Tech entrepreneur flees California for Texas

Texas is ‘easy’ state to do business: Palantir co-founder

Palantir co-founder and 8VC founder Joe Lonsdale on why he moved his company from California to Texas.

Tech entrepreneur Joe Lonsdale, who co-founded software company Palantir Technologies, told “Varney & Co.” on Wednesday that he moved his venture capital firm 8VC to Texas from California because of the state’s affordability and “dynamic economy.”

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Lonsdale called himself “a proud Texan” and told host Stuart Varney that he moved a couple of months ago.  

“Texas is a lot like going to California 40 to 50 years ago,” Lonsdale said. “It’s very welcoming, it’s a dynamic economy, it’s affordable.”

Texas is one of seven states, including Florida and Nevada, without a personal income tax.

Lonsdale also said that Texas beats California “in almost every method you can name, whether it’s education, pollution, homeless[ness].”

“You have more Fortune 500 companies here now than they [California] do even though we are a smaller state,” he continued, stressing that “Texas has a lot going for it.”

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Varney asked Lonsdale if he moved to Texas because he “couldn’t handle California any longer.”

He asked, “Was it that bad?”

“I’m a builder,” he responded. “I’ve been lucky to help build over ten successful companies, we invest in a lot more and when you try to hire someone in California you pay them $250,000 a year to come there and they feel poor.”

“You pay them that here and they are living really well,” he added, referring to Texas. “So as someone who builds and has to hire a lot people, [I would] much rather do that in a place with a reasonable cost of living, that’s easy to do business.”

Lonsdale and his investment firm reportedly moved to Austin, Texas from San Francisco, Calif., driven out of The Golden State by taxes and other concerns, which he had expressed to Varney.

Lonsdale has followed the lead of his co-founders at the controversial data analytics firm Palantir, which also recently moved its headquarters.

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PLTRPALANTIR TECHNOLOGIES INC.15.70+1.71+12.19%

In August, Palantir, which recently went public, confirmed its plans to relocate its corporate headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Denver, Colorado. The company moved to Colorado just before its IPO, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Palantir has faced criticism for its willingness to work with government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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Lonsdale said he “was proud to help start Palantir 17 years ago,” noting that he was with the company full-time for the first seven years. He added that he no longer runs Palantir Technologies.

“I started several other companies and I run one of the biggest venture capital firms around and we’re moving to Texas so I have people who are better at running a 3,000 person company than I am,” Lonsdale told Varney on Wednesday. “But I am pretty good at getting these things going.”

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Fox News’ Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.

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