The FOUNDER'S Story
Peter Relan is the founder and mentor at YouWeb. After completing his graduate work from Stanford in 1992, Peter has spent the last 30 years as a serial founder himself in different fields of technology. He started his career working as a research engineer with one of the co-founders of TCP/IP, Dr. Carl Sunshine. During his time there, he co-authored a seminal paper on Network Management published in ACM Sigcomm in 1988.
Peter next worked at Hewlett-Packard on HP Openview, now a multi-billion dollar enterprise at HPE. Fueled by a desire to understand the business of technology, Peter attended Stanford University as an HP Resident Fellow from 1990-1992 in Management Sciences & Engineering where he was enamored by a class he took from Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel, and decided to focus on strategic innovations such as multimedia servers and streaming of video from (now called) cloud data centers.
In 1994, Peter was recruited by Oracle to their Media Server division, Larry Ellision's pet project, and helped pivot the division to internet based video streaming servers, and ultimately to Oracle's three tier computing architecture based on Java application servers and web based applications. He then became the VP of the Internet Server product division at Oracle to help build the Application Server product line for Oracle before entering the world of start-ups in 1998.
Peter was recruited away from Oracle by Benchmark and Sequoia capital to become the founding CTO of Webvan, the pioneering company that developed the online grocery delivery model using highly automated distribution and delivery systems. Although the company did not survive the dot com crash, the team went on to build Amazon Fresh and tune systems and distribution engine were sold to Kaiser Permanente. Peter has written extensively about the business model and unit economics of online grocery delivery and is an advisor and investor in a profitable online premium grocery delivery company in India.
In September 2001 Peter teamed up with his ex-Oracle colleagues to co-found a company focused on online fraud in banking based on a unique stream querying technology. The company was acquired in 2006 by Entrust, a public company.
Around 2006 Peter was also working with and advising a fledgling startup team (that was later to become almost a billion dollar exit). At the time he realized that many startup founders would need similar the advice and mentoring to achieve their dreams. He created YouWeb Incubator to provide small select groups of promising entrepreneurs with long-term mentorship and funding. Over the years, Peter has kept a finger on the pulse of society and helped build technologies that will create the most impact and benefit for all people. His methodology has been extremely successful, helping found and scale up huge companies in social & mobile gaming, IoT, and software. Currently, his focus has shifted to AI and the climate crisis.
In addition to mentoring founders at YouWeb, Peter currently serves on:
Founder’s Society of Brighter Children (an education non-profit)
Board of The Tech (promotes familiarity with technology to local Bay Area youth communities
Board of GotIt!
Co-founder of Got It AI
Advisory Board of the Institute of Carbon Management at UCLA
President of Dharma Karma Foundation
"While I seriously considered many options of funding and supporting my ideas, Peter and his team’s expertise was more valuable to me than anything I could find out there."
-JAKOB WILKENSON, FOUNDER OF AWEAR (COHORT III)
YouWEb THROUGH THE YEARS
YOUWEB IV IMPACT
EARTH, EDUCATION & EQUITY
YouWeb IV is touching on some of the most revolutionary concepts yet, some of which you'll have to wait to hear about! The founders in YouWeb IV are focused on social impact and are changing how we interact with each other and the planet.
SOFTWARE & AI
We saw the growth of AI, trust and safety, software based payments, and knowledge graphs. Because of our long term commitments to previous startups, YouWeb III became a place for founders to get early funding and occasional mentorship.
MOBILE & IOT
Innovation in the mobile, on-demand services and social space accelerated. Bluetooth and IoT also enabled several more opportunities including big data and data analytics. YouWeb created Studio 9+, which gave founders access to 9 months of access to 1:1 mentorship, and company building resources (design, development and marketing) to help create and launch cool new products.
YouWeb's inaugural cohort included founders that were inspired by the release of the iPhone and Facebook's API platform. Entrepreneurs-in-Residence created mobile and social games, cloud gaming engines and developer kits for those interested in creating their own games. It brought together brilliant founders who changed gaming forever.
IN THE BEGINNING...
Peter's first foray into venture capitalism and mentorship was with Threatmetrix, a cybersecurity and risk management company. It was started in 2005 by David Jones (CEO, President, and Founder) and Reed Taussig (CEO and President) as a fraud network and botnet detection company. Peter served on the board of directors and helped get the company funded by recruiting investors. Threatmetrix was a huge success and was acquired by LexisNexis in 2018 for $830 million USD.