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Joe Lonsdale

Joe Lonsdale

Joseph Todd "Joe" Lonsdale V (September 12, 1982) is an American entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. He is a founding partner at 8VC, a technology investment firm. Most recently, Lonsdale was a founding partner at Formation 8, one of the top performing private funds and the precursor firm to 8VC.[2] Together, the 8VC and Formation 8 funds manage over $2.7 billion.[3] He was an early investor in many companies including Wish, Oculus, Illumio, Oscar Health, Blend Labs, Joby Aviation, Guardant Health, Synthego, and RelateIQ. Lonsdale also co-founded and serves as chairman of Addepar, a wealth management technology company, and OpenGov, a technology platform that helps manage data intelligence and budget processes of governments. In 2004, Lonsdale co-founded Palantir Technologies, a company focused on analyzing, integrating, and visualizing data especially in defense and finance.[4] Joe was the youngest-ever member of the Midas List when he debuted in 2016. [5]

Joe Lonsdale
Joseph Todd Lonsdale V[1]

(1982-09-12)September 12, 1982
Fremont, California, U.S.
Alma materStanford University (B.S.)
  • Partner at 8VC [50]
  • Chairman of Addepar

Early life and education

Lonsdale grew up in Fremont, California and attended Mission San Jose High School. He was a two-time scholastic state chess champion.[6] He was raised in his mother's Jewish faith (his father is of Irish Catholic descent).[7]

Lonsdale graduated from Stanford University in 2003 with a degree in computer science.[7] He also served as Editor-in-Chief of The Stanford Review, the university’s conservative/libertarian newspaper. Lonsdale is a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.


Early career

Lonsdale joined the financial arm of PayPal as an intern while a student at Stanford.[8] After graduation he left to work in a variety of roles with PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel. Lonsdale also served as an early executive from 2002-2009 at Clarium Capital, a macro hedge fund founded by Thiel.[9] At Clarium's peak the fund grew to $8 billion in assets under management, but eventually shut down after a series of unprofitable investments and client redemptions resulting in its assets declining to between $300-400 million as of 2011.[10]

Palantir Technologies

In 2004, Lonsdale co-founded Palantir Technologies with Thiel, Alex Karp, Stephen Cohen, and Nathan Gettings. Palantir’s software allows human analysts to explore data from many sources, specifically in the intelligence and financial services sectors.[11] It had a corporate culture modeled in part on Google's.[12] Lonsdale initially served as co-head of product at Palantir. After the core leadership and engineering teams were established, Lonsdale and Eric Poirier built Palantir Finance (Later known as Metropolis, and then replaced by Foundry) as a separate division within Palantir. They created a technology platform analogous in scope to the government platform but focused on time series data and financial ontologies.

The company was valued at $20 billion in 2015.[13]


Lonsdale co-founded Addepar in 2009 with Jason Mirra.[14] Addepar works with Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), major private banks, and family offices to provide transparency into client portfolios. Currently Addepar has over $1.8 trillion in assets managed on the platform.[15] The company has attracted a cadre of supporters from the finance industry including Stanley Druckenmiller, Kenneth Langone, Harrison LeFrak, Poju Zabludowicz, Justin Rockefeller and a number of others.[16]

Lonsdale currently serves as Executive Chairman at Addepar.

Angel investor and venture capitalist

Anduin Ventures

In 2010, Lonsdale launched Anduin Ventures, a seed fund focused on helping technology teams in Silicon Valley build information technology companies across a variety of industries. Anduin's advisors included Alex Moore, Steve Loughlin, Matt Michelsen, and Brian Koo. Anduin's portfolio companies include Addepar, Wish (Context Logic),[17] Any.do, a project with Lady Gaga to launch Backplane,[18] Badgeville, Blueprint Labs, Edmodo, Healthtap, JoyTunes, Karma, Onramp, Ostendo, Ness, Practice Fusion and Vicarious.[19]

Formation 8

In 2011, Lonsdale co-founded Formation 8 with Brian Koo and Jim Kim.[20] Other senior members of Formation 8 included Gideon Yu and Pierre Lamond. The fund had a broad mandate, investing across stages in both IT and energy companies, with an intended emphasis on business development in Asia.[21] As of December 2015, Formation 8 recorded an 84% internal rate of return in its first fund, putting it among the top funds of its class.[21]

In the fall of 2015, Formation 8 announced the partners would not be raising a third fund together. [22]


In 2015,[23] Lonsdale co-founded 8VC with a group that included 15 of the 25 colleagues from Formation 8.[24] 8VC manages ~$1.5bn in AUM across its funds.[25] Like Formation 8, 8VC invests primarily in technology-driven businesses positioned to redefine modern workflows and unlock otherwise untapped data assets.

8VC's portfolio companies include Synthego, Joby Aviation, Deliverr, Common, Asana,[26] IDx,[27] Orca, The Boring Company, Vector, Honor, Flexport, and Assembly. [28]

Other business activities

Lonsdale co-founded and serves as chairman of OpenGov.[29] Lonsdale also co-founded and serves on the boards of Esper, Anduin Transactions, Affinity, Epirus Systems, and Zanbato.

The Cicero Institute

In 2018, Lonsdale started The Cicero Institute, a public policy research think-tank to deliver entrepreneurial solutions to public problems. The Cicero Institute works on a variety of federal, state, and local domestic policy issues including housing, criminal justice, healthcare, and regulatory reform.


