About Alexis Ohanian, the founder of Reddit
Alexis Ohanian is an American technology entrepreneur who co-founded Reddit.
Besides founding Reddit, he also co-founded Breadpig, and a travel search engine Hipmunk, in 2007 and 2010, respectively. Most recently, he co-founded Initialized Capital, a venture capital firm, with Garry Tan.
Born on April 24, 1983, in Brooklyn, New York, Alexis grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore. He is of Armenian and German ancestry - Armenian from the father, Chris, and German from the mother, Anke.
He graduated in 2001 from Howard High School in Columbia, Maryland, where he gave the student address for his graduating class. He then studied commerce and history from the University of Virginia, graduating in 2005.
Alexis, the entrepreneur
After the graduation, Alexis partnered with his UVA classmate Steve Huffman, to start a technology business. They took their first idea, MyMobileMenu, a mobile food ordering app, to Y Combinator. Paul Graham of Y Combinator wasn't impressed with the idea, but he did like Alexis and Steve. Paul said to them, "You guys need to build the front page of the Internet." This was the beginning of Reddit.
Alexis and Steve built the first version of Reddit in three weeks. Reddit was acquired by Conde Nast just 16 months, in 2006. The exact figure is not known, but it's believed to be somewhere between $10 million and $20 million. After the acquisition, Alexis continued to be associated with Reddit as a member of its Board of Directors, ultimately leaving in 2010.
In 2007, Alexis launched Breadpig, a firm that produces geeky merchandise and gives the proceeds to charities, like Khan Academy or Donors Choose. In 2010, he founded another company, Hipmunk, a search engine to find best prices on flights, hotels, and car rentals.
That same year, in June, he launched Initialized Capital, an investment firm that focuses on startup investing, advising and consulting. The San Francisco based company has made investments in numerous successful startups including Instacart, ProductHunt, and Patron, among others.
Alexis, the Internet Activist
In late 2010 and early 2011, Alexis spoke out against Congress' Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate's Protect IP Act. He launched the national anti-SOPA/PIPA protests that took place on January 18, 2012. Through his efforts and the grassroots campaign he led, the two bills were overturned.
In June 2012, Forbes called Alexis Mayor of the Internet for his work passionate activism. The same year in December, The Daily Dot named him number one in their top ten most influential activists of 2012.
Alexis, the author
In 2013, Alexis published a book titled "Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed on." The book ranked 4th on the Wall Street Journal's best-sellers list for Hardcover Business.