A naive part of me hoped for a slow start to Monday. This was not my day .
Let’s kick off the week with a highly debated topic: the move by some venture capitalists to Florida and Texas.
Founders Fund, the venture capital firm founded in part by Peter Thiel, has rented out space in Miami for a new office.
The firm, which has invested in the likes of Airbnb, signed a one-year lease at a space with 2,073 square feet in the city. Joining the outspoken number of investors frustrated by San Francisco’s government, Founders Fund General Partner Keith Rabois recently announced his move to the city in November and acquired a home in the area.
On Twitter, Rabois has been highly vocal about his bullishness towards the city: “It has been easier to recruit people to join our new startup in Miami than to persuade people to join PayPal, LinkedIn, Square or Opendoor,” he penned in late January, retweeting an interview between himself and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez a few days later.
But the new office space is an undeniable sign of the fund’s commitment to the city. Rabois will be based out of Miami full-time, while “several other investment team members have been spending time in Miami and are considering relocating,” spokesperson Erin Gleason Lane wrote via email early Monday. “Booked my first trip March 14-21, who should I meet while I’m there?,” tweeted Founders Fund Principal Delian Asparouhov following the news.
This comes as another venture investor, SoftBank, has dedicated $100 million to Miami-based startups.
To be clear, Founders Fund is not entirely moving to Miami. The new office will “serve as an addition to the San Francisco office,” Gleason Lane wrote. “We signed this one-year lease because we wanted to open a space ASAP while we work on our permanent space.”
So the question remains: How severe will the exodus from San Francisco be, and how much of this is about pressuring San Francisco’s government to change its policies and lower its tax rates rather than actually needing to move?
I’m still not convinced this is the death of San Francisco. But here’s one thing I’m willing to stake my name on: More investments in cities outside of San Francisco, Boston, and New York will be a darn good thing.
THE RAPID FIRE ROUND: Tesla bought $1.5 billion in bitcoin as it seeks to accept the product as a form of payment in the “near future.” Bitcoin is, at time of writing, worth above $43,000 apiece. Ex-TPG Growth Managing Partner Bill McGlashan pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting wire fraud in the high-profile college admissions scandal, in which he was accused of paying $50,000 to fix his son’s wrong answers on the ACT. Kuaishou Technology, the China-focused rival to TikTok maker ByteDance, is now valued at about $160 billion following its Hong Kong debut—nearly matching what ByteDance is hoping to attain in private markets ($180 billion), despite the latter being a significantly larger player. Oscar Health, an insurtech co-founded by Joshua Kushner and backed by Alphabet, Thrive Capital, and Founders Fund, is seeking an IPO.