One of Donald Trump's richest supporters, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, is said to be considering a move into politics. Sources close to the Silicon Valley billionaire say Thiel – who donated $1.25m (£1.02m) to the Trump campaign – is discussing the possibility of running for governor of California for the Republican Party.

Thiel, 49, emigrated from Frankfurt to Cleveland as a child and was an early backer of Facebook as well as co-founding PayPal.

A former chess prodigy and believer in parabiosis (blood regeneration), Thiel is worth an estimated $2.7bn and is something of an outsider in liberal, Democrat-backing Silicon Valley.

According to Politico, Thiel has discussed standing for the Republicans in 2018 with close advisor Rob Morrow.

Other sources close to Thiel say they do not believe he would stand as he is an intensely private figure. However, he did make a major speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention and has contributed $8.5m to political causes since 2000.

The state has had many Republican representatives, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan. However, Thiel would still face an uphill battle if he did try and win back California for the Republicans, as only 30% voted in favour of Trump in the Presidential elections. In fact, many Californians have suggested the State secede from the Union.

Asked by the New York Times if he was worried about Trump making too many changes, Thiel replied that he was concerned Trump wouldn't be radical enough.

"Everyone says Trump is going to change everything way too much," Thiel told Maureen Down. "Well, maybe Trump is going to change everything way too little. That seems like the much more plausible risk to me."

donald trump peter thiel PayPal
US President-elect Donald Trump sits with PayPal co-founder and Facebook board member Peter Thiel, during a meeting with technology leaders at Trump Tower REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton