Jack Selby was one of PayPal Holdings Inc.’s first employees and, after the payments company was sold, started hedge fund Clarium Capital Management with Peter Thiel.

He later helped manage Thiel Capital, the billionaire’s family office. Now Selby is branching out with his own investment fund focused on technology companies in Arizona, where he spent part of his youth and returned to after EBay Inc. bought PayPal for $1.5 billion two decades ago.

His Phoenix-based AZ-VC has allocated money to a handful of companies this year after raising $110 million for its debut fund from mostly local investors, with almost a quarter coming from the owner of Arizona’s largest electric utility. Selby is now lining up more deals and is confident of  another growth boom for US tech firms following the recent slowdown.

“This is when the next PayPals get started,” Selby, 48, said in an interview from the United Arab Emirates, where he traveled to see the US men’s soccer team at the World Cup. “To be able to have a fund with dry powder, to be able to pounce at this time is a really, really great opportunity.”

Selby has parlayed his PayPal fortune into making movies as well as early investments in companies. They include Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Affirm Holdings Inc., the financial technology firm led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin that’s plunged almost 90% this year. He’s also a managing director of Thiel Capital and plans on keeping that role even as he turns most of his attention to AZ-VC, which has about six employees and doesn’t count Thiel — a PayPal co-founder and Republican donor — as an investor.

AZ-VC recently led a seed round for bookeeping company Uplinq that raised $5.6 million, joining Kuwaiti royal family members as an investor in the Scottsdale, Arizona-based firm targeting small-business owners, according to a statement Thursday. Before this year’s downturn, Selby said he sold his stakes in Affirm and SpaceX, which has more than tripled its value in the past five years to about $125 billion.

In the interview, Selby spoke about the state of venture investing, the movie business and his love of hiking in Wyoming. His comments have been edited and condensed.

What’s going on in venture investing?
The 2020 or 2021 vintages for venture capital funds will probably be the worst of all time. They were just outrageously overvalued, and we’re seeing that coming home to roost. I’m really lucky by avoiding deploying during that very frothy period.

Entry points from a valuation perspective are now far better. Most companies that were overvalued over the past few years were real businesses. The good news for them is they’ve got a war chest to help them grow into their valuation, but at the same time the valuations have to get marked down. The public markets are considerably ahead in this process, so I think private markets still have some way to go.

How’s business for AZ-VC?
We’ve made two investments so far. We’ll probably make a handful more before the year is out. I started a nonprofit about eight years ago, InvisionAZ, to help Arizona’s tech ecosystem and, as part of that work, I’ve been running around the state and taking meetings with every entrepreneur I could find. I like to joke I’ve kissed a lot of frogs, but at the same time I’ve also met a lot of really qualified, impressive entrepreneurs and companies. And so I’ve been compiling this list of people that, as an investor, I’d potentially look at. It’s a running start — not a standstill — and that’s really beneficial for deploying capital quickly.

I’m hoping I can build a team where I can fade into the background. Venture capital is a younger person’s game and I’m probably at the cusp of aging out relatively soon. I’d love to hand the reins over one day and have this fund move into its second, third, fourth vintages.

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