Naveen Jain

Naveen Jain

Business Executive, Philanthropist
Born 6 September 1959 (1959-09-06) (age 52)
Alma mater IIT Roorkee
Occupation Co-Founder and CEO, Intelius
Moon Express
Founder and Ex-CEO, Infospace

Naveen K. Jain (born 6 September 1959) is a business executive and entrepreneur. He is the founder of InfoSpace, Intelius, and Moon Express.[1] In 2000, Forbes ranked Jain 121[2] on their list of 400 Richest Americans with a net worth of 2.2 billion dollars.



Jain grew up in villages throughout Uttar Pradesh, one of India's most populated provinces, known for its low level of literacy, and in New Delhi. Later he moved to Roorkee, where in 1979 he earned an engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, and then moved to Jamshedpur, where in 1982 he earned his MBA at XLRI School of Business and Human Resources.[3][4]

Professional background

Early professional life

Jain left India in 1983 after being accepted to Burroughs via a business-exchange program to explore the emerging U.S. high-technology market. He worked at companies that included Convergent Technologies and Tandon Computer Corporation.[4][5][6][3]

Microsoft and MSN

In 1989, Jain joined Microsoft in Redmond, Washington, working in the capacity of Program Manager. He initially began working on OS/2 and then moved on to several of Microsoft's flagship products, including MS-DOS, Windows NT, and Windows 95. Jain is listed on three patents from his time with Microsoft.[7] He later moved to the development of the Microsoft Network. Jain left Microsoft in 1996 to form InfoSpace.[5]


Jain founded InfoSpace in March 1996 and served as Chief Executive Officer until 2000. InfoSpace provides metasearch and private-label Internet search services for consumers and businesses. While CEO, Jain was featured in several business publications with topics ranging from his personal worth (almost one billion dollars in 1999) to his energetic demeanor and personality quirks.[neutrality is disputed][5][8][9][10][11] By 2000, at the height of the dot-com bubble, Naveen was ranked 121 on the Forbes 400 Richest Americans, with a net worth of USD$2.2 billion.[12] He resumed the role of CEO in 2001,[13] but was forced out by InfoSpace's board as chairman and CEO in December 2002.[14] In April 2003, he resigned from the InfoSpace board. [15]


In 2003, Jain co-founded Intelius, a Bellevue, Washington-based Web security firm with annual revenues of $150 million and more than 350 employees.[3] Intelius specializes in public records information and offers service to consumers and businesses which include background checks and identity theft protection. Co-founders include John Arnold, Ed Petersen, Kevin Marcus, Niraj Shah, and Chandan Chauhan.[16][17]

The company has been subject to significant criticism and lawsuits relating to their marketing practices.[18][19][20]

Moon Express

In April 2011, Jain, Barney Pell[21] and Robert “Bob” Richards,[22] co-founded Moon Express, a Mountain View, California-based company that plans to mine the moon[23] for elements that are rare on the earth, including Niobium, Yttrium and Dysprosium".[24] The company was awarded a contract by NASA that "could be worth up to $10 million."[25] This Reimbursable Space Act Agreement allowed NASA to invest over $500K into the commercialization of technology developed by the company.[22]

Notable rulings

In May 2002, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman made a landmark $247 million ruling in favor of Thomas Dreiling, a small shareholder of InfoSpace who brought a lawsuit against InfoSpace as well as then CEO Jain. Under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, the judge ruled, Jain had violated six month short swing stock trading rules. Language in documents prepared by J.P. Morgan Securities incorrectly put control of stock granted to Jain's children's trust funds in 1998 and 1999 in the Jains' account without the Jains' knowledge. The judge ruled that Jain had in essence "purchased" the stock for nothing. During that same period, Jain sold $202 million worth of stock. Jain argued that he didn't intend to take control of the trusts and blamed J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc., among others, for the mistake.[26][27]

