The Amazon Mafia

July 21, 2023
Tech Mafias

Company "mafias" are all the rage, and we here at PIN love to dig deep into the most influential 'Tech Mafias,' especially since we're huge on democratizing access to startup investing by supporting communities with all the legal and bureaucratic work when it comes to setting up a community investment club.

Say hello to the grand Amazon Mafia this week. Collectively, they've raised over $32 billion in funding and founded over 720 companies across different verticals. They're for sure one of the strongest Mafia groups around. Below, we take a look at over 45 companies and who founded what, how much money they raised, and what their roles were at Amazon.

If you missed our previous posts, make sure to check the Twitter Mafia, Lyft Mafia, Stripe Mafia, Netflix Mafia, InstaCart Mafia, Dropbox Mafia, Revolut Mafia,Tesla Mafia,Square Mafia, Reddit Mafia and VMware Mafia articles. Investing in fellow coworkers' startups, especially as a community or alumni group, is one of the best ways to get in early on deals as well as support the ideas and ventures of people you love and admire. Who knows what's around the corner in your own network and community!

Companies Covered:

  • Sunstone
  • Spiral
  • Ankr
  • Vogo
  • Cashmere
  • Uprise
  • InTune
  • System1
  • Candidate
  • InstaCart
  • LegacyLabs
  • Nxyz
  • Gremlin
  • HashiCorp
  • Heyday
  • Base
  • Convoy
  • Coda
  • WhyLabs
  • Poised
  • Native Pet
  • Stylitics
  • Birchbox
  • Blue Origin
  • Hulu
  • BabyList
  • Blue Stone
  • Flipkart
  • Level AI
  • Redfin
  • Argent
  • Cashfree Payments
  • SigFig
  • Scratch
  • Oxygen
  • Chief
  • Shop Up
  • Perkbox


Founder: Apoorva Mehta
Amazon Role: Fulfillment Optimization SDE
Capital Raised: $2.9B
Investors: Sequoia Capital
Stage: Series F

Apoorva is the founder and Chairman at Instacart, one of the top online grocery platforms in the US that offers same-day delivery and pickup services for retailers and consumers.


Founder: Carolyn Childers
Amazon Role:
Head of
Capital Raised:
General Catalyst
Series B

Carolyn Childers and Lindsey Kaplan launched Chief in 2019, a private network designed for the most powerful women in executive leadership to strengthen their leadership, magnify their influence, and pave the way to bring others with them.


Founder: Armon Dadgar
Amazon Role: Software Development Intern
Capital Raised: $350M
Investors: Redpoint
Stage: Series E

HashiCorp is a remote-first company that solves development, security, and operations challenges in infrastructure.


Founder: Cate Khan
Amazon Role: SVP, Head of Retail at Quidsi
Capital Raised: $70M
Investors: Lightspeed Venture Partners
Stage: Series B

Cate is the co-founder of Verishop, a premium lifestyle company that offers everyday luxury in fashion, beauty, home, and more.


Founder: Stanley (Liangnan) W.
Amazon Role: Senior Software Engineer and Tech Lead
Capital Raised: $12.3M
Investors: DHVC
Stage: Seed

Stanley is the co-founder and CTO at Ankr, a Web3-native infrastructure platform that specializes blockchain development and decentralization.


Founder: Vimal Kumar
Amazon Role: Tech Lead
Capital Raised: $87.4M
Investors: Accel Partners
Stage: Series C

Vimal is the founder at Juspay, an online platform designed to be used for mobile-based payments. Juspay was started with the primary aim of revolutionizing digital payments in India.


Founder: Rajaram Gaunker
Amazon Role: Software Development Engineer
Capital Raised: $40M
Investors: Sequoia Capital
Stage: Series A

Rajaram is the founder and software engineer at Nxyz. Nxyz is on a mission to empower a new generation of builders and creators to build a better internet for all.


Founder: Kolton Andrus
Amazon Role: Software Development Manager
Capital Raised: $28M
Investors: Index Ventures
Stage: Series B

Kolton is the CTO and co-founder of Gremlin, the world's first "Failure-as-a-Service" platform helping companies avoid outages and build more resilient systems.


Founder: Alex DeNeui
Amazon Role: Software Engineer Intern, Personalization and Site Automation
Capital Raised: $240M
Investors: General Catalyst
Stage: Series D

Alex is the co-founder and CTO at Coda. Coda is a document collaboration platform that brings data and teams together. He also worked at Google as a Staff Software Engineer.


Founder: Grant Goodale
Amazon Role: Software Development Manager
Capital Raised: $1.1B
Investors: Y Combinator
Stage: Series E

Grant is the founder and CXO at Convoy, a digital freight network that moves truckloads and design solutions that address supply chain inefficiencies. He is an experienced engineering leader with a deep technical background and a passion for scalable and highly reliable code.


