Billionaire VC says he’ll shut company down to help Mike Bloomberg win US presidency

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By Larry Banks

Chamath Palihapitiya, founder of VC company Social Capital believes the way to fix America’s political system is to get Mike Bloomberg elected as the next US president.

He believes it so much that he says he is willing to temporarily close his firm and use its resources to back Bloomberg’s presidential bid if he decides to run.

“I’ve told them (Bloomberg’s folks) that most of us would pause our day jobs to get him elected. I’ve offered to run ‘Growth’ for the period of his campaign”, Palihapitiya told Business Insider. “We are 100% serious – he needs to run”.

Palihapitiya wants to establish that there is a way for independents to win the presidency, and to break the two-party system of American politics, which he says is holding the US back.

Palihapitiya, currently estimated to be worth more than $1 billion, made his fortune as a Facebook executive that took the site to a billion users. Part of the team is now at Social Capital, a fast-growing VC firm that has funded companies like Slack, SurveyMonkey and Yammer.

“If he does run, the same team (Social Capital’s Growth Team) that helped build Facebook to 1 billion users would do our best to activate the entire United States to put him in The White House. I think we’d be successful”, Palihapitiya added.

Bloomberg has not yet launched an official campaign, but told the Financial Times that he is considering running in 2016.

Palihapitiya has bandied about his idea for some time now, first revealing his thoughts in a Quora Q&A held in January, and also in a speech at a startup event last week called LAUNCH Festival.

To get Bloomberg to win, he says there’s one thing that needs to happen first – Donald Trump has to win the Republican nomination.

If Trump does win, it could fragment the Republican Party into three groups – centrists, tea party and evangelical, which will have the effect of breaking the duopoly in US politics. In that case, independent candidates should stand a better chance of winning with a legitimate agenda without being influenced by lobbyists or monied interests, says Palihapitiya.

“That’s how important it is in many ways, that we validate a third-party alternative, because it just creates so much more possibilities, it’s just a much brighter future”, Palihapitiya said at the LAUNCH Festival.

SOURCE: BusinessInsider.

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