The YouTube Mafia

July 21, 2023
Tech Mafias

In our weekly tech mafia series we cover the biggest tech mafias in Silicon Valley and beyond, taking a closer look at what companies former employees have started, how much money they’ve raised, and who their investors are.

What is a tech mafia group?

Disruptive startups like PayPal have produced a line of ex employees who go on to start their own influential startups. For example, employees who worked at PayPal went on to found companies like LinkedIn and YouTube.

This week we cover the 32 top startups founded by former employees of YouTube.

Quick stats on the YouTube Mafia:

  • Total number of companies founded: 103
  • Total amount of money raised: $1.4 billion

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, VMware Mafia, Amazon Mafia, SpaceX, Slack Mafia, OpenAI,Google Mafia, Pinterest Mafia, Shopify Mafia, Coinbase Mafia, Instagram Mafia, Skype Mafia and Qualcomm 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:

  • Airfox
  • Fireside
  • GreenPark Sports
  • KiwiCo
  • Tubular Labs
  • Uptime App
  • Moloco
  • Projector
  • Culture Machine
  • Epic
  • Berbix
  • Curated
  • Story Health
  • Omni
  • Tetrate
  • PlanetScale
  • Mozart
  • Strive
  • Column Tax
  • Lightmatter
  • Origin Protocol
  • Proxy
  • Otis AI
  • Courtyard
  • Boomerang
  • OkHi
  • IFundWomen
  • Carefull
  • Frame
  • Taki
  • Wethos
  • Grasshopper Kids


Founder: Sara Choi
YouTube Role: Media Lead
Capital Raised: $26.2M
Investors: Techstars
Stage: Series B

Airfox is a company dedicated to advancing financial inclusion. Through its brand banQi, Airfox has created a digital financial services hub that caters to underserved individuals and families in Brazil. The platform offers tools for managing finances, saving, and building wealth.


Founder: Falon Fatemi
YouTube Role: YouTube Business Development & Partnerships
Capital Raised: $35M
Investors: Precursor Ventures
Stage: Series A

Fireside, co-founded by Falon Fatemi and Mark Cuban, is a pioneering platform supported by prominent investors in technology, sports, media, and entertainment.

GreenPark Sports

Founder: Chad Hurley
YouTube Role: Co-Founder & CEO
Capital Raised: $53.5M
Investors: SignalFire
Stage: Series B

GreenPark's mission is to empower sports fans worldwide to build their ultimate fan community, connecting with like-minded individuals who share their unique passion.


Founder: Yu Pan
YouTube Role: Senior Software Engineer
Capital Raised: $10M
Investors: First Round Capital
Stage: Series A

KiwiCo offers a range of hands-on projects, products, media, and content aimed at fostering the creative confidence and problem-solving skills of young innovators.

Tubular Labs

Founder: Allison Stern
YouTube Role: Business Analyst, MBA Intern
Capital Raised: $31.8M
Investors: Canaan Partners
Stage: Series C

Tubular Labs is a leading social video intelligence company that provides a unified view of audience behavior and content performance across platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, and Twitter. Trusted by major brands worldwide, Tubular uses AI and human analysis to uncover insights from over 7.5 billion videos and 15,000 creators.

Uptime App

Founder: Patrick Walker
YouTube Role: Managing Director
Capital Raised: $20M
Investors: Caspian Capital
Stage: Seed

Uptime is a creator-focused micro-learning platform that offers accessible and engaging knowledge collections from leading media sources like Amazon, Apple TV, Disney Plus, and more. Users can explore a wide range of topics, including mental health, caregiving, and the metaverse.


Founder: Ikkjin Ahn
YouTube Role: SWE
Capital Raised: $191.6M
Investors: Tiger Global
Stage: Series C

Moloco is a global machine learning company that specializes in performance solutions to boost digital strategy ROI and accelerate growth. Their platform, powered by a machine learning engine, includes Moloco Cloud DSP for mobile advertising and Moloco Retail Media Platform for online retailers.


Founder: Trevor O'Brien
YouTube Role: Product Lead
Capital Raised: $23.5M
Investors: Mayfield Fund
Stage: Series B

Projector is dedicated to creating collaborative creative tools that cater to various visual communications needs, such as videos, GIFs, social media content, and presentations. The company is assembling a team of passionate innovators and makers who understand the impact of visual storytelling and are committed to delivering top-notch products.

