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 32)[1]
Tarn Taran Sahib, Punjab, India
Residence San Francisco, California

Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (born July 17, 1982) is an Indian-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. Chahal is currently on probation for domestic violence battery and battery.

Early life[edit]

Chahal was born in Tarn Taran Sahib in Punjab, India to Avtar Singh and Arjinder Chahal. Chahal has 1 brother and 2 sisters. In 1985, his parents received a visa for America through the Diversity Immigrant Visa 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[edit]

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, including mobile and Facebook.[11] In 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] After Chahal pleaded guilty to Domestic violence battery, there were calls for him to step down as CEO of RadiumOne.[14][15] He was fired on April 27, 2014.[16]

In July 2014, Chahal launched his fourth technology company in online advertising, named Gravity4.[17]

Television appearances[edit]

On October 23, 2009, Chahal appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah Winfrey introduced him as "one of the youngest and also the wealthiest entrepreneurs on the planet Earth."[18]

On January 8, 2009, he was featured on Extra TV as America's "most eligible bachelor."[19]

Personal life[edit]

Chahal currently lives in San Francisco, California.

On April 29, 2010, Chahal was awarded the Leaders In Management Award and an honorary degree in Commercial Science from Pace University for his career achievements as an entrepreneur.[20] In April 2011, Men's Health recognized Chahal as one of the world's "richest and fittest guys".[21]

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.[22]

On April 16, 2014, following a plea bargain, Chahal 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.[23]

After his conviction, Chahal tweeted, "I maintain my innocence regarding these exaggerated accusations"; "For the past 10 months there were overblown allegations against me because of my alleged high-profile status"; and "Is the Internet this stupid to read one side of the story by tabloids vs. the actual truth? Grow up people before u judge false accusations." Chahal later deleted these tweets.[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 Chahal Foundation with $1 million of his own money. The foundation is designed to create awareness campaigns to stop future hate crimes, scholarships, supporting disaster relief efforts, and improving school in third world countries. [26] [27]



Chahal founded, developed, and created the "ShareGraph" and was issued two patents by the USPTO in 2014 during his tenure at RadiumOne.

  • Building a Social Graph Using Sharing Activity of Users of the Open Web [28]
  • Building a Social Graph based on links received and selected by receiving users of the open web [29]

Domestic violence conviction[edit]

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.[30] The District Attorney's Office has said they have acquired video evidence of the alleged domestic violence.[30] 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."[31] 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."[30][32]

Chahal nonetheless pleaded guilty to one count of domestic violence battery and one count of battery. The prosecution dropped felony charges after the judge in his case threw out video evidence of his assault on his girlfriend because police had seized it without a warrant.[33] The victim refused to cooperate with the prosecution.[34]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

  • 2006: AlwaysOn Top Innovator of the Year [35]
  • 2010: Anokhi Awards, Excellence in Digital Entrepreneurship [36]
  • 2010: BusinessWeek, Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs [37]
  • 2010: Pace University, Leaders in Management Award [38]
  • 2010: Darpan, Extraordinary Awards - International Sensation [39]
  • 2010:, X51 - India's Most Influential Business Man of the Year [40]
  • 2011: Most Influential CEO - Under30CEO [41]
  • 2011: Forbes Greatest Risks [42]
  • 2012: Light of India Awards 2012: People's Award for Excellence in Business Leadership [43]
  • 2012: Light of India Awards 2012: Amrapali Award for Entrepreneur of the Year [43]
  • 2012: iMedia's Top 10 Hottest Digital Marketers of 2012 [44]
  • 2012: Complex Magazine's: The 25 Richest Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30 [45]
  • 2013: Anokhi's Prestige Awards 2013: Tech Entrepreneur of the Decade [46]
  • 2013: San Francisco Business Times: Top 40 Under 40 [47]
  • 2013: Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award [48]
  • 2013: 40 Under 40 by Direct Marketing News [49]


