THE MONEY: Parker co-founded the groundbreaking music file-sharing company Napster in 1999 when he was only 19 years old. He joined the Facebook founding team in 2004 and owned about 70 million shares of Facebook Inc. stock, which was worth $2.6 billion at the time of Facebook’s initial public offering in 2012, according to CNN. Parker was a managing partner at Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund from 2006 to 2014. He reportedly invested $15 million to take a 5% position in Spotify in 2010 and helped the company expand to the U.S. market. He cashed out when the company went public in 2018, earning a $9.9 billion payout, according to Pitchbook. In 2014, Parker bought a nine-bedroom mansion in Holmby Hills from Ellen DeGeneres for $55 million. He shifted his focus to philanthropy in 2015 and launched his Parker Foundation with $600 million.
THE BUZZ: In April, Parker added New York-based infant nutrition startup ByHeart Inc. to his investment portfolio by participating in the company’s $70 million Series A round. In June, New Zealand-based visual effects company Weta Digital, in which Parker holds a minority stake, launched an animation division to produce original content. In July, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which was established in 2016 by the Parker Foundation, appointed immunotherapy expert John Connolly as its chief scientific officer. Parker, who didn’t attend college, was born in Virginia.
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