Who Is Keith Rabois?

Keith Rabois is an entrepreneur, investor, and lawyer, currently a general partner at Founders Fund, which was established by fellow PayPal mafia members Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek, and Ken Howery. Keith Rabois, also was in the so-called PayPal mafia, as one of the key executives in the team of PayPal of the early days.

Education and meeting with Thiel

Rabois studied political science at Stanford University and earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1991.

Whilst at Stanford, he met Peter Thiel and subsequently contributed to his libertarian newspaper The Stanford Review.  

Three years later, Rabois received his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. He briefly worked as a court clerk and then as a corporate litigator before shifting into business.

PayPal and LinkedIn

Rabois was hired by PayPal in 2000, primarily serving as its EVP of Business Affairs, Public Affairs, and Policy. Like Nosek, he left PayPal after its 2002 acquisition by eBay.

Rabois then worked for LinkedIn between 2005 and 2007 – a company founded by fellow PayPal mafia member Reid Hoffman.

In his role as VP of Business and Corporate Development, Rabois’ developed LinkedIn answers, public profiles, and established new corporate advertising streams.

He also worked for social gaming company Slide in a similar capacity and then payment provider Square as its COO. In 2014, Rabois founded the online real estate marketplace OpenDoor.

Founders Fund and investment philosophy

Five years later, in 2019, Rabois was reunited with Thiel when he joined the VC firm Founders Fund as a general partner. 

One of the traits Rabois looks for before investing is whether an individual has the tenacity and resourcefulness to see an idea to fruition.

He has never been a firm believer in thesis-basis investing, instead choosing to invest in founders who teach him about how the world is changing and what is possible.

Since the fundamental qualities that define successful people are constant, Rabois has noted in interviews that his success rate has improved over the years with more experience. 

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