  1. ^ Find People, Lookup Phone Numbers, Run Background Checks, Access Public Records |
  2. ^ RadiumOne CEO on His McDonald's Rejection, Social Ads, and Do-Not-Track Legislation | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
  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. ^ ValueClick to Acquire Click Agents | ClickZ
  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. ^ gWallet raises $12.5M for more ethical virtual currency/offers system | VentureBeat | News | by Dean Takahashi
  11. ^ McMahan, Ty (October 18, 2010). "New Ad Network RadiumOne Aims To Tap Social 'Mega Trend'". The Wall Street Journal. 
  12. ^ Social Retargeting Ad Network RadiumOne Raises $21M At A $200M Valuation | TechCrunch
  13. ^ Social Retargeting Ad Network RadiumOne Raising A $50M Round At A $500M Valuation | TechCrunch
  14. ^ Patrick, Dan (April 25, 2014) “It's time for RadiumOne's abusive CEO to go.” CNNMoney. (Retrieved 4-25-2014.)
  15. ^ Weissman, Jordan (April 25, 2014) “Is It OK to Invest in a Company if Its CEO Beats Women?” Slate. (Retrieved 4-25-2014.),
  16. ^ Swisher, Kara. "Exclusive: CEO Gurbaksh Chahal Fired by RadiumOne Board". Recode. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ Appearance on Oprah Winfrey's show
  19. '^ Extra TVs "Secret Bachelor"
  20. ^ Pace University Names Magazine Publishing Magnate David J. Pecker (’72) and Technology Entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal as 2010 Leaders in Management Recipients | Business Wire
  21. ^ Success Secrets | Men's Health
  22. ^ Hoge, Patrick (April 2, 2014) "G" Chahal goes to trial; video of alleged abuse tossed." San Francisco Business Times. (Retrieved 4-16-2014.)
  23. ^ Nagle, Rob (April 18, 2014). "Internet mogul accused of domestic violence pleads guilty to two misdemeanors". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  24. ^ Swisher, Kara (April 26, 2014) "RadiumOne’s All-Male Board Is Now Deciding Whether (Or Not) to Dump CEO Over Domestic Violence Conviction." Re/code. (Retrieved 4-29-2014.)
  25. ^ Pace University awards Honorary Doctorate to Internet Star | Press Room - Pace in the News
  26. ^
  27. ^ Serial Entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal Commits $1 Million to Stop Hate Crimes |
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ a b c DA: Internet mogul hit girlfriend 117 times over a half-hour period | Crime & Courts | San Francisco | San Francisco Examiner
  31. ^ Alexander, Kurtis; Ho, Vivian (August 9, 2013). "Internet mogul pleads not guilty to assault". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  32. ^ San Francisco entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal faces criminal charges over domestic violence |
  33. ^ Hoge, Patrick (April 17, 2014). "Ad mogul Gurbaksh "G" Chahal pleads guilty to two misdemeanors, all others dismissed in domestic violence case". San Francisco Business Times. 
  34. ^ Matier, Phillip; Ross, Andrew (April 19, 2014). "A bloody message for Leland Yee in the 1990s". SF Gate. 
  35. ^ BlueLithium Named Top Innovator of the Year
  36. ^ ANOKHI Pulse TV | Shows | Episode 7
  37. ^ Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs 2010: GWallet - BusinessWeek
  38. ^ Zinko, Carolyne (April 29, 2010). "S.F. venture capitalist Keith Benjamin dies". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  39. ^ A Recap Of Darpan Magazines Extraordinary Achievement Awards | 11 | 2010 | Darpan : Magazine, News, Entertainment, Lifestyle
  40. ^ - India's largest Online lifestyle magazine for Men. Offering tips & advice on relationships, fashion, office, health & grooming
  41. ^ 30 Founders Under 30 Who Are Shaking Up Industries - Business Insider
  42. ^ Lee, Jane. "Gallery: Big Achievers Share The Greatest Risks They Ever Took". Forbes. 
  43. ^ a b TimesofMoney - Browser Check
  44. ^ iMedia's Top 10 Hottest Digital Marketers of 2012 (slide 3 of 11) -
  45. ^ 10. Gurbaksh Chahal, 30 — The 25 Richest Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30 | Complex
  46. ^ ANOKHI's 10th Anniversary Event
  47. ^ "Gurbaksh Chahal: CEO, chairman and founder, RadiumOne Inc". 
  48. ^ EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Northern California regional program - EY - United States
  49. ^ Honorees - Direct Marketing News

External links[edit]

Graduate School of Business]], March 2010