Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya files for 4 new biotech-focused SPACs that seek to raise $800 million

Chamath Palihapitiya, social+capital partnership, sv100 2015
Chamath Palihapitiya.

Chamath Palihapitiya filed for four blank-check companies on Wednesday along with a new partner, according to paperwork registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The latest additions build on his roster of 6 special-purpose acquisition companies already raised, yielding more than $1 billion.

The four new SPACs are launched under a partnership between Palihapitiya’s venture firm Social Capital and hedge fund Suvretta Capital Management. One of Suvretta’s core investing strategies is to identify companies that are disruptive to the healthcare sector.

The companies may initially pursue a combination target in any industry as part of its proposed business strategy, filings state. Each SPAC is seeking to raise $200 million with ultimate specific focuses within the biotech industry: neurology, oncology, organs, and immunology.

They are each named Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp., distinguished by the Roman numerals I, II, III, and IV. The tech billionaire has said he plans to eventually do 26 SPAC deals, one for every letter of the alphabet.

Palihapitiya will serve as CEO and chairman, while Suvretta’s healthcare portfolio manager, Kishen Mehta, will serve as president.

“Our company unites scientists, physicians, entrepreneurs and biotechnology-oriented investors around a shared vision of identifying and investing in innovative and agile biotechnology companies,” the filing stated.

The SPACs, which carry the ticker symbols DNAA, DNAB, DNAC, and DNAD, are expected to trade on the Nasdaq.

Suvretta, founded in 2011 by former Soros fund manager Aaron Cowen, is dedicated to three investing strategies. One of these is its healthcare-focused unit Averill, set up in March 2020.

Palihapitiya first began making big money during his early days as an employee at Facebook, but became even more accomplished as a VC by backing companies like Box, SurveyMonkey, Yammer, and Slack. He has made a name for himself as the “SPAC King,” by kicking off mergers that took companies such as insurance startup Clover Health and Opendoor public.

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Billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya once blasted a prospective Virgin Galactic investor for questioning his track record – and called him a ‘complete f—ing idiot’

Chamath Palihapitiya

Chamath Palihapitiya once blasted an older man for challenging the billionaire’s track record and projections for his first blank-check company deal, Virgin Galactic, according to a report published Monday by The New Yorker.

While he was pitching the company’s prospects to investors in 2019, the Social Capital CEO met a bunch of mutual-fund managers in New York. He delivered an impressive speech about helping mankind reach the stars with the spaceflight company, and underlined how it could change the world.

Chamath is the chairman of Virgin Galactic. He failed to include that millions had gone up in smoke for the company after it spent heavily to ready its spaceships, and that it had missed every self-imposed deadline in its 15-year history, the New Yorker’s Charles Duhigg wrote.

A conservatively-dressed older attendee present in the audience cut into the billionaire’s speech, questioning his proclamations, the report said. After allowing him to sound off for a while, Palihapitiya retorted with: “You’re a complete f—ing idiot.”

Astonished, the older gentleman had no response as the “SPAC King” laid into him. “Have you even looked at the prospectus? Did you even f—ing Google me before you came in here?”

More wide-eyed attendees were waiting in silence to see how the situation would end. “How lazy are you?” Palihapitiya said. “I don’t even want your f—ing money.”

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But soon after, his remarks were met with laughter as everyone aged under 50 began smiling broadly. “It was brilliant,” one attendee told the New Yorker. “It was completely calculated. That old guy wasn’t ever gonna invest in space tourism. But the other people in the room – they loved it!”

About 50% of the group called the billionaire’s office later to declare they wanted to support the Virgin Galactic investment, the report said.

“People either love Chamath or they hate him, and that’s fantastic, because polarization gets attention,” the attendee was reported saying. “Polarization gets you on CNBC, it gets you Twitter followers, it gets you a megaphone. If you believe that Chamath can get an hour on CNBC to explain Virgin Galactic, then you want to buy into this deal, because attention is money.”

He and his business partner Ian Osborne indirectly own millions of shares in the space-tourism company via their investment vehicle, SCH Sponsor Corp.

Social Capital didn’t immediately respond on behalf of its CEO Chamath Palihapitiya to Insider’s request for comment.

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Former bitcoin skeptic Carl Icahn says he may pour more than $1 billion into cryptocurrencies – but predicts many digital assets won’t survive

carl icahn billionaire miami
Activist investor Carl Icahn.

  • Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said he’s looking to get into cryptocurrencies “in a big way.”
  • He told Bloomberg he may invest more than $1 billion into digital assets.
  • He thinks some cryptocurrencies may get flushed out as they don’t boast any safety value.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn told Bloomberg on Wednesday that he was looking to get involved in the cryptocurrency space, and may invest more than $1 billion into digital assets.

“I mean a big way for us would be a billion dollars, a billion-and-a-half dollars,” he said in an interview. “I’m not going to say exactly.”

Icahn has changed his tune on cryptocurrencies, after calling bitcoin and other similar assets “ridiculous” only three years ago. Telling CNBC in 2018 that he “wouldn’t touch that stuff,” he said his dislike perhaps stemmed from not understanding them.

Icahn, who currently has a net worth of $22 billion, said he hasn’t yet bought any crypto, but he’s exploring where the opportunities lie within the sector as a whole. He acknowledged cryptocurrencies are gaining mainstream acceptance as a consequence of rising inflation.

The activist investor said many cryptocurrencies in circulation right now may not survive, as there needs to be some form of safety value associated with them. “I don’t think there will be a lot of good survivors that are out there trading today,” he said.

Read More: ‘The best time to buy bitcoin is always now’: The founder of the world’s longest-running crypto exchange told us his best advice for navigating the digital currency’s wild volatility

While questioning the intrinsic value of the dollar, he said skepticism over the value of cryptocurrencies is a “little wrong-headed,” and the only reason the dollar is valuable is “because you can use it to pay taxes.”

According to him, the market is currently in a state of excess due to a combination of factors like an overflow of money in the economy, so-called meme stocks that are “ridiculously-priced,” and certain strategies presented by money managers.

“I don’t think Reddit and Robinhood and those guys are necessarily bad, I think they do serve a purpose,” he said. “Money is funneling back into companies. Some of these companies might be okay, but a number of them, the risk-reward is absurd.”

Icahn isn’t the only high-profile crypto skeptic to have changed his mind. Legendary investor Howard Marks said earlier this year he was being more open-minded towards bitcoin, and that his son Andrew “thankfully” owns a meaningful amount for the family.

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