David Gorodyansky

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David Gorodyansky
David Gorodyansky 2.jpg
David Gorodyansky, CEO of AnchorFree, Inc.
Alma materSan Jose State University
  • Entrepreneur
  • Executive
Known forCo-founder and CEO of AnchorFree

David Gorodyansky is an American entrepreneur and angel investor best known as the CEO of AnchorFree, a company he co-founded in 2005 with Eugene Malobrodsky.[1] AnchorFree is the developer of Hotspot Shield, a virtual private network provider.[2] In 2019, Fast Company named AnchorFree the 13th most innovative company in the world and the #1 most innovative security company.[3] AnchorFree's most recent fundraising round (2018) brought in $295 million, bringing total funding to $358 million.[4] Gorodyansky has also invested in GlobeIn, an online exotic arts and crafts marketplace,[5] and Venturocket, an job matching website.[6] He serves as chairman of both AnchorFree and GlobeIn.[7]

Gorodyansky is a writer who has contributed to Forbes and Inc. Magazine.[8][9] He is also a proponent of social entrepreneurship.[10]

Early life[edit]

Gorodyansky was born in Moscow, Russia and moved to Palo Alto, California with his parents and sister when he was 9 years old.[11][12] His parents were computer engineers.[11] His grandfather was a member of the Red Army during World War II, during which he conducted aerial reconnaissance and helped to liberate German concentration camps.[13]

While attending a local Palo Alto school, Gorodyansky met Eugene Malobrodsky.[11] Malobrodksy had a similar background and the two became close friends.[12] The two would later found multiple companies together.[11][14]


In 2002, while still in college,[12] Gorodyansky founded Intelligent Buying with Malobrodsky.[11] Intelligent Buying was a company that resold high-end computer equipment.[15] They exited the company in 2005 in order to "invest in something that would have a real impact in the world."[16]

Gorodyansky and his friend launched AnchorFree in 2005.[17] AnchorFree is the creator of Hotspot Shield, a virtual private network provider that is commonly used for Wi-Fi security, Internet privacy and circumventing censorship.[17]

In 2011, AnchorFree's Hotspot Shield was used extensively by protesters during the Arab Spring when Middle Eastern governments began blocking access to video sharing and social media websites. It was used by more than one million users during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.[18][19] In 2012, Gorodyansky received an award from the Academy of Achievement[20] and met with justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Gorodyansky was selected as one of Inc Magazine's 30 CEOs under 30 years old in 2011.[18] He was selected as one of America's Most Promising CEOs Under 35 in 2013 by Forbes magazine.[21] Gorodyansky was also a member of the city of San Francisco's Technology Expert Council, where he served a technology adviser to former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom.

In 2014, Gorodyansky received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He was named one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs.[22]


Gorodyansky is an investor in GlobeIn, an online exotic arts and crafts marketplace, and job matching site Venturerocket. He has also invested in Modern Meadow, a company that aims to grow leather and meat from primary cells.[23] In 2013, Gorodyansky served as investor and executive producer of #chicagoGirl, a documentary that follows a Syria-born college student that coordinated a social media campaign to help protesters during the Syrian Civil War.[24]

Influence and Internet Philosophy[edit]

Businessman Bert Roberts and social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus have been the two main influences on Gorodyansky's business philosophy.[13] Bert Roberts, a former chief executive officer for MCI Communications, is credited for helping to develop AnchorFree's freemium revenue model and shaping Gorodyansky's views on Internet security and privacy issues.[13] Muhammad Yunus' work on microcredit initiatives and social entrepreneurship have inspired Gorodyansky to focus on global initiatives that have a social impact.[13] A frequent commentator on the interface of social unrest and technology, Gorodyansky noted a tenfold increase in the use of AnchorFree's HotSpot Shield in the 2014 Hong Kong protests.[25]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Konrad, Alex (9 April 2012). "AnchorFree: A road warrior's friend, a censor's foe". CNN Money. Fortune. p. 1. Archived from the original on 12 March 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  2. ^ J.J. Colao (2012-08-29). "How To Thwart Hackers And Dictators With One Free Download". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  3. ^ "The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2019". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-04-29.
  4. ^ Griffith, Erin (2018-09-05). "AnchorFree, Maker of a Top Online Privacy App, Raises $295 Million". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  5. ^ Cromwell Schubarth (2013-02-27). "GlobeIn raises $1.1M, launches market for global artisans". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  6. ^ Rip Empson (2013-07-17). "Venturocket Grabs $700K To Kill Resume Spam, Build A Better "Pay-Per-Connection" Jobs Marketplace". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  7. ^ "Our Founders". GlobeIn. Archived from the original on 2014-06-25. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  8. ^ Goroyansky, David (2014). "Contributor David Gorodyansky". Forbes. Forbes. p. 17. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  9. ^ Gorodyansky, David (2014). "David Gorodyansky The Secure CEO". Inc. Inc. p. 10. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  10. ^ David Gorodyansky (4 June 2012). "Make a difference, then a profit: building startups that do social good". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  11. ^ a b c d e Strauss, Karsten (22 January 2014). "Hackers And Governments Beware--Online Anonymity For The People". Forbes. Forbes. p. 1. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  12. ^ a b c Josh Koehn (2011-04-27). "AnchorFree Opens Doors to Revolution". SanJose.com. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  13. ^ a b c d Will Yakowicz (8 May 2014). "This Entrepreneur Has One Simple Goal: Improve a Billion People's Lives". Inc. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  14. ^ Mousumi Saha Kumar (6 April 2012). "Founders of AnchorFree, David Gorodyansky and Eugene Malobrodsky". Success Stories. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  15. ^ United States Securities and Exchange Commission (2008). "Intelligent Buying, Inc. SEC 10-K Form". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. United States Securities and Exchange Commission. p. 1. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  16. ^ Sramana Mitra (27 May 2011). "Connecting The Censored Internet: AnchorFree CEO David Gorodyansky, Mountain View, CA (Part 1)". One Million by One Million. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  17. ^ a b Devindra Hardawar (2012-05-21). "Hotspot Shield maker AnchorFree lands $52M to protect you from the horrors of web browsing". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  18. ^ a b Eric Markowitz (2011-06-27). "David Gorodyansky and Eugene Malobrodsky, Founders of AnchorFree". Inc. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  19. ^ Nancy Messieh (3 October 2011). "Hotspot Shield: A quiet hero for Internet privacy and security around the world". The Next Web. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  20. ^ "The Rise of David Gorodyansky and Competition for Facebook". gconew.com. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  21. ^ "America's Most Promising CEOs Under 35". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  22. ^ "EY announces winners for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Northern California Award". 11 June 2014. Archived from the original on 30 July 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  23. ^ Lynn Peithman Stock (12 December 2014). "Silicon Valley 40 Under 40: David Gorodyansky". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  24. ^ Josh KKupecki (26 October 2014). "Austin Film Festival: #chicagoGirl: The Social Network Takes on a Dictator". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  25. ^ "Hong Kong Protests Beating the Media Crackdown". Forbes. Retrieved 26 October 2014.