Some Prominent Silicon Valley Investors Shift to the Right

In 2021, David Sacks, a prominent venture capital investor and podcast host, said former President Donald J. Trump’s behavior around the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol had disqualified him from being a future political candidate.

At a tech conference last week, Mr. Sacks said his view had changed.

“I have bigger disagreements with Biden than with Trump,” the investor said. Mr. Sacks said he and his podcast co-hosts were working on hosting a fund-raiser for Mr. Trump, which could include an interview for their “All In” show. They also extended an invitation to President Biden, he said, but the Trump camp was more open to it.

Such public support for Mr. Trump used to be taboo in Silicon Valley, which has long been seen as a liberal bastion. But frustration with Mr. Biden, Democrats and the state of the world has increasingly driven some of tech’s most prominent venture capitalists to the right.

Some investors, like Chamath Palihapitiya of Social Capital, backed Democrats in the past. (He is set to co-host the fund-raiser for Mr. Trump alongside Mr. Sacks.) Others, like Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz and Shaun Maguire of Sequoia Capital, have criticized Mr. Biden without expressing support for Mr. Trump. Still others, like Keith Rabois of Khosla Ventures, are focusing their efforts on electing Republicans to Congress.

The activity may amount to more noise than formal support or personal donations for Mr. Trump’s campaign. And it is by no means everyone. Much of Silicon Valley, including prominent donors like the investors Reid Hoffman and Vinod Khosla, remains loyal to Democrats. Peter Thiel, the investor who backed Mr. Trump in the past, has said he is disillusioned with politics and plans to stay out of the 2024 race.

Jacob Helberg, left, an adviser to Palantir, spoke with the venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, center, and Senator Todd Young, Republican of Indiana, at a forum in Washington. Credit…Jason Andrew for The New York Times
Back to top button