Photo by David Bohnett Foundation
Photo by David Bohnett Foundation/Kirk McKoy

David Bohnett


Baroda Ventures




Baroda Ventures




David Bohnett Foundation





What makes David Bohnett a Global Shaker?

David Bohnett co-founded GeoCities, one of the world’s first social networking and web hosting sites. He is also the founder of Baroda Ventures and the David Bohnett Foundation.

In 1994, David founded what went on to be one of the top four most trafficked sites in the world—Geocities. Although the creation of user-generated content dominates the internet today, it was difficult for David and his co-founder John Rezner to convince investors to take a chance on the project.

“I remember so many meetings where people would say, ‘Why would someone want to look at a page created by someone else? Why would they want to look at someone’s page about golf or about horticulture or about finance as opposed to a professional editorial?’ and I said, ‘Because that’s what people want to do. They want to share their knowledge with other people and they want to connect with them,” David said in an interview with Internet History Podcast. “It was many, many, many people who remained unconvinced on that score, but I was a passionate advocate of the integrity and the validity of user-generated content. In order to acquire all this content, we gave away the sites for free.”

In 1998, Geocities became publicly traded on NASDAQ, and in 1999, the site was acquired by Yahoo!

The technology entrepreneur founded Baroda Ventures in 1998. The venture capital firm focuses on pre-seed and seed stage investments in the consumer internet, e-commerce, mobile, SaaS, blockchain and digital media industries.

After selling GeoCities to Yahoo, David dove into philanthropy and activism. He founded the David Bohnett Foundation to focuses on organisations that pursue societal change and social justice through activism by offering funding, technology, and technical support. In the charity’s first year of operation, it donated $2 million to LGBT organizations, AIDS services, gun control programs and voter registration programmes. As of 2019, the foundation has donated over $112 million.

David is also a founding member of the Los Angeles chapter of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). He is also a trustee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Foundation for AIDS Research. David is on the board of directors of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council and the board of trustees of the University of Southern California (USC), his alma mater. At the time, USC was one of the only universities in the US that had a computer science programme, which prompted his decision to attend.

Tags: internet trends, LGBTQ+, philanthropy, social networking

Last updated: June 12, 2020