Founder: Gaurav Singh Kushwaha
Amazon Role: Sr. Software Engineer
Capital Raised: $100.1M
Investors: Accel
Stage: Series D

Gaurav is the founder and CEO at BlueStone, an omnichannel jewelry retailer that offers a variety of high-quality jewelry. Gaurav has been a part of Fortune 40 under 40 and Economic Times 40 under 40.


Founder: Binny Bansal
Amazon Role: Software Engineer
Capital Raised: $12.9B
Investors: Accel
Stage: Series J

Binny is the co-founder and Board Member at Flipkart. Flipkart operates as an online shopping website with a registered customer base of over 100 million. Flipkart is driven by the purpose of empowering every Indian's dream by delivering value through innovation in technology and commerce.


Founder: Ankur Jain
Amazon Role: Regional Sales & Business Development Head
Capital Raised: $68.1M
Investors: Prime Venture Partners
Stage: Series C

Ankur is the co-founder and CBO at Sunstone, a higher education company that offers career-oriented training interventions for undergraduate and postgraduate students. He is also a marketing professional with 15+ years of work experience in Telecom & Internet companies and has led businesses across domains.


Founder: Padmanabhan Balakrishnan
Amazon Role: Associate Vendor Manager
Capital Raised: $191M
Investors: Kalaari Capital
Stage: Series C

Padmanabhan is the co founder and COO at Vogo. Vogo offers transportation solutions in the form of self-driven rental scooters and cars.


Founder: Chuck Ursini
Amazon Role: Analyst
Capital Raised: $920M
Investors: Cannae Holdings
Stage: Public

Chuck is the co-founder at System1. System1 combines best-in-class technology & data science to operate the most dynamic Responsive Acquisition Marketing Platform (RAMP).


Founder: Ryan Agresta
Amazon Role: Program Manager
Capital Raised: $5M
Investors: Vulcan Capital
Stage: Seed

Ryan is the CEO and founder at Candidate, a marketplace that helps and incentivizes every person to be a recruiter for their network.


Founder: Andy Dang
Amazon Role: Senior Software Engineer
Capital Raised: $14M
Investors: Bezos Expeditions
Stage: Series A

Andy is the co-founder and Head of Engineering at WhyLabs. WhyLabs is an AI observability and monitoring company. He is passionate about big data and machine learning processes.

Native Pet

Founder: Daniel Schaefer
Amazon Role: Retail Leadership Development Program MBA Intern
Capital Raised: $6.9M
Investors: CAVU Venture Partners
Stage: Series A

Daniel is the co-founder at Native Pet, a pet food and nutrition company that makes organic and limited-ingredient pet supplements for dogs and cats. Native Pet is redefining pet supplements by harnessing the nutritional power of whole food ingredients to deliver organic, highly effective, and limited ingredient treats, supplements and chews.


Founder: Rohan Deuskar
Amazon Role: Product Manager Intern
Capital Raised: $99.5M
Investors: Trestle LP
Stage: Series C

Rohan is the Ffunder and CEO of Stylitics, the leading inspiration-led shopping platform that powers thousands of outfitting, styling, and gifting programs for a large proportion of the world's leading fashion retailers.


Founder: Hayley Bay Barna
Amazon Role: Product Manager
Capital Raised: $97.2M
Investors: Accel Partners
Stage: Series D

Hayley is the co-founder and Board Member at Birchbox, a New York-based online subscription service that specializes in makeup and other beauty-related products. Birchbox was acquired by FemTec Health.

Blue Origin

Founder: Jeff Bezos
Amazon Role: Founder, Executive Chairman
Capital Raised: $167.4M
Investors: NASA
Stage: Grant

Jeff Bezos also founded Blue Origin, an aerospace company that focuses on lowering the cost of spaceflight and helping to explore the solar system.


Founder: Jason Kilar
Amazon Role: Senior Vice President
Capital Raised: $683M
Investors: The Walt Disney Company
Stage: Undisclosed

Jason is the former WarnerMedia CEO and founding CEO of Hulu. Hulu is an online video service that offers a selection of hit shows, clips, movies, and documentaries through its website. He is a big believer in the powers of innovation, empathy and great storytelling.


Founder: Natalie Gordon
Amazon Role: Software Engineer
Capital Raised: $40.7M
Investors: Halogen Ventures
Stage: Series C

Natalie is the CEO and founder of Babylist, the leading marketplace, commerce destination, and go-to resource for growing families. Babylist is the generational brand in baby, leading the $67 billion baby products market as the trusted go-to solution for growing families.

Level AI

Founder: Ashish Nagar
Amazon Role: Product at Alexa AI
Capital Raised: $35M
Investors: Battery Ventures
Stage: Series B

Ashish is the founder at Level AI, a platform for businesses to automate tedious workflows and transform customer experience. Ashish has built two Silicon Valley startups before - Kinestral Technologies and Relcy Inc.


