Predict your next investment

Angel Investor (Individual)
onstartups.com

See what CB Insights has to offer

Investments

60

Portfolio Exits

21

About Dharmesh Shah

Dharmesh Shah, founder of HubSpot, is an angel investor who generally invests upto $50K in young, emerging companies with a focus on seed stage SaaS/internet deals. He looks for technical founders on teams.

Dharmesh Shah Headquarter Location

Boston, Massachusetts,

United States

Predict your next investment

The CB Insights tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on venture capital, startups, patents , partnerships and news mentions to help you see tomorrow's opportunities, today.

Latest Dharmesh Shah News

Why Did The Founder of $17 Billion Company Build A Wordle Competitor Played by Over 6.5 Million People? Because There's No End Date for Doing What You Love

Jun 15, 2022

While WordPlay started as a way for Dharmesh Shah to motivate his son and scratch his programming itch, it also reveals a basic truth about entrepreneurship--and the nature of success. Illustration: Getty Images In 2006,  Dharmesh Shah  founded  HubSpot  with his friend and MIT classmate  Brian Halligan . Five years later, HubSpot served over 5,000 customers and ranked  33rd on the Inc. 500 . They didn't stop there: HubSpot went public in 2014 and today boasts a market cap of over $17 billion. Shah? He's clearly living the entrepreneurial dream. So you could be forgiven for thinking it sounds odd that Shah recently created  WordPlay , a web-based Word game -- think Wordle , except you can also do things like challenge friends and play group games -- that has been played by over 6.5 million people and averages 3.5 million weekly users. That is, until you understand why the founder of a $17 billion company created a word game. Shah loves word games. Like millions of other people, he played Wordle. Earlier this year his 11-year-old son was taking a sixteen-week Python programming course. Learning is always more fun when what you can do with what you learned sounds fun, and Shah wanted to find a way to keep him motivated and excited. "One of the things that keeps me up at night," Shah says, "is how I can teach initiative and drive  to my son. He's going to have it much easier than I had growing up. How do I ensure he adopts a growth mindset and builder's mentality?" So one Saturday night Shah built an app called FirstWord , a math-based tool that predicts how good a Wordle first-word guess might be. (To make the process more interesting, he decided to only give himself 24 hours to code and launch it to the public.) The next morning he showed the game to his son and said , "Look at what I built in Python. We're going to launch it together." Within hours they watched thousands of people around the world play a game  built in less than a day. Then, in classic entrepreneurial fashion, he spotted an opportunity. Since Wordle can only be played once every 24 hours, and practicing once a day isn't a particularly effective way to improve any skill, Shah decided to create a word game inspired by Wordle that built on FirstWord, and  WordPlay was born. "Cool," you might be thinking. "But doesn't the co-founder of a $17 billion company have better things to do?" Yes. And no. For starters, HubSpot itself was an "accidental" company. Shah started a blog, OnStartups , as a thesis project in grad school. According to Shah, without that blog he and Halligan would probably not have had the idea for HubSpot. And while having a plan is great, as Shah says, "Sometimes you do things that feel right. As long as you're learning something, enjoying it, and bringing value to people... it's probably worth doing."  (Or as Steve Jobs said , "Sometimes you can only connect the dots by looking backward.") And then there's this. What does Shah say when asked why he still codes? The answer is simple: It's what I love to do, and it's one of the few things I think I'm good at. It's funny, because if you're a best-selling writer, you keep writing. If you're a world-famous musician, you keep playing. But if you're a good software developer, you're expected to move into management in order to succeed, and writing code is seen as a "waste of time. "  I see it differently. To me, success is about honing your craft over years and years, and being one of a very few with a specific mix of skills... versus being a "manager," of which there are millions. Many of whom, I imagine, Shah feels are much better managers than he will ever be. While for many "success" is determined by external factors like numbers, metrics, or public profile, a better definition of success is whether you get to do work you enjoy. Work that leaves you feeling fulfilled, satisfied, and happy. Work that provides opportunities to learn. Work that gives you something to look forward to. Honing your craft to develop the specific mix of skills that you want to develop. Embrace other people's definition of success and, with time and effort and persistence, you can certainly build a "successful" business or career -- but the process may also leave you feeling hollow. The beauty of starting a business or side hustle or path you find interesting is that you get to choose what you want to do.

Dharmesh Shah Investments

60 Investments

Dharmesh Shah has made 60 investments. Their latest investment was in Racket as part of their Seed VC on November 11, 2021.

CBI Logo

Dharmesh Shah Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

11/17/2021

Seed VC

Racket

$3M

Yes

3

11/15/2021

Seed VC

doola

$3M

Yes

4

8/25/2021

Seed VC

Milk Video

$1.5M

Yes

2

7/20/2021

Angel

Subscribe to see more

$99M

Subscribe to see more

10

7/9/2021

Seed VC

Subscribe to see more

$99M

Subscribe to see more

10

Date

11/17/2021

11/15/2021

8/25/2021

7/20/2021

7/9/2021

Round

Seed VC

Seed VC

Seed VC

Angel

Seed VC

Company

Racket

doola

Milk Video

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Amount

$3M

$3M

$1.5M

$99M

$99M

New?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Co-Investors

Sources

3

4

2

10

10

Dharmesh Shah Portfolio Exits

21 Portfolio Exits

Dharmesh Shah has 21 portfolio exits. Their latest portfolio exit was InsightSquared on December 15, 2021.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

12/15/2021

Acquired

$99M

2

9/1/2021

Acq - Fin

$99M

2

8/3/2021

Acquired

$99M

1

6/2/2021

Acquired

Subscribe to see more

$99M

Subscribe to see more

10

4/15/2021

Acquired

Subscribe to see more

$99M

Subscribe to see more

10

Date

12/15/2021

9/1/2021

8/3/2021

6/2/2021

4/15/2021

Exit

Acquired

Acq - Fin

Acquired

Acquired

Acquired

Companies

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Valuation

$99M

$99M

$99M

$99M

$99M

Acquirer

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Sources

2

2

1

10

10

Discover the right solution for your team

The CB Insights tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on vendors, products, partnerships, and patents to help your team find their next technology solution.

Request a demo

CBI websites generally use certain cookies to enable better interactions with our sites and services. Use of these cookies, which may be stored on your device, permits us to improve and customize your experience. You can read more about your cookie choices at our privacy policy here. By continuing to use this site you are consenting to these choices.