Nirav Tolia was born and raised in Texas by his Indian parents. His dad was a physician, but Nirav didn’t follow his parent’s profession. He preferred arts and later became deeply entrenched in entrepreneurship. The young chap attended a private school and proceeded to college. He got a B.A in English from Stanford University.
Life as an Employee
Yahoo is a popular search engine company which got the spotlight in the late 1990s. In its early days, Nirav was among Yahoo’s first 100 employees. He served the company as an associate producer for three years.
Career Growth: Life as a Founder
During his time at Yahoo, Nirav began exploring business ideas. He founded Round Zero, a profit platform where business experts shared ideas. Next, he co-founded Epinions alongside Angellist’s Naval Ravikant, Ramanathan Guha, and other top business moguls.
Epinions was an online consumer review platform. The company barely started to generate profit when other founders left, aside from Nirav. He said, “we thought we couldn’t continue what we started. We had no feasible business model.” Jump to 2003, Dealtime acquired the company and rebranded it to Shopping.com. With this, Nirav’s position changed from CEO to COO. Also, the former co-founders’ share went to zero.
Nirav stuck with Shopping.com, which went public–bringing in big gains. It had a $750 million valuation on October 30, 2004. Nirav’s share was worth $20 million.
In 2005, eBay acquired Shopping.com in a $634 million deal. Nirav, along with some close-knit friends, founded another startup in 2010. They established Nextdoor, a hyperlocal social platform. The company raised $200 million in the year of launch. He served as the CEO for eight years, stepping down in 2018. Nirav is also a member of Nextdoor’s board of directors.
Getting involved in policy-making and advisory
Nirav is a board member of several companies including Palmetto and Bestow Life Insurance. He has also served as an astute investor & advisor to Zillow, SurveyMonkey, Trigo, Clubhouse, and Jawbone.