Given the political climate and Peter Thiel’s political views, it initially seemed ironic that Thiel Capital chose now as the perfect time to give back to 28, a self-described “femtech” company that offers fitness and wellness recommendations based on the phases of the menstrual cycle.
Then you start to do the math.
Thiel is famous for having quite right-wing interests and has poured money into PACs supporting the Senate campaigns of various populist Republicans. For example, at the beginning of last year, he gave 10 million dollars to a PAC supporting JD Vance’s is running for a seat in the Ohio Senate. Vance infamously compared abortion to slavery.
Thiel also endorsed Blake Masters, a Trump-endorsed Senate candidate from Arizona, whose website once said he was completely pro-life and supported “a federal personhood law that recognizes unborn babies as human beings who cannot be killed “. The entry has since it has been deleted, NBC News reported. Vance and Masters are former venture capitalists who won their Republican primaries. Both are backed by Thiel (although that support appears to be decreasing.)
“The potential for innovation in the private sector is limitless, but so is the potential for harm.” Olivia DeRamus, founder of Communia
Then look at 28, an offshoot of Evie magazine. (An Evie representative told TechCrunch that 28 and Evie are two separate entities and operate as such, saying that Thiel Capital’s investment was solely in the former, not the latter. It should be noted, however, that the name on the website of 28 is “28 by Evie,” and 28byevie.com now redirects to 28.co). Evie is a publication that claims to focus on the affirmation of womanhood without the “biased agenda” of other publications.
This is itself coded transphobic language that seeks to exclude trans women from the definition of femininity, a fact highlighted by Evie posting a story that ponders whether “the trans debate [is] cause of the increase in mental health problems in women.” Additionally, the publication’s thoughts on abortion rights include writing that, for example, “abortion is the intentional termination of a human being in the womb and is never medically necessary.”
Although it is clear that 28 is now targeting to distance itself from Evie, the magazine’s version of the startup attracted a $3.2 million seed round led by Thiel’s venture firm. According to PitchBook, this is the only “femtech” the firm has invested in. This is not accidental. Thiel Capital’s decision to back 28 and its Evie-driven agenda appears to be one of several examples of right-wing investors and entrepreneurs bringing a particular brand of conservatism to the market in several ways.