Sabeer Bhatia was born to a Hindu Punjabi family in Chandigarh, India. His father, Baldev Bhatia, was as an officer in the Indian Army who later joined the Indian Ministry of Defence, while his mother, Daman Bhatia, was a senior official at the Central Bank of India. Bhatia was schooled at the St. Joseph's Boys' High School in Bangalore. In 1986, he began his undergraduate education at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) in Pilani and was transferred to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) after two years at BITS. After graduating from Caltech, Sabeer went to Stanford University in 1989 to pursue his M.S. in Electrical Engineering. At Stanford, he worked on Ultra Low Power VLSI Design.
At Stanford, he got inspired by entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs and Scott McNealy and eventually decided to become one himself. Instead of pursuing a Ph.D. after his Masters, he decided to join Apple.
Founder of Hotmail
Sabeer Bhatia joined a startup company called Firepower Systems Inc, where he spent two years. In 1994, Sabeer started working on new ideas for the Internet and he teamed up with Jack Smith, a colleague from Apple Computer, Inc.
The two came up with the concept of a web-based database entitled Javasoft. While pursuing this idea, they subsequently realized the potential of a web-based e-mail system and thus decided to create one called HoTMaiL (the uppercase letters spelling out HTML—the language used to write the base of a webpage). In order to attract attention, the e-mail service was provided for free and revenue was obtained through the advertising on the website. Draper Fisher Ventures invested $300,000 on the project and the service was launched on July 4, 1996.
In less than six months, the website attracted over 1 million subscribers. As the interest in the web-based email provider increased, Microsoft eventually took notice and on December 30, 1997 (Bhatia's 29th birthday), Hotmail was sold to Microsoft for a reported sum of $400 million.
After selling Hotmail, Bhatia worked at Microsoft for about a year and in April 1999, he left the company to start another website, Arzoo Inc, which was shut down when the dot-com bubble burst. In 2010, he relaunched Arzoo as a travel portal.
He started (alongside co-founders Shiraz Kanga and Viraf Zack) BlogEverywhere, a website attempting to capitalise on the emerging blogosphere.
In 2006, he became an angel investor for NeoAccel, a network security vendor and maker of SSL VPN-Plus.
In November 2007, he released an online office alternative to Microsoft Office, called Live Documents. This application allows users to use their documents both offline and online, edit, collaborate and share documents in real-time with others, and sync documents between various computers and users. Users can also download their Microsoft Office plug-in, which allows them to get the best of offline and online offices suites, along with full compatibility for all office document formats.
He has also pushed for enabling access to the internet through cable television in Indian homes.
In January, 2008, Sabeer announced the launch of his latest venture SabSeBolo.com, a free web-based teleconferencing system ("Sab Se Bolo" means "(Let's) Talk To Everyone" in Hindi). On 14 June 2009, Sabeer Bhatia's SabseBolo acquired Jaxtr, the internet telephone service startup for an undisclosed amount. Jaxtr will function with the same brand name and help SabseBolo with its large userbase.
He married Tania Sharma, heiress of the Baidyanath group, in 2008. They have known each other for eight years as friends. They were married in a private ceremony in Langkawi, Malaysia. They divorced in 2013!
- "Entrepreneur of the Year," Awarded by the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (1998)
- Named to the "Elite 100," Upside magazine's list of top trendsetters in the New Economy
- Recipient of the TR100 award, presented by MIT to 100 young innovators who are expected to have the greatest impact on technology in the next few years
- Selected by the San Jose Mercury News and POV magazine as one of the ten most successful entrepreneurs of (1998)
- Named by TIME as one of the "People to Watch" in International Business (2002)
- ↑ Newsweek article entitled "Driving Ambition" on Sabeer Bhatia[dead link]
- ↑ Bronson, Po (September/October 1999). "What's the Big Idea?". Stanford Magazine. http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/1999/sepoct/articles/bhatia.html. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
- ↑ "Sabeer Bhatia launches SabseBolo.com". http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/blnus/15161206.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-18.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 http://topupguru.com/2009/06/14/sabeer-bhatias-sabsebolo-buys-jaxtr/[dead link]
- Interview in the Business Standard March 14, 2006
- P O Bronson's Book Nudist On the Late Shift . contains a fascinating chapter on Sabeer Bhatia's life in Silicon Valley and his story of funding, bootstrapping & selling Hotmail to Microsoft.
- Why Did Bhatia Walk Away From Bill Gates? Rediff - April 13, 1999
- Techgirl's blog photos of Sabeer Bhatia wedding, and bride