Peter Thiel, Facebook’s first big investor, has sold off most of his stake, turning his initial $500,000 investment into more than $1 billion in cash.
Thiel became a Facebook investor in 2004, when Mark Zuckerberg first set out to turn his dorm room project into a lasting business. Thiel and his associated investment funds held more than 44 million shares of Facebook when the company went public. He sold off 16.8 million shares in the IPO, netting $640 million.
Facebook’s lockup rules required some early shareholders, including Thiel, to hold on to their remaining stock for a certain period. That period ended on Thursday, setting more than 270 million shares free.