The PayPal Mafia -- a term that's used with affection and awe in Silicon Valley -- is defined as the Mountain View PayPal team either pre-IPO or pre-acquisition, depending on which founding member you ask. While those may seem like vastly different stages in a company's life, it's more like splitting hairs as PayPal's IPO happened only a few months before it was acquired. Former PayPal CEO Peter Thiel estimates the PayPal Mafia to be around 220 people. The PayPal Mafia does not include 700 person customer service operation that was running in Omaha, Nebraska at the time.
That group of 220 people went on to create seven distinct "unicorn" companies. Unicorns are companies with a valuation of more than $1 billion.