Facebook (News - Alert) billionaire Peter Thiel has so far raised $32 million in funds targeted at revolutionizing the technological infrastructure of New Zealand. There is no doubt in Thiel’s mind that New Zealand is already a utopia – he just thinks it can learn a thing or two from Silicon Valley. “New Zealand is already utopia. But Silicon Valley and New Zealand can learn a lot from each other, and we want to help make that happen,” he said.
Thiel has already put forth a great deal of funding towards getting the country more up to date with modern Internet technologies, investing $7 million between the New Zealand based accounting firm Xero, as well as another New Zealand based company - Pacific Fibre.
With the help of Thiel’s investments, Pacific Fibre has put in motion a solution to provide much of Australasia with high speed, reliable broadband Internet connectivity. It will construct a network of under-sea fiber-optic cable from Australia to New Zealand, giving a much-needed boost in the “utopia’s” Internet infrastructure.
It’s no secret that Thiel is a devout libertarian, frustrated with current US policies. He has even put forth a substantial amount of funding towards the Seasteading Institute, an organization with the intention of creating self-sustaining libertarian colonies at sea, as well as many other non-profits.
Thiel’s firm, Valar Ventures, gets its name from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy. In the movies, the Valar were the characters that created LOTR’s Middle-Earth – which was actually filmed in New Zealand.
Being a huge fan of the LOTR series, Thiel’s entire concept of using Valar Ventures to build upon his utopian view of the country becomes clearer. Though the general public and press aren’t completely sure as to what his intentions are, he has a crystal-clear vision of what the firm will bring to New Zealand.
Edited by Jennifer Russell