Peter Thiel Launches New Fund, Gives It Nerdiest Name Ever

Yes, it's even nerdier than "Palantir," God bless him.

Mr. Thiel, not at a scifi con. (Photo:

Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley’s own Peter Weyland, just launched a brand new fund to focus on rocketships–in the Sheryl Sandberg sense, not the Elon Musk sense.

Businessweek reports that Mithril Capital Management has already raised $402 million, the idea being to invest in growth companies looking to make the leap from startup to big business.

Managing general partner Ajay Royan told the magazine:

“There’s a space in the investment landscape,” said Royan, a former managing director at Clarium. “We are focused on the inflection point when companies have emerged beyond the startup stage and they are ready to achieve scale and dominance in their market.”

Mr. Thiel (who is the latest individual investor) will head up the investment committee, which Mr. Royan told BusinessWeek will target areas like “biotechnology, energy and artificial intelligence.”

Mithril, of course, takes it name from the lightweight, ultra-durable, highly prized metal in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings cycle. (It’s what Frodo’s chain mail shirt was made of.) But Mr. Thiel, like so many ambitious entrepreneurs, would be wise to heed the fate of the dwarves who mined Khazad-dûm too deep, unleashing the Balrog and thereby ensuring their own destruction. Peter Thiel Launches New Fund, Gives It Nerdiest Name Ever