Google hired “Larry Gadea” a ‘brilliant’ Silicon Valley kid at the age of 18- now his setup serves more than 1,000 businesses and just scored $15 million
A successful entrepreneur built software called “Envoy” which announced a $15 million Series AINVESTMENT.
Very few people get the opportunity to work at Google at such a small age before entering college. But Larry Gadea, the founder of visitor-registration software Envoy, got a job at Google at the age of 18.
When Gadea was 8 years old he started doing programming and he used to love computers a lot. He was already writing games in high school.
He developed plug-in for Google Desktop Search that put him on Google’s radar. This feature would let the users to find and index files in their computers that Google Desktop Search couldn’t do. It made the search feature very useful and immediately it became super popular.
“Google Desktop Search didn’t allow plug-ins at that moment. Mine was a hack that made Google allow plug-ins,” Gadea told Business Insider.
Gadea received a casual email from Google when he was in his high school senior year. He was shocked thinking that he might have done something wrong. However, the email stated that “Why are you doing this stuff on your own? Why don’t you do this with us?”
He was very happy and excited as Google wanted him to join as a full time employee at an 18 year old age.
But there was one big problem: Google was not aware that he was so young. Being Canadian, Gadea needed a visa to work full-time in US, but he was not having a college degree so his Visa got rejected.
Thus, instead of working full-time, Gadea interned at Google’s Mountain View office during summer before going to college. After his completion of three-month’s internship, Google gave him another offer letter. They hired him as one of the first few engineers at Google Canada, and allowed him to work there part-time throughout his four years of college.
After Gadea finished his college he wanted to learn something new. At that time, Twitter was an up-and-coming startup, so he asked his boss at Google if she could connect him with the company.
Gadea said that his boss introduced him to Twitter’s cofounder “Ev Williams”. William took his interview and he got selected.
Gadea worked as a back end engineer at Twitter subsequently for three years. There, he created “Murder,” a data center optimization technology that played a big role in reducing “Fail Whales,” the term used to illustrate Twitter’s common crashes in its early years.
In the year 2012, Gadea wanted to try something new again and this time he wanted to establish his own company. He took a job break for a year to meet people inorder to find a startup idea. He got an idea when he met his friends at Apple and Google.
“It was strange that Google and Apple wanted you to type your information in a computer at the front desk, but smaller companies didn’t have that technology,” Gadea said. “Either the receptionist would leave the desk and find the person, or there would be no one at all.”
He later realized that the big companies had their engineers develop its own visitor check-in software. However, smaller companies didn’t have the resources to do that, leaving them open to greater security risk at their office.
Therefore in 2013, Gadea built software called “Envoy” that could be used at offices to check-in people and keep track of visitors. It would basically allow visitors to sign-in through an iPad app, and print out a name tag with their photos on it. This latest app can send push notifications to the iPhone and even show the person’s photo on the Apple Watch.
Rapidly this idea became successful and Envoy took off, signing up over 1,000 offices, including companies like Airbnb, Pandora, GoPro, and Tesla.
After this accomplishment on Tuesday, Envoy announced a $15 million Series AINVESTMENT by Andreessen Horowitz, with its general partner Chris Dixon joining the board. The new financing comes after raising $1.5 million from Silicon Valley bigwigs, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Quora’s Adam D’Angelo, and Yelp’s Jeremy Stoppelman in November 2014.
Dixon said “If you go around Silicon Valley today, almost every startup you go to has Envoy at the front desk. It’s sort of become a hit viral app”. “Larry is a genius. He’s just a classic scrappy, super brilliant Silicon Valley entrepreneur.”