Gurbaksh Chahal

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Gurbaksh Singh Chahal
Chahal with U.S. President Barack Obama.jpg
G. Chahal with U.S. President Barack Obama
Born (1982-07-17) July 17, 1982 (age 33)[1]
Tarn Taran Sahib, Punjab, India
Residence San Francisco, California
Net worth Increase US $150 million (April 2015)

Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (born July 17, 1982) is an Indian-American internet entrepreneur and writer.[2] By the age of 25, he founded and sold two advertising companies for a total of US$340 million. Chahal is currently on probation for domestic violence battery and battery. Chahal is the author of The Dream: How I Learned the Risks and Rewards of Entrepreneurship and Made Millions (2008).

Early life[edit]

Chahal was born in Tarn Taran Sahib in Punjab, India to Avtar Singh and Arjinder Chahal. Chahal has one brother and two sisters. In 1985, his parents received a visa for America through the Diversity Immigrant Visa program, also known as the Green Card Lottery, and the following year, when he was four, the family settled in San Jose, California.[3]

Business career[edit]

Chahal dropped out of high school at age 16[4] to work full-time at his first venture, ClickAgents. ClickAgents was an advertising network focused on performance-based advertising. Two years later, ValueClick announced it agreed to buy ClickAgents in a $22 million all-stock merger.[5]

In 2004, Chahal formed BlueLithium, a company that specialized in behavioral targeting of banner advertising (a process that tracks web users' habits online in order to show ads they are most likely to respond to).[6] In 2007, Yahoo! bought Blue Lithium for $300 million in cash. Chahal remained CEO of the company through the transition period.[7]

In 2009, Chahal started RadiumOne, an online ad company that focused on creating a new category of real-time advertising.[8][9] Chahal was fired as CEO of RadiumOne by the company's board of directors on April 27, 2014,[10] after pleading guilty to a domestic violence battery charge and rejecting calls to step down voluntarily.[11][12]

In July 2014, Chahal launched his fourth technology company in online advertising, named Gravity4.[13] In April 2015 a former female employee from Gravity4 filed suit against Chahal and the company for gender discrimination and harassment.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Chahal currently lives in San Francisco, California.

On April 29, 2010, Chahal was awarded the Leaders In Management Award and an honorary degree in Commercial Science from Pace University for his career achievements as an entrepreneur.[15] In April 2011, Men's Health recognized Chahal as one of the world's "richest and fittest guys".[16]

Domestic violence conviction[edit]

In August 2013, Chahal was charged by the San Francisco District Attorney's Office with 47 counts of domestic violence. Prosecutors alleged Chahal "hit and kicked" his girlfriend 117 times over a 30-minute period on August 5, 2013. Chahal’s video security system included cameras throughout the apartment, including two in the bedroom where the attack occurred.[17] Chahal pleaded not guilty to the charges and posted $1 million bail.

The prosecution's case was set back because the victim refused to cooperate with the prosecution.[18] On April 2, 2014, a judge ruled that the video the SFPD obtained from Chahal's apartment could not be used as evidence in his trial because police had seized it without a warrant,[19] leading the prosecution to drop felony charges.[20]

Chahal, at the urging of RadiumOne investor and one-time California state controller Steve Westly, paid former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown a $250,000 retainer to keep the charges from derailing a planned $100M IPO. Chahal met with and engaged Brown after Westly suggested that Brown could take advantage of his connections to the district attorney's office. After the Judge's favorable ruling regarding the admissibility of Chahal's video, Brown returned $198,400.[21]

On April 16, 2014, following a plea bargain, Chahal pled guilty to one charge of domestic violence battery and one charge of battery. Chahal was sentenced to three years probation, a 52-week domestic violence training course, and 25 hours of community service.[21]

After his conviction, Chahal tweeted, "I maintain my innocence regarding these exaggerated accusations"; "For the past 10 months there were overblown allegations against me because of my alleged high-profile status"; and "Is the Internet this stupid to read one side of the story by tabloids vs. the actual truth? Grow up people before u judge false accusations." Chahal later deleted the tweets.[22]

In May 2015, the San Francisco District Attorney's office sought to revoke Chahal's probation because he allegedly repeatedly kicked a girlfriend in the leg during an argument and threatened to report her to immigration authorities. The girlfriend accused Chahal of being violent with her in the past, grabbing her by the hair and once bruising her wrist during arguments.[23]

Gurbaksh Chahal was again involved in another altercation this time in which he had kicked and hit another female partner of his, and violently pulled her hair. On another occasion he had bruised her wrist and she had taken pictures of the injuries with her cell phone camera.[24][25][26]


Chahal appeared on an episode of the Fox TV reality show Secret Millionaire, where he went undercover in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco and gave away $110,000 of his own money.

