Nineteen-year-old Sahil Lavingia’s online payments company Gumroad has raised $7 million in its first round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, according to the young entrepreneur’s blog.
Young people are making bank in Silicon Valley, and interestingly, Lavingia is in the process of writing a book on Gumroad, tentatively entitled “Building a Billion Dollar Company” – reminiscent of the recent Instagram acquisition by Facebook. Incidentally, Instagram was founded by twenty-somethings Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger – and sold for a billion dollars. Technical knowhow and a bit of luck trumps business experience in the sector.
Gumroad incorporates a link-based payment system, bypassing some of the typical steps, to make processing easier for small businesses and content creators. The startup competes with services like PayPal and Google Checkout. Lavingia founded Gumroad in 2011, after a brief stint at Pinterest. Before Pinterest, Lavingia dropped out of the University of Southern California, though won’t pull a Scott Thompson, having written about it openly on his blog.