Bryan Johnson (entrepreneur)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bryan Johnson
Bryan Johnson in 2017.png
Johnson in 2017
Born (1977-08-22) August 22, 1977 (age 42)
Alma materBrigham Young University (BA)
The University of Chicago (MBA)
OccupationBusiness executive
Known for, ]

Bryan Johnson (born August 22, 1977) is an American entrepreneur [1] [2] and venture capitalist.[3] He is the founder and CEO of Kernel, a company developing advanced neural interfaces,[4] and OS Fund, a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage science and technology companies.[5]

He was also founder, chairman and CEO of Braintree,[6] a company which specializes in mobile and web payment systems for ecommerce companies. Braintree was later acquired by eBay in 2013 for $800 million.[7]

Johnson lives in Los Angeles.[8]

Early life[edit]

Johnson was born in Provo, Utah,[9] and raised in Springville, Utah,[6] the middle child of three brothers and a sister. After his parents divorced, Johnson lived with his mother and his stepfather, the owner of a trucking company. At 19, Johnson became a Mormon missionary, customary for young men in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church),spending two years in Ecuador.[2]

Johnson graduated with a BA in International Studies from Brigham Young University in 2003 and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2007.[9] [10]


Early Ventures[edit]

Johnson, who has been described as a “serial tech entrepreneur,” [6] launched three startups, whilst at university, between 1999 and 2003. The first, which sold cell phones, helped pay his way through Brigham Young University. In that business, Johnson hired other college students to sell service plans along with cell phones; Johnson earned about a $300 commission on each sale.[11]

Johnson also started two other businesses. Inquist, a VOIP company Johnson co-founded with three other partners, with combined features of Vonage and Skype. It ended operations in 2001.[2] After that, he joined his brother and another partner on a $70 million real estate project later in 2001. The project did not achieve sales goals.[2]


Johnson formed the idea for Braintree while he was working at a part-time job selling credit card processing services to businesses .[12] The firm's rapid growth was spurred by clients in the technology industry including OpenTable, Uber, Shopify,[12] Airbnb,[13] and others. The company was 47th on Inc. magazine’s 2011 list of the 500 fastest-growing companies[14] and 415th in 2012.[15] That year, Braintree purchased Venmo, a startup --now owned by PayPal--that lets users send and receive money from each other electronically, for $26.2 million.[16]

By September 2013, the company announced it was processing $12 billion in payments annually, with $4 billion of that on mobile.[17] Shortly afterward, on Sept. 26, 2013, the company was acquired by eBay for $800 million.[13] [18][19]

OS Fund[edit]

In October 2014, at 37, Johnson announced his creation of OS Fund, which he backed with $100 million of his personal capital.[6] The venture capital firm invests in early-stage science and technology companies led by "inventors and scientists who aim to benefit humanity through quantum leap discoveries at the operating system, or OS, level,” Johnson said.[20] In 2016 he launched an online video series, “Explorations,” featuring interviews with leaders of some of the companies backed by OS Fund.[21]


Johnson started Kernel in 2016, making a personal investment of $100 million.[22] The company's goal is to build an implantable device to improve brain function in humans, such as memory, while interfacing with artificial intelligence (AI). .[23]

Personal life[edit]

Johnson has three children.[9] Johnson was raised in the Mormon faith, but has said he left the LDS Church when he was 34.[24] He is an experienced outdoor enthusiast: Johnson has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, as well as Toubkal, the highest peak of North Africa.[9] He is also a pilot and has written a children’s book, Code 7.[25]

On March 17, 2018, he became engaged to his girlfriend, artist and producer Taryn Southern.[26]


Johnson contributed one chapter to the 2018 book Architects of Intelligence: The Truth About AI from the People Building it by the American futurist Martin Ford.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Altucher, James (May 4, 2013). "How To Go From $0 To $1,000,000 In Two Years". TechCrunch.
  2. ^ a b c d Kravitz, Seth. "How Bryan Johnson has Taken Braintree to Explosive Growth in Three Years". Technori.
  3. ^ Mims, Christopher (October 20, 2014). "Humanity's Last Great Hope: Venture Capitalists". Wall Street Journal.
  4. ^ "Elon Musk's latest target: Brain-computer interfaces". Statnews. Associated Press. 2017-03-28. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  5. ^ "OS Fund LLC: Private Company Information". Bloomberg. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d Mangalindan, JP. "Crazy, insane start-ups are this tech investor's meat and potatoes". Fortune.
  7. ^ Hardawar, Devindra. "Ebay buys payments startup Braintree for $800M, yet another win for PayPal". VentureBeat. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Twitter". Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d "Bryan Johnson". Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Bryan Johnson". The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  11. ^ Tim Ferriss (June 12, 2015). "The Rags to Riches Philosopher: Bryan Johnson's Path to $800 Million". (Podcast). Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Founder Stories at 1871: Braintree's Bryan Johnson". Doejo. July 12, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Barr, Alistair (September 26, 2013). "PayPal agrees to acquire Braintree for $800 million". USA Today. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  14. ^ "The 2011 Inc. 5000". Inc. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  15. ^ "The 2012 Inc. 5000". Inc. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  16. ^ Wortham, Jenna (August 16, 2012). "Braintree, a Payments Company, Buys Venmo for $26.2 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  17. ^ Deamicis, Carmel (September 20, 2013). "Mobile payments are one-third of Braintree's business". Pando Daily. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  18. ^ Chowdhry, Amit (September 26, 2013). "eBay Buys Braintree For $800 Million To Accelerate Its Mobile Payments Revenue". Forbes.
  19. ^ Bomkamp, Samantha (September 26, 2013). "EBay buying Chicago-based Braintree". Chicago Tribune.
  20. ^ Johnson, Bryan (October 20, 2014). "Rewrite the OS, Change the World". Medium. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  21. ^ "Explorations". Bryan Johnson. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  22. ^ Mannes, John (October 20, 2016). "Bryan Johnson invests $100 million in Kernel to unlock the power of the human brain". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  23. ^ Hamzelou, Jessica (October 20, 2016). "$100 million project to make intelligence-boosting brain implant". New Scientist. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  24. ^ Jason Calacanis (September 18, 2015). "Episode 579: Founder Bryan Johnson sold Braintree to build an extraordinary world with OS Fund and next-level synthetic biology, A.I., space tools, transportation, and more". This Week in Startups (Podcast). Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  25. ^ "Bryan Johnson". LinkedIn. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  26. ^
  27. ^ Falcon, William (November 30, 2018). "This Is The Future Of AI According To 23 World-Leading AI Experts". Forbes. Retrieved March 20, 2019.

External links[edit]