Culture Machine

Founder: Venkat Prasad
YouTube Role: Partner Product Manager
Capital Raised: $21.5M
Investors: Tiger Global
Stage: Series B

Culture Machine connects creators, brands, and traditional media firms with targeted viewers through innovative digital strategies. They leverage data-driven insights to optimize content distribution and engagement, enabling effective communication and meaningful connections with audiences.


Founder: Kevin Donahue
YouTube Role: Strategic Partnerships
Capital Raised: $51.5M
Investors: TransLink Capital
Stage: Series D

Epic is a digital reading platform for kids, offering unlimited discovery and unmatched safety. With a collection of over 40,000 books, audiobooks, and videos from top publishers, Epic fuels curiosity and reading confidence in children.


Founder: Eric Levine
YouTube Role: Software Engineering Intern
Capital Raised: $11.6M
Investors: Mayfield Fund
Stage: Series A

Berbix simplifies online ID verification. Their instant checks help platforms verify age, combat chargebacks, enhance KYC, and deter marketplace fraud. Founded by former Airbnb Trust & Safety leaders, Berbix is also backed by Y Combinator and Initialized Capital.


Founder: Peter Ombres
YouTube Role: Principal, Business Operations & Strategy
Capital Raised: $141.5M
Investors: Greylock
Stage: Series C

Curated, established in 2017, aims to bring a human touch to online shopping. Their collaborative platform connects shoppers with passionate experts for personalized advice and product recommendations. Through their expert community, Curated offers flexible income opportunities based on individual interests.

Story Health

Founder: Nikhil Roy
YouTube Role: Product Manager
Capital Raised: $26.6M
Investors: General Catalyst
Stage: Series A

Story Health, a pioneer in virtual care and AI technology, bridges the gap between clinical data and patient reality. By empowering specialists with adaptive systems, they optimize treatment for patients with serious illnesses.


Founder: Jamie Davidson
YouTube Role: Product Manager
Capital Raised: $26.9M
Investors: First Round Capital
Stage: Series A

Omni is revolutionizing the world of business intelligence with its unique approach, offering a shared data model for consistency and the flexibility of SQL.


Founder: Varun Talwar
YouTube Role: Partner Product Manager, You Tube Live
Capital Raised: $52.5M
Investors: 8VC
Stage: Series B

Tetrate is a provider of application networking and security solutions. Leveraging renowned open-source projects such as Istio and Envoy, Tetrate delivers a comprehensive suite of products, including service mesh and API gateway.


Founder: Sugu Sougoumarane
YouTube Role: Software Engineer
Capital Raised: $105M
Investors: BoxGroup
Stage: Series C

PlanetScale is a groundbreaking serverless database platform designed explicitly for developers.


Founder: Saureen Shah
YouTube Role: Software Engineer
Capital Raised: $3M
Investors: Nima Capital
Stage: Pre-Seed

Mozart provides a comprehensive digital asset infrastructure tailored for game studios, empowering them to enhance their gaming experiences. Studios can set up in-game stores, establish a peer-to-peer marketplace for asset trading, seamlessly integrate Web3 and NFT capabilities, and utilize a user-friendly no-code dashboard for asset management.


Founder: Will Houghteling
YouTube Role: Product Marketing Manager
Capital Raised: $3.8M
Investors: Upfront Ventures
Stage: Seed

Strive is a management training and leadership development platform that helps companies build high-performing teams.

Column Tax

Founder: Michael R. Bock
YouTube Role: Software Engineer
Capital Raised: $26.8M
Investors: Bain Capital Ventures
Stage: Series A

Column Tax is on a mission to democratize access to financial help and revolutionize tax solutions by providing year-round, API-first tax products that integrate seamlessly into everyday financial apps.


