Joseph Todd "Joe" Lonsdale (September 12, 1982) is an American entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. Lonsdale is a founding partner at Formation 8 Partners, a Silicon Valley technology investment fund that operates mostly in the United States and Asia. Lonsdale also co-founded and serves as Chairman of Addepar, a private wealth management technology company. In 2004, Lonsdale co-founded Palantir Technologies, a private company focused on analyzing, integrating and visualizing data especially in defense and finance.
Early life and Education:
Lonsdale grew up in Fremont, California and attended Mission San Jose High School. He was a two-time scholastic chess champion. He was raised in his mother's Jewish faith (his father is of Irish Catholic descent).
Lonsdale graduated from Stanford University in 2003 with a degree in Computer Science. He also studied financial markets and macro-economics, and 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.
Lonsdale joined the financial arm of PayPal as an intern while a student at Stanford. After graduation he left to work in a variety of roles with PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel. Lonsdale also served as an early executive at Clarium Capital, a macro hedge fund founded by Thiel. At Clarium's peak the fund had nearly $7 billion in assets under management.
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. It had a corporate culture modeled on Google's. 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 (now known as Metropolis) 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.
Lonsdale co-founded Addepar in 2009 with Jason Mirra. Addepar works with Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), major private banks, and family offices to provide transparency into client portfolios. Currently Addepar has over $100 billion in assets managed on the platform. 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.
Lonsdale currently serves as Executive Chairman at Addepar.
Angel Investor and Venture Capitalist:
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), Any.do, a project with Lady Gaga to launch Backplane,Badgeville, Blueprint Labs, Edmodo, Healthtap, JoyTunes, Karma, Onramp, Ostendo, Ness, Practice Fusion and Vicarious.
In 2011, Lonsdale co-founded Formation 8 with Brian Koo and Jim Kim. Other senior members of Formation 8 include Gideon Yu and Pierre Lamond. The fund has a broad mandate, investing across stages in both IT and energy companies. Lonsdale manages the IT investments, often focusing on entrepreneurs building "Smart Enterprise" companies. Lonsdale represents Formation 8 on the board of Oscar, Hyperloop Technologies, Blend Labs, RelateIQ, Wish (ContextLogic), Illumio and OpenGov. Other Formation 8 investments include Revinate, Taxon, AKAStudy, Blend Labs,Buildzoom, Foro Energy, PeopleCo, LearnSprout,Oculus VR, and Thalmic Labs.
Other business activities:
Lonsdale co-founded and serves as Chairman of OpenGov and Zanbato. He is also Chairman of The Backplane and serves on the Boards of RelateIQ, Oscar, Wish (ContextLogic), and Revinate.
Lonsdale is 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. In July 2010, CACS.org launched California's first data transparency portal.
Lonsdale is the Chairman of ONEHOPE Wine and its charity ONEHOPE Foundation, a social enterprise company devoted to donating a portion of their profits to charity.
Lonsdale also serves on the Board of Strive for College and was the founding Chairman of The Seasteading Institute.
Lonsdale is a supporter and adviser to Thorn, a non-profit founded founded by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore which partners with innovative technology companies to prevent child-trafficking and child pornography.
Lonsdale often speaks at technology events and conferences around the world. Some notable appearances include:
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.
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.
In 2013 Lonsdale was featured as a speaker at the Fortune Global Forum in Chengdu, China alongside a host of international business and political leaders.
On June 6, 2013 Lonsdale spoke after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the CyberSecurity Innovation Showcase at Tel Aviv University.
On May 1, 2013, Lonsdale was featured as a panelist at 2013 NYC TechCrunch Disrupt, where he spoke widely about venture capital investing, entrepreneurship and macroeconomic trends affecting the world today. Of particular note, Lonsdale advocated for the country's top engineers to aspire to tackle the world's problems.
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." 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.
In 2011, Lonsdale participated in TEDxSilicon Valley. Lonsdale gave a speech titled "Learning from Numbers" where he discussed technology's role within finance. In 2010 Lonsdale participated in TEDx La Jolla, giving a speech entitled "Man Machine Symbiosis."
On August 25, 2008 Lonsdale was hosted by Glenn Beck on CNN, where he discussed the Seasteading Institute.
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.
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.
In February 2015, Lonsdale was accused of sexual and emotional abuse by a former Stanford University student. Subsequently, Lonsdale filed a counter suit.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license