Gay Plays Well for Maverick VC

So says Valleywag about contrarian PayPal founder Thiel
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2007 12:18 PM CST
PayPal lanyards on display at are seen at eBay Inc. headquarters in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007. eBay Inc. is expected to release quarterly earnings on Wednesday after the market closes....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In Silicon Valley, where "like funds like," Valleywag thinks it's important to note that Peter Thiel, "the smartest VC in the world, is gay." Why mention it? Thiel's Founders Fund, which just raised a $220 million financing round, could reinvent the way entrepreneurs get paid, and Valleywag attributes his contrarianism to the fact that he's a gay man in a VC world filled mostly with straight white guys.

Thiel's sexuality is rarely remarked upon in the socially progressive Bay Area, but Silicon Valley is a more insular realm, where "clubby" VCs tend to sponsor entrepreneurs much like themselves. "The VC industry is headquartered in Menlo Park, not Northern California," sniffs one. At best, it's a misguided caution, Valleywag notes. At worst: "prejudice with a handy alibi."