Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, Indians who acquired Google almost twice

If it weren’t for a lack of funds, Google today might be an Indian company. Yes, you read that right. The story begins in 1996. According to reports, Meet Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman were pursuing their PhD in Computer Science at Stanford University in 1996. While in college, they started their first company called JUNGLEE. JUNGLEE is a website that allows users to search for products and compare prices. During the same period, Sergey Brin and Larry Page worked on BackRub, Google’s predecessor.

Sergey and Anand were friends and had the same thesis supervisor. In 1998, Sergey and Larry offered to sell Google for just $1 million to Venky and Anand. Unfortunately, the Indian duo did not have the financial means to buy Google at the time. Later, Junglee was acquired by Amazon for $250 million in 1998. Their amazing story was first shared on LinkedIn by then went viral on Twitter.

The following year, Google gained popularity. Venky and Anand approached Jeff Bezos and convinced him to acquire Google for $300 million. They travel to Silicon Valley to meet Larry and Sergey but the founders of Google disagree. Larry and Sergey demanded a $1 billion ($1 billion) prize for Google and the deal fell through. Today, after 25 years, the value of Google has exceeded $1.5 trillion.

Despite acquiring Junglee, Venky and Anand didn’t stop there. In 2002, they formed a venture capital fund and successfully facilitated the acquisition of several portfolio companies. They also manufacture and sell Kosmix for $300 million to Walmart. In 2015, they launched another fund and have since funded several Indian startups.

Who is Venky Harinarayan?

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

Who is Anand Rajaraman?

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

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Jordan Carlson

"Zombie geek. Beer trailblazer. Avid bacon advocate. Extreme introvert. Unapologetic food evangelist. Internet lover. Twitter nerd."

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