Gurbaksh Chahal is an Indian-American Entrepreneur, Businessman, Author, Investor, Guest Lecturer, and Philanthropist. He has founded several internet advertising companies like ClickAgents, BlueLithium, RadiumOne, Gravity4, Taara Labs, RedLotus, and VendorCloud. Currently, he is the Chairman & CEO of VendorCloud company.
Gurbaksh has named him among the 15 best young entrepreneurs of the year, enlisted him among the 25 richest entrepreneurs under the age of 30, and was awarded the Technology Entrepreneur of the Decade at Anokhi’s Prestige Awards.
Gurbaksh Chahal was born on 17 July 1982 and his birthplace is Tarn Taran Sahib, Punjab, India.
At the age of four, his parents migrated to the United States during the aftermath of the Khalistani insurgency in 1985.
His father got a job in the Postal Service and his mother worked as an assistant to a nurse and resided in a one-bedroom apartment in San Jose, California.
Chahal was an average student during schooling and brought B and C grades in his studies.
He has claimed of been subject to intense racial bullying at a local elementary school and was also forced to remove his turban at knifepoint.
To support his family, he bought second-hand printers from the local market for $50 and resold printers on eBay for $200.
Chahal dropped out of Independence High School to pursue a career in Internet advertising but his parents wanted him to be a doctor.
Chahal bought the Dell.net and HP.net domain names in 1997 and sent a letter to the companies offering to sell the names back to them for ten thousand dollars but he started receiving cease-and-desist letters and had to give the domains back.
His father incurred losses in the stock market trading and later all of his family members had to work double shifts.
In 2012, he created the Chahal Foundation, which supports the families of hate crime victims, educational scholarships, combats child trafficking in India, and helps in disaster relief efforts in India.
Since 2019, Chahal has been in a relationship with Punjabi film actress Rubina Bajwa and on October 23, 2021, Chahal and Bajwa got engaged in San Francisco.
After dropping out of school, he launched a digital advertising company with the name ”ClickAgents” in 1998.
The company was focused on performance-based advertising, along the lines of DoubleClick, which was among the first of its kind pay-per-click networks.
In 2000, it was acquired by ‘ValueClick’ in an all-stock deal valued at nearly $40 million, which paid his parent’s mortgages lifting them out of poverty, and made him an overnight millionaire.
In 2004, he founded ”BlueLithium”, a company that specialized in behavioral targeting, a technique whereby web users’ habits online are tracked in order to show customized ads.
After two years the company received the title of Top Innovator of the Year for 2006 and it had expanded operations to foreign countries, having purchased AdRevolver.
Later, he founded a social network site called ”MingleNow”, which was accorded a partnership deal by Anheuser Busch.
In 2007, BlueLithium along with MingleNow was acquired by Yahoo for $300 million but Chahal remained CEO during the interim period.
BlueLithium was the fifth-largest ad network in the USA and second-largest in the UK, at the time of sale.
In 2009, Chahal launched another venture ”gWallet” that partnered with brand and game developers to bring users virtual currency offers.
The startup worked directly with brands like Disney, Best Buy, K-Mart, Nestle, and The History channel using their video campaigns on the social network.
The startup’s research showed that only 2-4% of users chose to pause a video game and opt to explore brand offers and engagement by most games was not very effective.
After that, they introduced a concept of a brand bar on the gameplay screen which would allow the users to view advertisements while playing a game, and eventually raised $10 million in funding.
In 2010, Chahal founded ”RadiumOne”, which started as a loyalty and rewards program but later, migrated to a targeted-advertising domain.
Later, RadiumOne was purchased by RhythmOne for US$22 million in 2017.
In 2014, he launched ”Gravity4”, the main area of business was gathering useful customer data regarding their user experience to allow marketers to improve their ad targets.
This company also started working in the AI sector and launched a marketing cloud for blockchain.
In 2019, Chahal founded ”TaaraLabs”, an incubator helping build companies that solve problems in the fields of artificial intelligence, IoT, and data sciences.
Later that year, he founded ”RedLotus”in Hong Kong, which specializes in AI-based targeted advertising.
In 2020, Chahal founded ”ProcureNet”, which is a supplier of pharmaceutical materials and vaccine consumables and a subsidiary of VendorCloud.
ValueClick at $40 Million
Yahoo at $300 Million
RhythmOne at $22 Million
Honors and Awards
In 2010, Bloomberg Businessweek named him among the ”15 best young entrepreneurs of the year”.
In 2011, Men’s Health awarded him the seventh spot in the list of the world’s fittest and richest men.
Gurbaksh Chahal’s alma mater Evergreen Valley College awarded him an honorary degree in Business Administration and Pace University conferred him the Leaders in Management Award and an Honorary Doctorate in Commercial Sciences.
Business Insider included him in their “30 under 30 to watch” list in 2011.
In 2012, Complex magazine named him on a list of the 25 richest entrepreneurs under the age of 30, and also received the Light of India Amrapali Young Achievers award.
Gurbaksh Chahal was nominated and awarded the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award for RadiumOne in 2013.
In 2013, he was named one of the Ernst and Young entrepreneurs of the year and was awarded the Technology Entrepreneur of the Decade at Anokhi’s Prestige Awards 2013.
He was recognized as an ”Entrepreneur Extraordinaire” in January 2014 by Darpan Magazine.
In 2019, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee honored him for his contributions made to the field of entrepreneurship.
In 2012, after the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting, he committed US$1.0 million to Be Proud charitable foundation.
Gurbaksh Chahal is committed to evolving Punjab as the next tech capital of India and creating over a million jobs for the youth populace by 2030 through suitable investments.
In 2020, Chahal donated face masks, test kits, personal protective equipment, and ventilators to hospitals across several countries including Hong Kong and India during the Coronavirus pandemic.