Peter Thiel, the venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal and was the first outside investor in Facebook Inc., doesn’t think the technology sector is in a bubble, but he’s looking to diversify some investments anyway.
“Startup tech stocks may be overvalued, but so are public equities, so are houses, so are government bonds,” said Thiel, speaking Tuesday at the LendIt USA Conference in San Francisco. “Silicon Valley is quite far from it. If the bubble is in cash, illiquid startup investments may be a place to hide.”
Venture capital investment in the U.S. has been in retreat since late 2015 because of concerns that many tech darlings have been accorded unsustainable valuations. Thiel said he is “somewhat concerned by the frothiness of the markets.”
And while Thiel said he plans to remain majority invested in technology companies, he’s actively looking to invest the $1.3 billion that his Founders Fund recently raised abroad and beyond the tech sector.
About two-thirds or three-fourths of Thiel’s investments will be in areas including next generation technologies, consumer Internet, and enterprise software, he said.
“But there’s always this question, should we be doing more things in some other places,” he said. “Maybe we should try to look at places outside Silicon Valley."