Meet Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, the Indians who nearly acquired Google twice

- Advertisement -

Google would have been an Indian owned company today had it not been for the shortage of funds. Yes, you read that right. The story is from 1996. According to reports, Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman were doing their PhD in computer science at Stanford University in 1996. While studying, they launched their first company called Jangli. JUNGLEE is a website that enables users to search for products and compare their prices. At the same time, Sergey Brin and Larry Page were working on Backrub, Google’s predecessor.

Sergey and Anand were friends and had the same PhD advisor. In 1998, Sergey and Larry offered to sell Google to Venky and Anand for only $1 million. Unfortunately, the Indian duo didn’t have the financial wherewithal to buy Google back then. Later, Junglee was acquired by Amazon for $250 million in 1998.

The following year, Google gained significant popularity. Venky and Anand approached Jeff Bezos and convinced him to acquire Google for $300 million. They traveled to Silicon Valley to meet with Larry and Sergey but the Google founders refused. Larry and Sergey insisted on a billion-dollar price tag ($1 billion) for Google, and the deal failed to close. Today, 25 years later, Google’s value exceeds $1.5 trillion.

Cray trending stories

Despite acquiring the forest, Venky and Anand didn’t stop there. In 2002, they established a venture fund and successfully facilitated the acquisition of several portfolio companies. They made and sold Cosmix to Walmart for $300 million. In 2015, they launched another fund and have since provided funding to several Indian startups.

Who is Venky Harinarayan?

Dr. Venky Harinarayan received his B.Tech degree in Computer Science from IIT Madras in 1988 and went on to do his Ph.D. in computer science at Stanford, USA. Venky is an investor, entrepreneur and leader in search and e-commerce. He is the co-founder of Cambrian Ventures and Cosmics. He is Junglee Corp. So did its co-founders, which pioneered Internet comparison shopping. Junglee was founded in 1998 by Inc. was acquired by Venky is an active angel investor in India and Silicon Valley. He is one of less than 5 angel investors in Facebook. He is also a board member of Bangalore-based TutorVista, which was acquired by Person LLC in 2001.

Who is Ananda Rajaraman?

Dr. Anand Rajaraman received his B.Tech. in Computer Science from IIT Madras in 1993 and went on to do MS and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA. Anand is a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and academic. He is the co-founder of Cambrian Ventures, a venture capital firm. His investments include Facebook, Aster Data Systems, Neoteris, India Infoline, YouSendIT and several others. Anand was co-founder and CTO of Jangli Corporation and was instrumental in developing Jangli’s award-winning virtual database technology. Later, when Junglee was acquired by, Anand helped transform from a retailer to a retail platform.

- Advertisement -

Latest articles

Related articles

error: Content is protected !!