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Lauren Gross — not Peter Thiel — is steering Founders Fund

Gross is No. 96 on the Recode 100.

Lots of folks in Silicon Valley think that Peter Thiel, because of his celebrity and wealth, is the man steering Founders Fund, the investment vehicle he co-founded in 2005.

But the real showrunner is Lauren Gross, a 35-year-old who is playing a larger and larger role as the venture firm’s partnership transforms. Several general partners have shuffled in and out of the science-focused fund in recent years, leaving her as one of nine partners.

Gross is one of the few top-tier VCs who doesn’t play an active day-to-day investing role. As chief operating officer, she is responsible for Founders Fund’s relationship with its limited partners, who have given the fund $2 billion in the last three years. With a series of early-stage hits — in SpaceX, Lyft and Airbnb — raising that amount of cash likely isn’t a terrible pain.

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