If you haven’t heard the name Rafael Ilishayev yet, you will soon. As the founder of goPuff, he has led a $ 3.9 billion company that has captured the super fast food delivery market. Whether you fancy ice cream at 1 a.m. M., A beer at 11 p.m. Or some organic seaweed chips at 4pm. Ilishayev co-founded the company in 2013 with the help of his college classmate, Yakir Gola. Seven years later, the two are among a growing number of young entrepreneurs taking the world by storm. Find out more with these ten things you didn’t know about Rafael Ilishayev.
1. He started goPuff from his college dorm.
Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the only alumnus with a talent for creating great things from his bedroom. Ilishayev might come from an entrepreneurial family, but it was his experiences as a freshman at Drexel University in Philadelphia that gave him the impetus to start his own business. When Ilishayev met Yakir Gola on the first day of his Business 101 class, history was made. Within a year, the couple had started to leave their college dorm.
2. He was the first goPuff delivery man
He may now be the CEO of one of America’s most successful startups, but when Ilishayev founded goPuff, he was happy enough to serve as the company’s top delivery man. “For the first four months of the business, only Yakir and I made deliveries seven days a week, every day until four in the morning to anyone in our delivery area in Philadelphia,” Ilishayev recalled to technical.ly from then. At the time, his main customer base was students at Philadelphia’s three central universities, a group that can always be trusted to crave beer and ice cream at 1 a.m.
3. Flipped furniture to finance goPuff
The inspiration for goPuff came from Ilishayev’s frustrations with everyday shopping stores. “[The stores] It left a lot to be desired, ”he has since said. “On request it was essentially based on availability. They weren’t made for millennials. We thought, ‘There has to be a better way to do this.’ And apparently, there was. Lightbulb time came and with it goPuff was born. But it was not a direct trip to the top. Although the business quickly found an audience with students, it would be a while before college late-night snack cravings began to translate into hard cash. Meanwhile, to fund the business, its founders began selling office furniture on eBay and Craigslist. They proved themselves masters of fins and soon managed to raise over $ 50K – all that was needed, it turned out, to give goPuff the boost it needed to start its journey from the minor leagues to the fastest growing delivery service in the world. The USA.
4. Skipped class for deliveries
When goPuff began to accelerate its expansion plans, Ilishayev began struggling to balance the needs of the company with the needs of his university studies. The money also began to become a drain: the money they had earned turning furniture was enough to boost the business, but not enough to guarantee them a comfortable lifestyle. “Expanding through the first three cities was difficult because we were prepared,” he has since reminded NBC News. “We had no money to do anything other than minimal operations. We sleep in warehouses to save money that would have been spent on hotels. ” With both students spending 16 hours a day, seven days a week in business, their studies began to take a hit. “Everything else was secondary. Sometimes we had to leave class to make deliveries, ”said Ilishayev. Gola finally got tired of being so skinny and dropped out of college to focus on business. Ilishayev persevered; By the time he graduated in 2015, he had a degree in legal studies and a rapidly growing business to his name.
5. He’s a popular CEO
A company doesn’t necessarily need its CEO to be popular to be successful, but it will at least do wonders for staff morale. To say that Ilishayev is a popular CEO would be an understatement. According to Comparably.com, Ilishayev has an 88% approval rating, which places him in the top five CEOs in the country. You better get started on that job application …
6. Has been included in Forbes “30 Under 30”.
Ilishayev may only be 27, but he has shown that age is not a barrier to success. Since…