|Alma mater||Vanderbilt University|
|Occupation||CEO at Spring Free EV|
Sunil Paul (born November 12, 1964) is an Internet entrepreneur who launched Spring Free EV in 2021. He has previously founded companies such as Brightmail and Freeloader, Inc. He was the co-founder and CEO of Sidecar, a San Francisco, based an on-demand peer-to-peer taxi service that later pivoted away from ridesharing toward deliveries of various items.
Early life and background
Paul was born in Punjab, India. At the age of 4 his parents immigrated to the United States where he was raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Paul holds a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.
Starting in 1994, Paul served as an Internet Product Manager and Director of Corporate Development for America Online, Inc.
In 1996, Paul co-founded and launched his first startup with Mark Pincus, Freeloader, Inc., a web-based push technology service. Freeloader was backed by Fred Wilson and Softbank. Paul served as the Chief Executive Officer from January 1996 - June 1996 when Freeloader, Inc. was acquired by Individual, Inc., for $38 million. In 1998 Paul founded Brightmail (previously known as "Bright Light Technologies"), an e-mail filtering company, and raised $55 million in three rounds of venture capital led by Accel, TCV and Symantec. Brightmail was acquired by Symantec on May 19, 2004 for $370 million in cash.
Paul is an angel investor with investments in companies including LinkedIn, Solazyme and has served on the board of Zynga since November 2011. In February 2012 Paul co-founded Sidecar, an on-demand peer-to-peer ridesharing service with Jahan Khanna, Adrian Fortino, and Nick Allen. Sidecar was based in San Francisco, CA  and raised $10 million Series A funding in October 2012 from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Google Ventures. Sidecar operated in Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C. Sidecar closed on December 31, 2015. The company raised $39 million over its life and sold to General Motors in January of 2016. The price of the transaction was not disclosed, although a person familiar with the matter said it was less than the roughly $39 million that Sidecar raised.
Paul launched Spring Free EV in 2021, a fintech company designed to have climate level impact by accelerating adoption of electric vehicles.
- "Ride-Share Pioneer Has a New Company to Spur Electric Cars". Bloomberg.com. 20 September 2021. Retrieved 2022-03-28.
- "General Motors confirms acquisition of Sidecar's technology and assets (updated)". VentureBeat. 2016-01-19. Retrieved 2022-12-07.
- Constine, Josh. "Hail A Fellow Human, Not A Taxi With "SideCar" – The New P2P Uber". TechCrunch. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- Fones, Mardy. "From Startups to Success: VUSE engineers thrive as entrepreneurs in businesses large and small". Vanderbilt Magazine. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- Sreenivasan, Sreenath (30 September 1996). "The World Wide Wait: Don't Get Mad, Get Off". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
- Kincaid, Jason (2009-10-25). "Startup School: Mark Pincus Talks About Becoming A Great CEO, With Tony Robbins' Help". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2022-12-07.
- "Individual buys FreeLoader for $38 million". Advertising Age. 4 June 1996. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
- Fordahl, Matthew (20 May 2004). "Symantec to acquire anti-spam firm Brightmail for $370M". USA Today. Retrieved 20 May 2004.
- Riddell, Lindsay. "Entrepreneur Sunil Paul launches ride-sharing app". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- Geron, Tomio. "Sidecar Raises $10 Million From Google Ventures, Lightspeed". Forbes. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- Gannes, Liz. "Sunil Paul's Sidecar Ride-Sharing App Will Flag a Stranger's Car for You". All Things D. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- Parkhurst, Emily. "Sidecar launches ridesharing service in Seattle". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Geron, Tomio. "Sidecar Acquires Austin's HeyRide, Launches In Los Angeles, Austin, Philadelphia". Forbes. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
- Robertson, Adi (15 March 2013). "After suing Austin for the right to operate and failing, Sidecar expands ride-sharing to Brooklyn, Boston, and Chicago". The Verge. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- SLOANE, Garett. "Upstart Sidecar zips into Big Apple traffic". New York Post. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "General Motors Salvages Ride-Hailing Company Sidecar for Parts". Bloomberg.com. 2016-01-19. Retrieved 2023-02-01.
- Coben, Larry. "Time for the Gigaton Throwdown!". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
- Makower, Joel. "The 'Gigaton Throwdown' and the Big Hairy Audacious Question". GreenBiz.com. Retrieved 24 June 2009.