Joe and his wife Tayler are active in a variety of philanthropic and mission-driven pursuits. In 2018, Joe founded the Cicero Institute, which works on a variety of federal, state, and local domestic policy issues including housing, criminal justice, healthcare, and regulatory reform. The Cicero Institute is interested in policy frameworks that spur entrepreneurial innovation to solve public challenges and allow the best ideas to win.[30]

Lonsdale is the Chairman of ONEHOPE Wine[31] and its charity ONEHOPE Foundation, a social enterprise company devoted to donating a portion of their profits to charity.[32]

Lonsdale is a board member and adviser to Thorn, a non-profit founded by actors Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore which partners with innovative technology companies to prevent child-trafficking and child pornography.

Lonsdale also served on the Board of Strive for College[33] and was the founding Chairman of The Seasteading Institute.[34] He was previously the Chairman of California Common Sense (“CACS.org”), a non-partisan non-profit dedicated to opening government to the public, developing data-driven policy analysis, and educating citizens about how government works.[35] In July 2010, CACS.org launched California’s first data transparency portal.[36] He is also involved with Argive [51] , which is dedicated to regulatory transparency and accessibility for all citizens.

Public speaking

Lonsdale often speaks at technology events, US national TV, and at conferences around the world. A few notable appearances include:

On September 3, 2019, Lonsdale joined CNBC to discuss direct-listings and tech company IPOs.

On May 8th, 2019, Lonsdale joined CNBC "Squak Box" to discuss the Bay Area housing crisis and solutions to improve it.

On November 3, 2016 Lonsdale spoke at the WIRED 2016[37] conference in London on a few of the most innovative industries today. Lonsdale discussed transportation, government, and finance, with a special emphasis on Hyperloop One and the role it will play in transforming cities into more powerful engines of growth.

On September 14, 2016 Lonsdale spoke at the Second Annual GSV Pioneer Summit. In a fireside chat alongside Michael Moe, Lonsdale discussed emerging areas of entrepreneurship and the implications of big data.

On May 24, 2016 Lonsdale delivered a keynote speech at the Pioneer Festival in Vienna. Lonsdale spoke about the evolution of the technology ecosystem and lessons learned in building a billion dollar business.

On February 26, 2016, Lonsdale spoke at the Pacific Pension & Investment Institute's Winter Roundtable in Los Angeles. Lonsdale spoke about technological transformation in the context of global financial markets and the impact of these trends on investing.

On June 2, 2015 Lonsdale served on a panel about "Venture Capital Trends" at Rutberg's Future: Mobile conference, and on September 16, 2015, Lonsdale led a panel about Big Data Analytics at the BDO conference which hosts public company board members.

On August 23 and 24, 2014 Lonsdale hosted a hackathon with Ashton Kutcher to support Thorn. The event brought nearly 100 engineers, data scientists and designers together to build tools to help mitigate child trafficking. Other judges included Twitter's Head of Privacy Del Harvey and White House Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith. Lonsdale subsequently published an article calling on technologists to tackle social problems.[38]

On February 12, 2014 Lonsdale and Marc Andreessen were featured as the Keynote for the 2014 Goldman Sachs Technology Conference in San Francisco with Gary Cohn. They discussed a variety of issues including bitcoin, valuations of technology companies, and the impact of mobile.[39]

Lonsdale has been featured twice on CNBC’s SquawkBox. Lonsdale discussed big data and security in a June 26, 2013 episode titled “Big Data’s Past Present and Future.[40]” On April 29, 2013 Lonsdale was featured in an episode titled “The Disruptors” on which he discussed how Silicon Valley technology is beginning to emerge as a force on Wall Street.[41]

In 2011, Lonsdale participated in TEDxSilicon Valley. Lonsdale gave a speech titled "Learning from Numbers" where he discussed technology's role within finance.[42]

On August 25, 2008 Lonsdale was hosted by Glenn Beck on CNN, where he discussed the Seasteading Institute.[34]

The Smart Enterprise Wave

A common theme across the majority of Lonsdale’s public speaking and written work is Smart Enterprise. Lonsdale has coined the term to describe the companies leading the 6th wave of Innovation occurring in Silicon Valley.[43]

Specifically, Smart Enterprise companies leverage recent IT advances in order to integrate heterogeneous big data and empower knowledge workers to solve non-linear problems across major economic industries. By doing so, these companies gain the potential to harness network effects within their industry vertical and become platforms, increasing innovation by enabling novel applications to quickly spread throughout the industry.[43]


On January 27, 2015, former Stanford University student Ellie Clougherty filed a lawsuit against Lonsdale accusing him of rape and sexual and emotional abuse.[7][44] Lonsdale denied the claims and filed a counter suit against Clougherty.[45] Stanford University banned Lonsdale from campus as a result of the allegation.[46]

Clougherty dropped all of her legal claims against Lonsdale in a court filing on November 2, 2015. Lonsdale also dropped his counterclaims.[47] Stanford University investigators, citing evidence uncovered during discovery, said Lonsdale did not violate Stanford's sexual harassment policies and there was no basis to support a ban from Stanford's campus.[46]

Lonsdale married Tayler Cox, in September 2016.[48]


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