PayPal is an American Fortune 500 financial technology company operating in multiple nations to facilitate online money transfers between individuals and companies. Founded in 1998 as Confinity, PayPal went public with an [[IPO]] in 2002 and was acquired by [[eBay]] later that year. In 2015, eBay spun the company off to its shareholders, making it a private company once again. # PayPal founders The company was founded by [[Peter Thiel]], Max Levchin, and Luke Nosek in late 1998 as Confinity, a security software vendor for handheld devices. Failing in this business model, it soon pivoted to a digital wallet focus, launching an electronic payment system in 1999. In March of 2000, Confinity merged with online financial services company co-founded by [[Elon Musk]] and 3 partners. In October of that year Musk decided to focus exclusively on the PayPal business, and was promptly replaced by [[Peter Thiel]] as CEO of -- renamed PayPal in 2001, before going public in 2002 and being acquired by [[eBay]] shortly thereafter. # "PayPal Mafia" In addition to Thiel and Musk, a collection of other PayPal inner circle individuals made fortunes and/or established tech careers via early stints at the payments company, including: - [[Keith Rabois]] -- Executive Vice President, Business Development, Public Affairs, and Policy (Nov. 2000 - Nov. 2002) - [[David Sacks]] -- former COO of PayPal and confidant of both Thiel and Musk - [[Rod D. Martin]] -- a senior advisor to [[Peter Thiel]] - Reid Hoffman - Max Levchin - Steven Chen and Chad Hurley -- founders of YouTube - Russel Simmons and Jeremy Stoppelman -- founders of Yelp