Founder: Thomas Graham
YouTube Role: Product Manager MBA Intern
Capital Raised: $113M
Investors: Spark Capital
Stage: Series B

Lightmatter is at the forefront of redefining the capabilities of computers and human potential. Their photonic computing platform is poised to power groundbreaking discoveries, drive progress, and support the rapid growth of AI while prioritizing energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

Origin Protocol

Founder: Matthew Liu
YouTube Role: Product Manager
Capital Raised: $38.2M
Investors: Foundation Capital
Stage: Seed

Origin Protocol brings NFTs and DeFi to the masses. Their NFT platform hosts high-profile drops, and Origin Dollar (OUSD) is the first stablecoin earning automatic yield.


Founder: Simon Ratner
YouTube Role: Engineer
Capital Raised: $58.8M
Investors: Y Combinator
Stage: Series B

Proxy is empowering individuals to reclaim their data and privacy in the web3 world. They are creating a personal proxy, allowing people to have control over how they are identified by the services they use. With a focus on decentralization and self-sovereign identity, Proxy aims to make web3 and its benefits accessible to everyone.

Rising Stars

Otis AI

Founder: Rodolphe Ködderitzsch
YouTube Role: Global Head of Partner Sales
Capital Raised: $3.5M
Investors: Future Labs
Stage: Seed

Otis AI is an all-in-one digital marketing platform for startups and small businesses. It simplifies data-driven campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Google, TikTok, and YouTube.


Founder: Nicolas le Jeune
YouTube Role: Strategic Partner Manager, TV & Film
Capital Raised: $7M
Investors: Y Combinator
Stage: Seed

Courtyard revolutionizes the collection and trade of physical assets by securely tokenizing them into NFTs. Through blockchain and NFT technology, Courtyard enables the seamless collection, sale, and earning of passive income from assets like trading cards, comics, and coins.


Founder: Philip Inghelbrecht
YouTube Role: Head of Sports and Entertainment Partnerships
Capital Raised: $2.8M
Investors: GGV Capital
Stage: Seed

Boomerang specializes in reuniting people with their lost belongings. Using advanced technology, Boomerang's platform searches for matches to help retrieve lost items.


Founder: Timbo Drayson
YouTube Role: Product Manager
Capital Raised: $5.5M
Investors: Aaron Fu
Stage: Seed

OkHi is a smart addressing system with a mission to empower the 4 billion people without an address.


Founder: Karen Cahn
YouTube Role: Head of Sales, YouTube Partners and Branded Entertainment
Capital Raised: $2.4M
Investors: Rebecca Minkoff
Stage: Seed

IFundWomen is a leading funding marketplace dedicated to women-owned businesses and their supporters. They provide a comprehensive platform that offers access to capital, coaching, and connections.


Founder: Max Goldman
YouTube Role: Product
Capital Raised: $3.2M
Investors: Bessemer Venture Partners
Stage: Seed

Carefull is a pioneering company dedicated to assisting financial caregivers who are responsible for the financial welfare of their aging parents. W


Founder: Kendall Bird
YouTube Role: B2B Product Marketing Manager
Capital Raised: $3M
Investors: Maven Ventures
Stage: Seed

Frame Therapy is a mental health marketplace that empowers therapists to expand their private practices and connect with new clients. Through easily digestible content, self-paced courses, and live group discussions led by therapists, Frame Therapy offers a scalable platform for growth and support.


Founder: Sakina Arsiwala
YouTube Role: Head of International
Capital Raised: $3.5M
Investors: Coinbase Ventures
Stage: Seed

Taki is a unique social network that operates on a token-based system, allowing users to earn a daily income. As a part of the Rally Network, an innovative blockchain ecosystem, Taki brings together creators, fans, and developers to establish creator-owned economies.


Founder: Kay Ablamsky
YouTube Role: Vlogger & Youtube Partner
Capital Raised: $12.4M
Investors: Everywhere Ventures
Stage: Seed

Wethos is the leading platform designed by freelancers, for freelancers. It empowers you to price your work with confidence, streamline your payment process, and efficiently scale your business, all in one place.

Grasshopper Kids

Founder: Cristina Tcheyan
YouTube Role: YouTube VR Program Manager
Capital Raised: $1M
Investors: Techstars
Stage: Pre-Seed

Grasshopper Kids offers hands-on learning experiences for children aged 3-12. They bring experts to your home, making it convenient to schedule and book kids' enrichment activities.

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