Gurbaksh Chahal

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Gurbaksh Singh Chahal
Chahal with U.S. President Barack Obama.jpg
G. Chahal with U.S. President Barack Obama
Born (1982-07-17) July 17, 1982 (age 31)[1]
Tarn Taran Sahib, Punjab, India
Residence San Francisco, California
Occupation Chairman & CEO of RadiumOne
Net worth IncreaseUS$100 million+

Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (born July 17, 1982) is an American internet entrepreneur, philanthropist, and writer.[2] By the age of 25, he founded and sold two advertising companies for a total of US$340 million.

Early life

Chahal was born in Tarn Taran Sahib in Punjab, India to Avtar Singh and Arjinder Chahal. In 1985, his parents received a visa for America through the Diversity Visa (DV) program, also known as the Green Card Lottery, and the following year, when he was four, the family settled in San Jose, California.[3]

Business career

On December 15, 1998, aged 16, Gurbaksh Chahal dropped out of high school[4] to work full-time at his first venture, ClickAgents. ClickAgents was an advertising network focused on performance-based advertising. Two years later, on November 1, 2000, ValueClick announced it agreed to buy ClickAgents in a $40 million all-stock merger.[5] Chahal had a three year non-compete agreement with ValueClick.

On January 12, 2004, Chahal formed BlueLithium. BlueLithium specialized in behavioral targeting of banner advertising (a process that tracks web users' habits online in order to show ads they are most likely to respond to).[6] The advertising network which was recognized as an innovator in the online advertising space in a Business 2.0 article.[7] In 2006, under Chahal's leadership, BlueLithium was named Top Innovator by AlwaysOn.[8]

On October 15, 2007, Yahoo! bought Blue Lithium for $300 million in cash. Chahal remained CEO of the company through the transition period.[9]

In September 2009, Chahal started his third online ad company, focused on creating a new category of real-time advertising. On December 1, 2009, it raised its first institutional round of financing totaling $12.5 million from Adam Street Partners, Trinity Ventures, Stanford University and various others.[10] On October 18, 2010, a few days after Chahal's non-compete expired, the Company re-branded itself as RadiumOne, and launched its Programmatic Advertising Platform that leverages first party data to deliver real-time advertising across the web, mobile, Facebook.[11] On March 2011, RadiumOne announced it had raised another $21 million in financing which valued the Company at $200 million.[12] On March 2, 2012, RadiumOne's valuation surpassed $500 million.[13]

Television appearances

On October 23, 2009, Chahal appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss his life and business journey. In his interview, Oprah Winfrey introduced him as "one of the youngest and also the wealthiest entrepreneurs on the planet Earth".[14]

On January 8, 2009, he was featured on Extra TV as America's Most Eligible Bachelor.[15]

Personal life

Chahal currently lives in San Francisco, California.

On April 29, 2010, Chahal was awarded the Leaders In Management Award and an Honorary Doctorate degree in Commercial Science from Pace University for his career achievements as an entrepreneur.[16] In April 11, 2011, Men's Health also recognized him as one of the world's richest and fittest guys.[17]

Domestic violence conviction

In August 2013, Chahal was charged by the San Francisco District Attorney's Office with 47 counts of domestic violence. Chahal pleaded not guilty to the charges and posted $1 million bail. The prosecutors alleged Chahal "hit and kicked" his girlfriend 117 times over a half-hour period August 5, 2013.[18] The District Attorney's Office has said they have acquired video evidence of the alleged domestic violence.[19] Chahal's attorney argued that "the prosecutors were making too much of the argument between Chahal and his girlfriend because of Chahal's high profile." [20] His attorney said that Chahal's girlfriend provided "photographic proof of an unblemished complexion to the SFPD and filed an affidavit requesting the investigation be terminated."[21][22]

On April 2, 2014, a judge ruled that the video the SFPD obtained from Chahal's apartment could not be used as evidence in his trial. Police said the video showed Chahal hitting his girlfriend 117 times. Chahal’s video security system included cameras throughout the apartment, including two in the bedroom where the alleged attack occurred, according to police.[23]

On April 16, 2014, following a plea bargain, Charhal pled guilty to one charge of domestic violence battery and one charge of battery. He was sentenced to three years probation, a 52-week domestic violence training course, and 25 hours of community service. Prosecutors cited a lack of cooperation from the victim in the case as leading to the plea bargain.[24]


Chahal appeared on an episode of the Fox TV reality show Secret Millionaire, where he went undercover in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco and gave away $110,000 of his own money.

