August 24, 2015

HI THERE

Silicon Valley insiders talk of the "Paypal Mafia", a dozen fabulously wealthy men who were involved in the creation and development of the global online payment company. Their number includes three certified billionaires, many whose wealth runs in to hundreds of millions of dollars, and the founders of a string of massively successful companies including Youtube, LinkedIn, Yammer and Yelp. It's said in the Valley that if you have a great idea, the Paypal Mafia are the first people to approach.

Two South Africans are among those 12 superstar entrepreneurs. Interestingly, both were born in Pretoria. Elon Musk was the biggest shareholder at Paypal when the company was sold to eBay in 2003. He doubled down the $165m he got from that sale to build an even bigger business at Tesla and SpaceX, and also found time to bankroll his cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive, also from Pretoria, in what's today the US's biggest retail renewables business, SolarCity Corp (market cap: R60bn).

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