Peter Thiel is out from startup accelerator Y Combinator

Polarizing billionaire venture capitalist and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is no longer a partner at Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator.

Sam Altman, the accelerator’s president, made a very low-profile announcement of Thiel’s departure, adding “Peter Thiel is no longer affiliated with Y Combinator” to the top of a 2010 Y Combinator blog post welcoming Thiel as a part-time partner.

Thiel, a libertarian Trump supporter, had sparked controversy when he joined Y Combinator, which is probably the best-known startup incubator in Silicon Valley.

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Altman had defended Thiel’s position at the accelerator, tweeting, “Thiel is a high profile supporter of Trump. I disagree with this. YC is not going to fire someone for supporting a major party nominee.”

The circumstances around Thiel’s departure remain murky, but he reportedly left Y Combinator in 2016.

“A source close to Y Combinator said that the company ended its part-time partners program, which Thiel was a part of, some time last year,” Buzzfeed reported Nov. 17.

“While some other part-time partners moved over to a program called ‘experts,’ which provides advice to Y Combinator entrepreneurs, Thiel did not join.”

A tweet from far-right social media company Gab appears to have been the first public notice of Thiel’s exit. Gab, whose CEO Andrew Torba was booted from Y Combinator in November after reportedly calling members of the accelerator “cucks,” posted Altman’s edited blog entry on Nov. 16.

Thiel has been in the news of late after it came out that he had given money to the campaigns of two state attorney generals who have gone after Google over antitrust concerns. The reports raised the possibility that Thiel, a Google critic, was trying to get the Mountain View tech giant broken up as a monopoly. Thiel did not respond to a request from this news organization for information about his support of the attorneys general.

 

Photo: Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel in 2014 (John Green/ Bay Area News Group)

 

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