Chahal has also been actively involved with Pace University and in 2010 launched the Gurbaksh Chahal - Entrepreneurial Scholarship Program. [25]

Inspired by the deadly events relating to the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting, Chahal founded the BeProud Foundation with $1 million of his own money. The foundation is designed to create awareness campaigns to stop future hate crimes.[26][27]

Guest lecturing

Chahal has also been a frequent guest lecturer at many universities including: Stanford University, Pace University, London School of Economics, University of California Berkeley, Columbia University, and Ryerson University. Chahal's book The Dream is required reading in entrepreneurship courses at some universities.[citation needed]


Awards and recognitions

  • 2006: AlwaysOn Top Innovator of the Year [28]
  • 2010: Anokhi Awards, Excellence in Digital Entrepreneurship [29]
  • 2010: BusinessWeek, Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs [30]
  • 2010: Pace University, Leaders in Management Award [31]
  • 2010: Darpan, Extraordinary Awards - International Sensation [32]
  • 2010:, X51 - India's Most Influential Business Man of the Year [33]
  • 2011: Most Influential CEO - Under30CEO [34]
  • 2011: Forbes Greatest Risks [35]
  • 2012: Light of India Awards 2012: People's Award for Excellence in Business Leadership [36]
  • 2012: Light of India Awards 2012: Amrapali Award for Entrepreneur of the Year [36]
  • 2012: iMedia's Top 10 Hottest Digital Marketers of 2012 [37]
  • 2012: Complex Magazine's: The 25 Richest Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30 [38]
  • 2013: Anokhi's Prestige Awards 2013: Tech Entrepreneur of the Decade [39]
  • 2013: San Francisco Business Times: Top 40 Under 40 [40]
  • 2013: Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award [41]
  • 2013: 40 Under 40 by Direct Marketing News [42]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Gurbaksh Chahal, the Punjabi NRI writer & millionaire entrepreneur, Punjab Spider.
  4. ^ Zinko, Carolyne (October 26, 2008). "Advice from young millionaire Gurbaksh Chahal". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Yahoo Snaps up BlueLithium
  7. ^ Big Innovations: BlueLithium, Business 2.0, September 20, 2006.
  8. ^ The 2006 AO 100, AlwaysOn.
  9. ^ Yahoo! press release re purchase of BlueLithium
  10. ^
  11. ^ McMahan, Ty (October 18, 2010). "New Ad Network RadiumOne Aims To Tap Social 'Mega Trend'". The Wall Street Journal. 
  12. ^
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  14. ^ Appearance on Oprah Winfrey's show
  15. '^ Extra TVs "Secret Bachelor"
  16. ^
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  20. ^ Alexander, Kurtis; Ho, Vivian (August 9, 2013). The San Francisco Chronicle |url= missing title (help). 
  21. ^
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  23. ^ Hoge, Patrick (April 2, 2014) "G" Chahal goes to trial; video of alleged abuse tossed." San Francisco Business Times. (Retrieved 4-16-2014.)
  24. ^ Nagle, Rob (April 18, 2014). "Internet mogul accused of domestic violence pleads guilty to two misdemeanors". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ [1]
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  30. ^
  31. ^ Zinko, Carolyne (April 29, 2010). "S.F. venture capitalist Keith Benjamin dies". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  32. ^
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  35. ^ Lee, Jane. "Gallery: Big Achievers Share The Greatest Risks They Ever Took". Forbes. 
  36. ^ a b
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ "Gurbaksh Chahal: CEO, chairman and founder, RadiumOne Inc". 
  41. ^
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External links