- Early employees of payments company PayPal went on to create nearly a dozen major tech startups after leaving the company.
- The PayPal Mafia, as its early employees came to be known, were directly responsible for Tesla, SpaceX, LinkedIn, Yelp, and more.
- The latest company with PayPal roots to make a major splash is Palantir, the big data company that went public on the New York Stock Exchange this week.
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Without PayPal, there may not have been Palantir. Or YouTube. Or SpaceX, LinkedIn, and Yelp.
The payments company — launched as Confinity in 1998 by Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, and Luke Nosek — grew to become a Silicon Valley giant. It was acquired by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion in a deal that altered Silicon Valley history and helped spawn the careers of some of tech’s most famous names. The PayPal Mafia, as its early employees came to be known, have gone on to become venture capitalists, tech founders, and even a US ambassador.
Palantir, the secretive big data company that began trading on the New York Stock Exchange this week, is just one of a dozen companies with PayPal roots.
Here are the tech companies that may not have gotten their start without the success of PayPal.