged.

their is more valor in failure than success. success is hard to define and hard to isolate root causes when it happens. its rare to learn much of anything from success except to conflate luck and skill, but you learn tons in failure. take enough risks that you continue to fail…and celebrate those so that it becomes the battle scars you talk about when you do eventually succeed.

don’t be a douchebag. this is pretty self-explanatory but its not about the right to ripstik or the quality of the candy bars in the office. its about winning. everything else comes second….a distant second. and the perceived correlation between winning and the rest is only in your mind. interestingly so is the resolve and focus to win.

i’ve really enjoyed my time here. thanks again for the chance to always say what’s on my mind. its a rare place that allows everyone to do that and our results speak to the values of risk taking, openness and transparency. don’t betray them as we move along.
good luck. make it rain.chamath