Former Google Employees Earn $4.3 Million For a Networking Platform

Former Google Employees Earn $4.3 Million For a Networking Platform

The co-founders of Palo Alto-based startup Key exclusively told Axios that the company has received $4.25 million to develop a networking platform targeted at IT workers.

The grant emphasizes a chance to assist employees impacted by the widespread layoffs in Big Tech.

The CEO of Key, Kushagra Shrivastava, and the president, Christopher Fong, are also the brains of Xoogler, an online community with over 32,000 members for past and present Google employees.

After working at Google for more than eight years, Fong started Xoogler in 2015. for one of the initial Xoogler events, he met Shrivastava, who had also worked for Google for eight years. Afterwards, the Xoogler Investment Syndicate was co-founded by them.

They started developing Key covertly last year when Xoogler saw significant growth fueled by layoffs, hiring 14,000 personnel in only two months.

“We are one of the largest tech communities, and we had such crappy infrastructure,” Shrivastava asserts.

Key provides resources for professional growth and networking. With chat and directories, it features community groups with a focus on particular businesses, universities, and startup networks. It facilitates the hosting and taking part in of hybrid, in-person, and virtual events.

Key is not yet profitable. The co-founders anticipate charging for membership fees, talent referrals, and talent recruitment in the future.

Involved were Liquid 2 Ventures, Alumni Ventures, Archangels Ventures, Startup Shibuya, MVP Ventures, Cerigo Investments, and Xoogler Ventures.

Aydin Senkut, managing partner and founder of Felicis, tells Axios that Key stands apart from other networking sites because of its emphasis on community.

“LinkedIn is all about the individuals and the companies,” explains Senkut. “Just having a Facebook page or some group is not necessarily the right answer here.”

Three months ago, the site went live in private beta for ex-Google employees, and a month ago, it was made available to select other communities. In the upcoming months, it intends to open to additional towns.