Chahal has also been actively involved with Pace University and in 2010 launched the Gurbaksh Chahal - Entrepreneurial Scholarship Program.[27]

Inspired by the deadly events relating to the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting, Chahal founded the Chahal Foundation with $1 million of his own money. The foundation is designed to create awareness campaigns to stop future hate crimes, scholarships, supporting disaster relief efforts, and improving school in third world countries.[28][29]



Chahal founded, developed, and created the "ShareGraph" and was issued six patents by the USPTO in 2014 and 2015.

  • Building a social graph using sharing activity of users of the open web by creating an edge representing category type.[30]
  • Building a social graph based on links received and selected by receiving users of the open web.[31]
  • Building a social graph based on links received and selected by recipients and using graph to personalize content for delivery.[32]
  • Updating weights of edges of a social graph based on sharing activity of users of the open web.[33]
  • Building a social graph based on links received and selected by recipients.[34]
  • Building a social graph using sharing activity of users of the open web by identifying nodes in the social graph and adjusting weights associated with edges.[35]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

  • 2006: AlwaysOn Top Innovator of the Year [36]
  • 2010: Anokhi Awards, Excellence in Digital Entrepreneurship [37]
  • 2010: BusinessWeek, Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs [38]
  • 2010: Pace University, Leaders in Management Award [39]
  • 2010: Darpan, Extraordinary Awards - International Sensation [40]
  • 2010:, X51 - India's Most Influential Business Man of the Year [41]
  • 2011: Most Influential CEO - Under30CEO [42]
  • 2011: Forbes Greatest Risks [43]
  • 2012: Light of India Awards 2012: People's Award for Excellence in Business Leadership [44]
  • 2012: Light of India Awards 2012: Amrapali Award for Entrepreneur of the Year [44]
  • 2012: iMedia's Top 10 Hottest Digital Marketers of 2012 [45]
  • 2012: Complex Magazine's: The 25 Richest Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30 [46]
  • 2013: Anokhi's Prestige Awards 2013: Tech Entrepreneur of the Decade [47]
  • 2013: San Francisco Business Times: Top 40 Under 40 [48]
  • 2013: Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award [49]
  • 2013: 40 Under 40 by Direct Marketing News [50]