While the cases were in appeal, attorneys at the Securities and Exchange Commission urged the appeals court to reverse the ruling. Attorneys representing InfoSpace shareholders agreed to settle the case, fearing the weight of the SEC brief could result in a complete reversal of their ruling during the appeal process. In late 2004, a settlement agreement resolved the numerous related lawsuits, including the Dreiling v. Jain, et. al. Section 16(b) (short swing) case which was pending on appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Jain v. Clarendon America Insurance Company, et al. which was pending in King County Superior Court; Jain v. InfoSpace, Inc.; and InfoSpace, Inc. v. Jain, Intelius, Inc., et al. lawsuit, which was pending before the Washington State Court of Appeals. The Settlement Agreement expressly stated that each defendant in each of the resolved lawsuits denied liability, a standard outcome for settled lawsuits. Settlements are generally reached in legal proceedings "for the sole purpose of resolving contested claims and disputes as well as avoiding the substantial costs, expenses and uncertainties associated with protracted and complex litigation." Insurance carriers paid $65 million, adjusted to $83 million, and finally settled at $105 million as of March 2009.[28][29]

Following the settlement, Jain unsuccessfully sued J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc.; its lawyer, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C., and Perkins Coie — which jointly represented Jain and Bellevue, Washington-based InfoSpace from 1998 to mid-2003. Jain accused the securities professionals of negligence resulting in the misappropriation of his children's trust shares, but lower courts dismissed Jain's complaints, citing federal law which prohibits lawsuits blaming security companies for risky trades. The Supreme Court in March 2009 refused to hear an appeal from Jain of a decision against him from the Washington state Court of Appeals. Jain and his wife Anuradha had accused the defendants of being responsible for language in InfoSpace's initial public offering prospectus that contained errors, which ultimately played a part in the $247 million judgment against Jain.[30][31]

In early March 2003, InfoSpace sued Jain for allegedly violating noncompete agreements in his role at newly founded Intelius. In an interview after the suit was filed, Jain said the lawsuit was without merit and was a retaliation for Jain's whistle-blowing.[14] The court found in favor of Jain citing no evidence to support InfoSpace's claim.[32][9]


In August 2011, Jain was named one of the Most Admired Indian Serial Entrepreneurs by Silicon India.[33]

On April 25, 2011, The Times Group has awarded Jain the “Light of India Business Leadership Award” for “visionary entrepreneurship”.[3][34]

In 1999, Jain was awarded the Emerging Entrepreneur Award Winner for the Pacific Northwest Region by Ernst & Young.[35][36][37]


In May 2011, Jain funded a $1-million award for the “Digital Doctor” competition. The prize for this competition will go to the first team to build an easy-to-use, tablet- or laptop-based system that can accurately diagnose regional diseases afflicting people in developing nations.[37][38]

In 2009, Jain helped raise over $200,000 at a luncheon benefiting Overlake Service League. He and his wife, Anu, co-chaired the event.[39][3]

Board memberships

In June 2011, Jain was elected to the board of trustees of Singularity University.[40][3]

Jain co-chairs the education and global development initiative of the X Prize Foundation.[41][3][42] In this position, he has spearheaded several entrepreneurial incentive challenges to find solutions to agriculture, poverty, health and clean water. His current projects include Digital Doctor, which provides ways to give rural communities global access to primary care physicians. He is developing Addictive Education, which is a neuroscience-based program to teach students skills such as math, science and history.[43]

Naveen is one of the founders and a board member of The Naveen & Anu Jain Family Foundation, based in Bellevue, Washington, which focuses discovering sustainable solutions to enduring human challenges ranging from space exploration to the urgent need for safe and efficient cookstoves used throughout the developing world.[44]


Jain is married and lives in Medina, Washington.[2] He has three children, Ankur, Priyanka and Neal.[43][44]

Jain's son, Ankur, started his own venture called Starnium at the age of 12. In 2007, he started a society of collegiate entrepreneurs called the Kairos Society, which is dedicated to "solving the world's greatest challenges."[45] Within one year, the society went global. Now, it has more than 700 members.[45][46][47][37] The society is an advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Startup America.[45] Ankur graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2011, and is working on a business venture that will connect entrepreneurs with innovative technologies with established businesses in foreign markets.[45]

