Naval Ravikant is a cusp of entrepreneur, angel investor and author. He has invested in more than 100 companies including Uber and Twitter. Naval is known to have redefined his way of living in his own unique ways, and he is also very open to sharing his learning’s, his experiences and the habits that have made him what he is today.
Let us have a glance at 15 things that you probably did not know about this investor.
1.Moved to New York city
Naval was born in India in 1974. At the age of nine his parents moved to New York with him and his siblings. He grew up in Big Apple (that’s what it was called) he had got early exposure to the world of technology.
He is married and settled in San Francisco Bay Area, California.
He completed his schooling from Stuyvesant High School. He did his bachelor in Computer science and economics from Dartmouth College in 1995.
3.An avid reader
Naval loves reading books, he started reading at a young age. The library was his after school center. That time he would read whatever he got his hand on. Here’s what he said:
“At any given time, I’m at probably about 50 books on my Kindle, and probably about six or seven hard-cover or soft-cover books that I’m cycling through. I opened up my Kindle. I look through. Based on my mood, I’ll flip through to whatever book matches my mood. I’ll flip to whatever part of it looks the most interesting, and I’ll just read that part. I don’t read in the sequential order. The most important thing that does for me is it lets me read on a regular basis.”
Naval is a member of the board of Zcash Foundation. It is nonprofit which is focused on financial privacy. Their mission is to be a public charity dedicated to building internet payment and privacy infrastructure for the public good, primarily serving the users of the Zcash protocol and blockchain.
5.Start of career
Naval started his profession as a programmer after completing his college. He worked for many big companies.
- In 1996 he joined Exite@Home which is a high speed cable service provider.
- After this he joined Intrinsic graphics which became Google Earth.
- BOSTON Consulting Group where he taught the staff how to hijack the fax line for dial-up.
- In 1999 he co-founded Epinions, a consumer review site.
6.Change of course
After few years of being employed he decided to change course of his life and moved to Silicon Valley where he became an entrepreneur and found the company Epinions.com which was bought by Dealtime later who changed the name to Shopping.com and went public in 2003.
While Naval was in Silicon Valley he went through an unsatisfactory phase while acting as a partner at a venture capital firm called August Capital. This company was sued by Naval, some of his co-founders and employees in 2003 stating that the company had shown false statements including documentation, business operations and financial affairs.
After which, Naval raised an Angel Investor fund which helped some of the top companies of today like Twitter, FourSquare, SnapLogic etc.
Although the suit was settled in 2005 for an undisclosed sum, it earned him a very bad name in the Silicon Valley. He was called as “radioactive mud” in Silicon Valley.
A rejected entrepreneur had started The Funded which let the entrepreneurs to share their grievances about their investors anonymously.
Naval moved on and in 2005 he started a classified advertisement marketplace called Vast.com.
9.Started a blog
A complaint was filed regarding Epinions financial affairs. This inspired Naval to start a blog ‘Venture Hack’ in 2007 with Babak Nivi to explain to starters how venture capital works, how to negotiate term sheets, which sections mattered, which provisions were bogus, etc.
He got the inspiration to start the blog after his episode of the legal battle which gave him knowledge about the mechanics and the rules around fundraising, it also made hi, realize that the entrepreneurs were not aware of so many things and that made them vulnerable.
Through his blog he covered most of the topics to make an entrepreneur aware.
In 2009, he started a Fund called The Hit Forge.
10.Idea to start
His friend Baka Nivi in 2010 offered him a deal which made him realize that most of the investors were not aware about all the start-ups and there was no connecting point. He made a list of 25 investors and kept them updated about interesting start-ups. In 2010 with a list of 50 angel investors who were willing to invest $8- million in start-ups Navel decided to launch Angel List.
11.Start of Angel list
Angel list was founded in 2010 in San Francisco; CA. Angel list is a website that connects startups, angel investors and start up job seekers who are looking to work at startups. The list provided online data to business people and helped them to do business transactions online. The platform had a mission to democratize the investment process and to help startups with their challenges in fundraising and talent. He became one of the most accredited angel investor who advised many companies like four square, twitter, Jambool (sold to Google) and many more.
12.Navel’s view on a typical day
Navel says he does not have a typical day and nor does he want a typical day. He wants to get rid of the concept of having to be at a specific place at a specific time.
He says : “All I care about is am I doing what I want to do, am I being productive, and am I happy” and “I really want to break away from this idea of forty hour weeks, or 9 to 5s, or roles, or jobs or identities. It just all feels like a straight jacket.”
In mid-2012 Naval brought about the Jumpstart Our Business Start-ups (JOBS) Act, also known as the Crowdfunding act by getting signatures from more than 5,000 entrepreneurs and investors via online petition. He made two trips to Washington to convince the Senate and Congressional staffers, Steve Case, and influential Congressmen.
The law was finally signed by President Barack Obama himself in 2012, which gained a lot of attention because it gave the ordinary people the power to invest in start-ups as easily as they invest in stock markets.
This stint of his along with AngelList earned Naval the high praise that he deserved in the tech world, thus helping him in restoring his lost reputation as well.
Metastable currency was co-founded by Naval along with cryptography expert Lucas Ryan, and former angel investor, Joshua Seims. It is cryptocurrency hedge fund which attracted investment from many top venture capital firms despite largely shunning publicity since its inception in 2014.
With lots of hard work and investing in more than 100 companies apart from his own startups he has made a name for himself and also become a millionaire. His net worth as in 2019 is $2.2 million net worth.