Gagan Biyani

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Gagan Biyani
BornMay 30, 1987
NationalityIndian American
Known forSprig, Udemy, Lyft

Gagan Biyani is an Indian American[1] serial entrepreneur, marketer, and journalist.[2][3] He was a co-founder and President of Udemy, a large online education company, and was co-founder and CEO of Sprig, a food delivery company.[4] He began his career working for Accenture and Microsoft.[5] and was also a reporter for TechCrunch and one of the early employees at Lyft.


Early career[edit]

Biyani attended University of California, Berkeley, and received a bachelor's degree in Economics. He began his career working at Accenture before transitioning into technology entrepreneurship and journalism. As a journalist, he covered mobile applications and technology at TechCrunch.[6] He was also a reporter for TechCrunch, covering mobile applications and technology. While there, he wrote a number of investigative journalism pieces, including one about a PR firm that was writing fake reviews on the App Store.[7] He broke the story in TechCrunch. According to The New York Times,[8] the findings led to an FTC investigation and Biyani's findings were quoted by the FTC's official documents.


In 2009, Biyani co-founded Udemy,[9][10] one of the first MOOC platforms.[2] Udemy serves as a platform that allows instructors to build online courses on topics of their choosing.[11][12] Courses are offered across a breadth of categories, including business and entrepreneurship, academics, the arts, health and fitness, language, music, and technology.[13] Most classes are in practical subjects such as Excel software or using an iPhone camera.[14]

At Udemy, Biyani focused mainly on marketing, instructor acquisition, investor relations, finance, business development, and public relations.[15] As of 2018, the company claims to have over 24 million students and offer more than 80,000 courses[16] from thousands of teachers. According to Alexa,[17] it is ranked among the top 500 websites on the Internet.

Lyft & Growth Hackers Conference[edit]

After Udemy,[18] Biyani spent six months as a Growth Advisor at Lyft.[19] He soon left Lyft in 2013 to begin on new ventures.

Biyani founded the Growth Hackers Conference in 2013,[20] which he co-founded with Erin Turner.[21] The event was in San Francisco and featured a number of well-known growth hackers, including Chamath Palihapitiya, Sean Ellis, Keith Rabois, and others.[22][23][24][25]


While at Lyft, Gagan came up with the idea for Sprig. While speaking with friends, he came to the conclusion that the concept of ridesharing could be applied to the food industry.[26] He left Lyft in 2013 to begin the venture into healthy home cooked food. He partnered with a number of chefs, including Nate Keller, a former Executive Chef at Google's headquarters,[27] and Michelin-starred chef Kyle Connaughton, who served as culinary advisor.[28]

The concept for Sprig was to provide home cooked food via delivery.[29][30] The startup claimed to allow users to order a “balanced meal”, which is prepared in Sprig's industrial kitchen and delivered in 15–20 minutes. Sprig's chef is Nate Keller, Google’s former executive chef.[31]

In March 2014, Sprig raised $10 million in Series A funding from Greylock Partners with Battery Ventures and Accel participating. As part of the funding, Greylock partner Simon Rothman joined Sprig's board.[32] A year later, the company announced it had raised $45 million via its Series B funding round.[33]

In 2016, Biyani and his co-founder Neeraj Berry were named by Forbes in its 30 Under 30 list for Consumer Tech entrepreneurs.[34] Gagan was also part of the Fast Company's Most Creative People list around the same time.[35]