Founder: Dave Selinger
Amazon Role: Software Manager, Customer Behavior Research
Capital Raised: $319.6M
Investors: Tiger Global
Stage: Series G

Dave was the founder and CTO at Redfin, a provider of real estate search and brokerage services through a combination of real estate web platforms accessible to agents. Now he is the co-founder and CEO at Deep Sentinel.


Founder: Itamar Lessuise
Amazon Role: Product Manager
Capital Raised: $56.2M
Investors: Index Ventures
Series B

Itamar is the co-founder at Argent. Argent provides a smart wallet for cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications. Prior to Argent, he built Peak, the leading mobile cognitive training platform with more than 50 millions users, sold to Lagardere in 2016.

Cashfree Payments

Founder: Akash S
Amazon Role: Software Development Engineer
Capital Raised: $40.9M
Investors: Y Combinator
Stage: Series B

Akash is the co-founder and CEO at Cashfree Payments which enables businesses in India to collect payments online and make payouts. Akash has also worked as a Contract Developer at Google Summer of Code.


Founder: Mike Sha
Amazon Role: Business Intelligence Analyst, Data Mining and Fraud
Capital Raised: $119.5M
Investors: Bain Capital Ventures
Stage: Series E

Mike is the CEO and co-founder at SigFig, a financial services firm that dedicates in making high-quality investment advice to investors of all wealth levels. By partnering with SigFig, financial institutions are enabled to innovate quickly, empowering consumers with the experiences they need to achieve their financial goals.


Founder: Chris Walters
Amazon Role: Senior Software Development Engineer
Capital Raised: $17.3M
Investors: Index Ventures
Stage: Seed

Chris is the CTO and co-founder at Scratch. With the Scratch platform, borrowers have visibility and control over their debt.


Founder: Hussein Ahmed
Amazon Role: Engineering Manager
Capital Raised: $45M
Investors: Y Combinator
Stage: Series B

Hussein is the founder of Oxygen, a financial platform providing digital natives, creators and entrepreneurs consumer and business banking in a single app. He is a serial entrepreneur experienced in building teams with more than 20 years of experience and a Ph.D. in Distributed Systems.

Shop Up

Founder: Sujayath Ali
Amazon Role: Senior Product Manager
Capital Raised: $231.7M
Investors: Tiger Global
Stage: Series B

Sujayath is the co-founder and COO at ShopUp, a full-stack B2B commerce platform for small businesses. He previously co-founded Voonik. Voonik was India’s leading brand for value and mid-price fashion.


Founder: Chieu Cao
Amazon Role: Online Advertising Manager
Capital Raised: $29.7M
Investors: Molten Ventures
Stage: Series B

Chieu is the co-founder of Perkbox. Perkbox is a global benefits and rewards platform that helps companies care for, connect with, and celebrate their employees. It is Europe’s fastest-growing employee experience platform.

Rising Stars

Legacy Labs

Founder: Mike Masland
Amazon Role: Senior Product Manager, Prime Video
Capital Raised: $7M
Investors: Global Founders Capital
Stage: Seed

Mike is the co-founder at Legacy Labs, their mission is to build great games that empower players.


Founder: Shashank Khanna
Amazon Role: Software Engineer
Capital Raised: $3.7M
Investors: Y-Combinator
Stage: Seed

Co-founder and CEO at Cashmere which secures your treasury as a team with multi-sig actions.


Founder: Jessica Chen Riolfi
Amazon Role: Product Manager Intern, International Expansion
Capital Raised: $1.4M
Investors: Hustle Fund
Stage: Seed

Jessica is the co-founder and CEO at Uprise. Uprise is building private wealth management for all, backed by founders and execs from Stripe, Robinhood, SoFi, Cash App, and more. Uprise evaluates each customer's specific situation to deliver a personalized financial plan, completely free.


Founder: Rajib Prabhakar
Amazon Role: Software
Capital Raised: $6M
Investors: Bienville Capital
Stage: Seed

Rajiv is the Founder and CTO at InTune, a software startup that simplifies the workflow for the modern, productivity-focused repair shop. Rajiv raised $3M in VC funding off 8 customers with $60k ARR.


Founder: Samiur Rahman
Amazon Role: Software Development Engineer
Capital Raised: $6.5M
Investors: Spark Capital
Stage: Seed

Samiur is the CEO and co-founder at Heyday. Heyday is an AI-powered research assistant that helps you retain more of what you learn by resurfacing content you forgot about.


Founder: Elena Zhizhimontova
Amazon Role: Software Development Engineer
Capital Raised: $3.8M
Investors: Techstars
Stage: Seed

Elena is the co-founder and CEO at Spiral, a software company that focuses on building solutions for scanning customer feedback using AI. At Amazon, she worked on the Amazon Fire Phone Dynamic Perspective team.


Founder: Charles Hua
Amazon Role: Product Management
Capital Raised: $4.5M
Investors: Slack Fund
Stage: Seed

Charles is the co-founder and CEO at Poised. Poised is an AI-powered communication coach. During his time at Amazon, he led product teams at Alexa and built a new business at AWS.

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