David Cancel

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David Cancel
Alma materQueens College
OccupationEntrepreneur, Investor, Author
Known forFounding Bolt, Compete.com, Ghostery and Drift

David Cancel is an American entrepreneur, investor, and founder of several software companies. He is the CEO and founder of Drift, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company which creates messaging software for businesses.


Cancel attended Queens College and dropped out before attaining a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Accounting.[1][2]


Cancel was Chief Product Officer at Internet marketing company HubSpot from 2011 and 2014.[3] He joined HubSpot after the acquisition of his previous company Performable for $20 million.[4]

While at HubSpot, Cancel hired most of the HubSpot engineering team,[5] growing from 20 to 100 engineers.[6] HubSpot CEO and co-founder Brian Halligan has called Cancel a “visionary product development leader” and at the time of the Performable acquisition, said “we now have the best product development team in B2B software.”[7][8]

Prior to Performable, Cancel was the co-founder and CTO of Lookery,[9] the founder and CTO of Compete.com, which was acquired by WPP for $150 million, and the CTO of BuyerZone, which was acquired by Reed Elsevier.[10][11]

Cancel is also the founder of Ghostery, a global marketing technology company that provides online transparency and control to individuals and businesses. Ghostery has been used by over 40 million consumers to control how they are tracked online, and Ghostery now also is a dominant provider of privacy governance services, powering compliance for more than $2 billion of advertising and e-commerce transactions annually.

In 2014, Cancel left HubSpot to start Drift and raised a $15 million Series A from venture capital firms Charles River Ventures, General Catalyst, NextView Ventures, Founder Collective, and angel investors including Brian Shin, Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah, and others.[12][13]

In 2016, Cancel named one of Boston Tech 30 by Boston Magazine.[14] In 2017, Harvard Business School named Cancel an Entrepreneur in Residence at the School’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship.[15]


  1. ^ Rosen, Andy. "Five things you should know about David Cancel". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Tech entrepreneur recalls celeb-studded teenage years, in an unlikely place". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  3. ^ McAlone, Nathan. "A former HubSpot exec built a chat bot to make sure customers don't slip through your fingers". Business Insider. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  4. ^ Darrow, Barb (7 August 2014). "HubSpot to lose two more execs as it preps annual shindig and IPO". Gigaom. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Quitting Execs, Rising Costs, And Churn: Here's The Gossip Heading Into Hubspot's $100 Million IPO". Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  6. ^ "HubSpot's head of product and VP of engineering will depart in September". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  7. ^ Halligan, Brian. "Why HubSpot Acquired Marketing Automation Company Performable". HubSpot. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  8. ^ Bryant, Adam. "David Cancel on Hiring Employees Who Can Teach Him". The New York Times.
  9. ^ "Adknowledge Acquires Lookery's Ad Network". Adweek. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  10. ^ Konrad, Alex. "This Five-Time Founder Raised $32M To Reinvent Sales Software Around Messaging". Forbes. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  11. ^ Ongchoco, David. "What This 6-Time Entrepreneur Really Thinks About Building A Startup". Inc.com. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  12. ^ Rosen, Andy. "Boston-based marketing startup says it's raised $32 million". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  13. ^ "How This Serial Entrepreneur Convinced Sequoia He's Building a Company That 'Endures'". Fortune. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  14. ^ "The Boston Tech 30". Boston Magazine. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  15. ^ "Harvard Business School Names 2017-2018 Entrepreneurs-in-Residence". Harvard Business School. Retrieved 2 February 2018.