Sprig raised a total of $57 million and had over 1,300 employees[36][37] at its peak, but announced in late 2017 that it would no longer be operational.[38][39][40] In his closing e-mail, Biyani cited challenges in the complexity of the operations as reasons for the closure.[41] According to TechCrunch,[42] a number of other startups in the same industry also closed in 2017, including venture-backed SpoonRocket and Maple.[43]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b DEAMICIS, CARMEL. "Lyft's former interim head of growth thinks food is the next big startup market". pandodaily.
  3. ^ GERBER, SCOTT. "Udemy Founder Gagan Biyani Answers Reader Questions [LIVE CHAT]". Mashable.
  4. ^ "Linkedin".
  5. ^ "Gagan Biyani - Founder and CEO @ Sprig". Crunchbase. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  6. ^ "Search Results for "Gagan Biyani" – TechCrunch". Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  7. ^ "Cheating the App Store: PR firm has interns post positive reviews for clients [UPDATED]". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  8. ^ Helft, Miguel (2010-08-26). "Reverb P.R. Firm Settles Case on Fake Reviews". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  9. ^ "Udemy Scores $1M In Seed Funding, Aims To Democratize Online Learning". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  10. ^ "How Udemy's First-Time Founder Raised $1 Million For His Startup - with Gagan Biyani". Mixergy. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  11. ^ "Udemy". Crunchbase. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  12. ^ "Udemy - Recent News & Activity". Crunchbase. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  13. ^ "Udemy for Business | The destination for workplace learning". Udemy for Business. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  14. ^ "With Over 6,000 Courses Now Live, Udemy Brings Its Learning Marketplace To iOS To Let You Study On The Go". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  15. ^ "How Udemy Found Their First 1,000 Instructors... Tips For Building a Marketplace with Gagan Biyani". The Hustle. 2014-12-16. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  16. ^ "The New York Times - Search". Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  17. ^ " Traffic, Demographics and Competitors - Alexa". Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  18. ^ "This Is How Growth Hacking Got Udemy To A $6 Mil Run Rate - with Gagan Biyani". Mixergy. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  19. ^ "Lyft's former interim head of growth thinks food is the next big startup market". Pando. 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  20. ^ "Chamath Palihapitiya On Growth Hacking And How To Create A Sustainable User Acquisition Engine". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  21. ^ "GrowthHackers Conference 2019 #GHConf19". GrowthHackers Conference 2019 #GHConf19. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  22. ^ "Growth Hacking: an Introduction". Udemy. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  23. ^ "Growth Hackers Conference 2013A Detailed Bullet-Point Summary". Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup. 2013-11-08. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  24. ^ "Growth Hacking: Learning to Navigate the Stages of Growth". Udemy. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  25. ^ "6 important lessons from this year's Growth Hacker Conference". VentureBeat. 2013-05-10. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  26. ^ "Gagan Biyani Selected as a Top Startup Mentor of 2012". The Founder Institute. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  27. ^ Shontell, Alyson (2014-08-19). "Google's Former Executive Chef Is Creating 'The Easiest Way To Eat Well In The World' With A 3-Tap Food Delivery App, Sprig". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  28. ^ Frojo, Renée (November 25, 2013). "Ex-Google chef, tech veteran launch food delivery service". San Francisco Business Times.
  29. ^ "Sprig founder Gagan Biyani on trying to build the largest healthy and organic restaurant". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  30. ^ "Sprig Wants To Kill Fast Food And Make Braised Kale More Accessible". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  31. ^ Dispatches, News. "Food Delivery Start-Up Sprig Raises $45 Million". India West. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  32. ^ Carpenter, John. "Sprig brings healthy meal delivery from Silicon Valley to Chicago". Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  33. ^ "Sprig Raises $45M". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  34. ^ "Gagan Biyani, 28, Neeraj Berry, 28". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  35. ^ "Gagan Biyani, Most Creative People". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  36. ^ Bercovici, Jeff (2015-08-06). "Yet Another On-Demand Startup Exits the Gig Economy". Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  37. ^ "Amid backlash, lawsuits, more delivery startups converting contractors to employees". The Mercury News. 2015-08-06. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  38. ^ "Sprig Shuts Down Its Once Popular Food Delivery App: SFist". SFist - San Francisco News, Restaurants, Events, & Sports. 2017-05-26. Archived from the original on 2019-04-27. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  39. ^ "Sprig Is the Latest Meal Delivery Service to Shut Down". Fortune. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  40. ^ Pershan, Caleb (2017-05-26). "Food Delivery Startup Sprig Shutting Down Immediately". Eater SF. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  41. ^ Kessler, Sarah (2016-06-20). "The On-Demand Economy Hits The Reset Button". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  42. ^ "On-demand food startup Sprig is shutting down today". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  43. ^ Startups, This Week in (2016-02-10). "Gagan Biyani , Co-Founder & CEO of Sprig Talks Unit Economics, Money, and More". Medium. Retrieved 2019-04-27.