His daughter, Priyanka, is the founder and president of, a social network that connects philanthropically minded high school and college students with local opportunities to give. The United Nations Foundation named her a “Teen Role Model” and “Teen Advisor.”[37]


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  2. ^ a b Forbes 400, 2000 "World's Business Leaders - Forbes 400". Forbes. Forbes 400, 2000. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
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  7. ^ US patent 6357000  US patent 5655154  US patent 5434776 
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  14. ^ a b "InfoSpace severs final ties with founder Jain". Puget Sound Business Journal. April 28, 2003. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Former InfoSpace CEO faces $200 million fine". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. May 16, 2003. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Intelius, Inc.". Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Intelius Says it's Capable of Conducting a Full Background Check on Anyone". Seattle Weekly. April 11, 2007. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Internet Wizard Loses His Magic: Intelius Hit with Two Class Action Suits". Seattle Weekly. October 27, 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
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  20. ^ "'Deceptive' Intelius cheated thousands of people". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. August 9, 2010. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  21. ^ Caulfield, Brian. "Naveen Jain: 'Think Of The Moon As Just Another Continent'". Forbes. Retrieved August 16, 2011. 
  22. ^ a b "Moon Express Announces First Successful Flight Test of Lunar Lander System Developed With NASA Partnership". Moon Express. Retrieved August 16, 2011. 
  23. ^ "The New Space Biz: Companies Seek Cash In The Cosmos accessdate=August 16, 2011". 
  24. ^ "Moving the heaven to get some rare earth". Chennai, India: The Hindu. June 2, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  25. ^ Hennigan, W.J. (2011-04-08). "MoonEx aims to scour moon for rare materials". Los Angeles Times.,0,1715396.story. Retrieved 2011-04-10. 
  26. ^ Heath, David (August 23, 2003). "Ex-InfoSpace chief ordered to pay $247 million penalty". The Seattle Times. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Medina millionaire's rep takes another hit with $1.3 million Intelius settlement". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. August 10, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  28. ^ Heath, David (March 6-8, 2005). "Unusual ally came to Jain's rescue: SEC". The Seattle Times. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Settlement agreement reached in Infospace derivative case, section 16(b) case, and certain related cases brought by the Jains - InfoSpace Press Release". December 22, 2004. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Court turns down appeal from Infospace founder". The Street. September 3, 2009. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Supreme Court Refuses To Hear InfoSpace Founder’s Insider-Trading Appeal". March 10, 2009. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  32. ^ "InfoSpace's ex-CEO Naveen Jain wins ruling on trade secrets". The Economic Times. May 29, 2003. Retrieved August 23, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Most Admired Indian Serial Entrepreneurs". Silicon India. August 3, 2011. Retrieved August 29, 2011. 
  34. ^ "The Light of India Award Winners". Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Hall of Fame Main Search Page". Ernst & Young. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  36. ^ Stephen H. Dunphy (06/25/1999). "The Newsletter". Seattle Times Newsletter. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  37. ^ a b c d "Naveen Jain: A Visionary for the 21st Century". Leaders Magazine. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  38. ^ "Naveen Jain bets on incentivized innovation and incentivized pricing to make great products". Retrieved November 7, 2011. 
  39. ^ "Overlake Service League sets benefit luncheon March 19". Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  40. ^ "Singularity University - List of trustees". Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  41. ^ "Education & Global Development Prize Group". X Prize Foundation. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  42. ^ "From the exec suite: Q&A with X PRIZE’s Naveen Jain". The First Post. May 29, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  43. ^ a b "Singularity University Appoints Visionary Philanthropist and Entrepreneur Naveen Jain to Board of Trustees". Singularity University. Retrieved August 16, 2011. 
  44. ^ a b "The Naveen & Anu Jain Family Foundation - About". Retrieved August 16, 2011. 
  45. ^ a b c d "Ankur Jain, Founder of Kairos Society". accessdate=August 16, 2011. 
  46. ^ "Is your kid the next Bill Gates?". Silicon India. Retrieved August 16, 2011. 
  47. ^ "Meet the Best-Connected 21-Year-Old in the World". Retrieved August 16, 2011. 

External links

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