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Gagan Biyani

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Gagan Biyani
Born (1987-05-30) May 30, 1987 (age 37)
Known forSprig, Udemy, Lyft

Gagan Biyani (born May 30, 1987) is an American of Indian descent[1] serial entrepreneur, marketer, and journalist.[2][3] He was a co-founder of Udemy, an online education company, and was co-founder and CEO of Sprig, a food delivery company.[4]

Life and career[edit]

Biyani was born to Indian parents in Fremont, California.[5]

Early career[edit]

Biyani attended the 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] 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] Courses are offered across a breadth of categories, including business and entrepreneurship, academics, the arts, health and fitness, language, music, and technology.[11] Most classes are in practical subjects such as Excel software or using an iPhone camera.[12]

At Udemy, Biyani focused mainly on marketing, instructor acquisition, investor relations, finance, business development, and public relations.[13] As of 2018, the company claims to have over 24 million students and offers more than 80,000 courses[14] from thousands of teachers. As of 2019, Alexa counts Udemy among top 500 most-visited websites.[15]

Lyft & Growth Hackers Conference[edit]

After Udemy,[16] Biyani spent six months as a Growth Advisor at Lyft.[17] He soon left Lyft in 2013 to begin new ventures.

Biyani founded the Growth Hackers Conference in 2013,[18] which he co-founded with Erin Turner.[19] The event was in San Francisco and featured a number of well-known growth hackers, including Chamath Palihapitiya, Sean Ellis, Keith Rabois, and others.[20][21][22][23]


While at Lyft, Gagan came up with the idea for Sprig. While speaking with friends, he came up with the idea to start a food delivery service.[24] 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,[25] and Michelin-starred chef Kyle Connaughton, who served as culinary advisor.[26]

The concept for Sprig was to provide home cooked food via delivery.[27][28] The startup claimed to allow users to order a “balanced meal”, which was prepared in Sprig's industrial kitchen and delivered in 15–20 minutes. Sprig's chef was Nate Keller, Google's former executive chef.[29]

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.[30] A year later, the company announced it had raised $45 million via its Series B funding round.[31]

In 2016, Biyani and his co-founder Neeraj Berry were named by Forbes in its 30 Under 30 list for Consumer Tech entrepreneurs.[32] Gagan was also part of the Fast Company's Most Creative People list around the same time.[33]

Sprig raised a total of $57 million and had over 1,300 employees[34][35] at its peak, but announced in late 2017 that it would no longer be operational.[36][37][38] In his closing e-mail, Biyani cited challenges in the complexity of the operations as reasons for the closure.[39][failed verification] According to Biyani's Twitter story about Sprig, one of the causes of Sprig's failure was the rise of Uber Eats.[40] According to TechCrunch,[41] a number of other startups in the same industry also closed in 2017, including venture-backed SpoonRocket and Maple.[42]


  1. ^ "Food Delivery Start-Up Sprig Raises $45 Million - India West: Business". Archived from the original on 2015-06-30. Retrieved 2015-06-30.
  2. ^ a b DEAMICIS, CARMEL. "Lyft's former interim head of growth thinks food is the next big startup market". pandodaily.
  3. ^ GERBER, SCOTT (25 October 2012). "Udemy Founder Gagan Biyani Answers Reader Questions [LIVE CHAT]". Mashable.
  4. ^ "Linkedin".
  5. ^ "About Me".
  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. 22 August 2009. 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. 31 August 2010. 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 for Business | The destination for workplace learning". Udemy for Business. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  12. ^ "With Over 6,000 Courses Now Live, Udemy Brings Its Learning Marketplace To iOS To Let You Study On The Go". TechCrunch. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "The New York Times – Search". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  15. ^ "Udemy.com Traffic, Demographics and Competitors – Alexa". alexa.com. Archived from the original on 2020-06-21. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  16. ^ "This Is How Growth Hacking Got Udemy To A $6 Mil Run Rate – with Gagan Biyani". Mixergy. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  17. ^ "Lyft's former interim head of growth thinks food is the next big startup market". Pando. 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  18. ^ "Chamath Palihapitiya On Growth Hacking And How To Create A Sustainable User Acquisition Engine". TechCrunch. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  19. ^ "GrowthHackers Conference 2019 #GHConf19". GrowthHackers Conference 2019 #GHConf19. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  20. ^ "Growth Hacking: an Introduction". Udemy. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  21. ^ "Growth Hackers Conference 2013A Detailed Bullet-Point Summary". Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup. 2013-11-08. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  22. ^ "Growth Hacking: Learning to Navigate the Stages of Growth". Udemy. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  23. ^ "6 important lessons from this year's Growth Hacker Conference". VentureBeat. 2013-05-10. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  24. ^ "Gagan Biyani Selected as a Top Startup Mentor of 2012". The Founder Institute. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ Frojo, Renée (November 25, 2013). "Ex-Google chef, tech veteran launch food delivery service". San Francisco Business Times.
  27. ^ "Sprig founder Gagan Biyani on trying to build the largest healthy and organic restaurant". TechCrunch. 8 April 2016. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  28. ^ "Sprig Wants To Kill Fast Food And Make Braised Kale More Accessible". TechCrunch. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  29. ^ Dispatches, News. "Food Delivery Start-Up Sprig Raises $45 Million". India West. Retrieved 2019-04-26. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  30. ^ Carpenter, John (9 June 2015). "Sprig brings healthy meal delivery from Silicon Valley to Chicago". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  31. ^ "Sprig Raises $45M". TechCrunch. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  32. ^ "Gagan Biyani, 28, Neeraj Berry, 28". Forbes. Archived from the original on January 4, 2016. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  33. ^ "Gagan Biyani, Most Creative People". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  34. ^ Bercovici, Jeff (2015-08-06). "Yet Another On-Demand Startup Exits the Gig Economy". Inc.com. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  35. ^ "Amid backlash, lawsuits, more delivery startups converting contractors to employees". The Mercury News. 2015-08-06. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  36. ^ "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.
  37. ^ "Sprig Is the Latest Meal Delivery Service to Shut Down". Fortune. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  38. ^ Pershan, Caleb (2017-05-26). "Food Delivery Startup Sprig Shutting Down Immediately". Eater SF. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  39. ^ Kessler, Sarah (2016-06-20). "The On-Demand Economy Hits The Reset Button". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  40. ^ @gaganbiyani (May 27, 2020). "Nobody talks about failure in Silicon Valley, yet 90% of startups fail.Why?3 yrs ago, @neerajberry and I shut d…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  41. ^ "On-demand food startup Sprig is shutting down today". TechCrunch. 26 May 2017. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  42. ^ 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.