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  2. ^ Ferenstein, Gregory (2011-03-29). "RadiumOne CEO on His McDonald's Rejection, Social Ads, and Do-Not-Track Legislation | Fast Company | Business + Innovation". Fast Company. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  3. ^ "Gurbaksh Chahal, the Punjabi NRI writer & millionaire entrepreneur". Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  4. ^ Zinko, Carolyne (October 26, 2008). "Advice from young millionaire Gurbaksh Chahal". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ "ValueClick to Acquire Click Agents". ClickZ. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  6. ^ "The Times".\accessdate=2015-03-01.  (subscription required)
  7. ^ [1] Archived September 9, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "gWallet raises $12.5M for more ethical virtual currency/offers system | VentureBeat | Business | by Dean Takahashi". VentureBeat. 2009-12-01. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  9. ^ McMahan, Ty (October 18, 2010). "New Ad Network RadiumOne Aims To Tap Social 'Mega Trend'". The Wall Street Journal. 
  10. ^ Swisher, Kara. "Exclusive: CEO Gurbaksh Chahal Fired by RadiumOne Board". Recode. Retrieved 27 April 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  11. ^ "It’s time for RadiumOne’s abusive CEO to go - Fortune". 2014-04-25. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  12. ^ Weissmann, Jordan (2014-04-24). "RadiumOne founder: Pleads guilty to domestic abuse". Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  13. ^ "Gurbaksh Chahal". 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  14. ^ Anthony Ha (@anthonyha) (April 21, 2014). "Gravity4 And Gurbaksh Chahal Sued For Alleged Gender Discrimination — Here’s The Complaint". TechCrunch. 
  15. ^ "Pace University Names Magazine Publishing Magnate David J. Pecker (’72) and Technology Entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal as 2010 Leaders in Management Recipients". Business Wire. 2010-04-07. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  16. ^ Sine, Richard (2011-04-11). "Success Secrets | Men's Health". Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  17. ^ Sabatini, Joshua. "DA: Internet mogul hit girlfriend 117 times over a half-hour period | Crime & Courts | San Francisco | San Francisco Examiner". Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  18. ^ Matier, Phillip; Ross, Andrew (April 19, 2014). "A bloody message for Leland Yee in the 1990s". SF Gate. 
  19. ^ ""G" Chahal goes to trial; video of alleged abuse tossed - San Francisco Business Times". 2014-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  20. ^ Hoge, Patrick (April 17, 2014). "Ad mogul Gurbaksh "G" Chahal pleads guilty to two misdemeanors, all others dismissed in domestic violence case". San Francisco Business Times. 
  21. ^ a b Nagle, Rob (September 9, 2015). "RadiumOne Worked to Save IPO Amid Scandal". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 September 2015. 
  22. ^ Swisher, Kara (2014-04-26). "RadiumOne’s All-Male Board Is Now Deciding Whether (Or Not) to Dump CEO Over Domestic Violence Conviction". Re/code. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  23. ^ Hoge, Patrick (May 19, 2015) "Exclusive: 'G' Chahal faces possible probation revocation after allegedly kicking a woman." San Francisco Business Times. (Retrieved 5-26-2015.)
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  27. ^ "Pace University awards Honorary Doctorate to Internet Star | Press Room - Pace in the News". 2010-04-28. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  28. ^ "Gurbaksh Chahal". 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  29. ^ Teri Evans (2012-08-21). "Serial Entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal Commits $1 Million to Stop Hate Crimes". Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  30. ^ "Patent US8892734B2 - Building a social graph using sharing activity of users of the open web by ... - Google Patents". 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2014-11-18. 
  31. ^ "Patent US8751621 - Building a social graph based on links received and selected by receiving ... - Google Patents". 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  32. ^ "Patent US9098872B2 - Building a social graph based on links received and selected by recipients and ...- Google Patents". 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2015-08-04. 
  33. ^ "Patent US9110997B2 - Updating weights of edges of a social graph based on sharing activity of users ... - Google Patents". 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  34. ^ "Patent US9117240B2- Building a social graph using sharing activity of users of the open web by ... - Google Patents". 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  35. ^ "Patent US9135653B2 - Building a social graph using sharing activity of users of the open web by ... - Google Patents". 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2015-09-15. 
  36. ^ "BlueLithium Named Top Innovator of the Year". Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  37. ^ "Shows | Episode 7". ANOKHI Pulse TV. 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  38. ^ "Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs 2010: GWallet - BusinessWeek". Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  39. ^ Zinko, Carolyne (April 29, 2010). "S.F. venture capitalist Keith Benjamin dies". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  40. ^ "A Recap Of Darpan Magazines Extraordinary Achievement Awards | 11 | 2010 | Darpan : Magazine, News, Entertainment, Lifestyle". Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  41. ^ "India's largest Online lifestyle magazine for Men. Offering tips & advice on relationships, fashion, office, health & grooming". Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  42. ^ "30 Founders Under 30 Who Are Shaking Up Industries". Business Insider. 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  43. ^ Lee, Jane. "Gallery: Big Achievers Share The Greatest Risks They Ever Took". Forbes. 
  44. ^ a b "TimesofMoney - Browser Check". Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  45. ^ "iMedia's Top 10 Hottest Digital Marketers of 2012 (slide 3 of 11)". 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  46. ^ Bracetti, Alex (2012-08-15). "Gurbaksh Chahal - The 25 Richest Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30". Complex. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  47. ^ "ANOKHI's 10th Anniversary Event". Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  48. ^ "Gurbaksh Chahal: CEO, chairman and founder, RadiumOne Inc". 
  49. ^ "Entrepreneur Of The Year Northern California regional program - EY - United States". EY. 2014-11-15. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  50. ^ "Honorees - Direct Marketing News". Retrieved 2015-03-01. 

External links[edit]