Justin Kan is an American entrepreneur, investor, and web developer. He was born July 16, 1983, in Seattle, Washington. Kan is a former partner of the seed incubator Y Combinator and has founded several successful technology companies that include Atrium, Whale, Twitch, Justin.tv, Socialcam, Kiko, Fractal, and Exec. He has also founded his own start-up incubator called Zero-F and a hybrid incubator called Goat Capital.
Justin Kan attended Yale University from 2001 to 2005. He graduated with a bachelor of arts double major in physics and philosophy.
In 2003, Justin Kan and Emmet Shear founded an online calendar web application called Kiko. Kiko was headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company received $70,000 in funding from investors after its founding, and in 2006, Justin Kan decided to sell the company on eBay for a final selling price of $258,000. The company shut down operations in May 2008
On October 1, 2006, Justin.tv was founded in San Francisco, California by Justin Kan and Kyle Vogt. Justin.tv was an online community for broadcasting its users' livestreams. The platform originally had only one livestreaming channel for several months—a 24/7 "lifecast" of Justin Kan documenting his life. Justin.tv is responsible for popularizing the term "lifecasting." Justin.tv's second livestream channel, iJustine, launched on April 18, 2007, and followed a popular video blogger named Justine Ezarik. The company shut down on August 5, 2013, for the founders to focus on pivoting the company's focus toward growing Justin.tv's parent company, Twitch—a social livestreaming service dedicated to gaming.
Justin Kan, Emmet Shear, Kyle Vogt, and Omar Javed founded Twitch in 2007. It is a San Francisco-headquartered social livestreaming platform for gamers. The company was purchased by Amazon on August 25, 2014, for $970 million in cash.
In 2011, Justin Kan, Kyle Vogt, and Guillaume Luccisano cofounded a social video recording, editing, and sharing mobile application called Socialcam. It was purchased by Autodesk on December 4, 2018 for $60 million.
In 2012, Kan founded Exec, an on-demand service for the completion of simple tasks for a $25/hr flat fee. The company reportedly dropped the price of home cleaning services in each of the nine markets it was available in. Handy, a competitor of Exec, noticed the success Exec was having and purchased the company on January 14, 2014, in an equity deal worth less than $10 million.
In July 2016 Justin Kan, James Zhang, Ranidu Lankage, and Vicc Alexander founded Whale, an online question and answer (Q&A) community in which users can engage with influencers, experts, and celebrities.
In 2015, Kan founded The Drop, an online community forum for helping people discover electronic dance music. Kan founded The Drop with the goal "to create a constant stream of new electronic music tracks every day." He built the music streaming service using the SoundCloud API and an open-source curation interface known as Telescope. Justin Kan told reporters he made the company for fun and admitted:
I don't think it's ever really going to make money. It's not a business, it's just a site. I don't think the music business is a very good business to be in. I'll be happy if it just sources me good music for a long time.
In 2017, Justin Kan left Y Combinator as a partner to start his own start-up incubator celled Zero-F. He said the idea behind the name is to take a company from "zero to funding." The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and plans to incubate three new businesses per year.
Atrium is a San Francisco-based company focusing on automating legal workflows. It was founded by Justin Kan, Augie Rakow, Bebe Chueh, and Chris Smoak in April 2017. Kan has been the CEO of Atrium since April 2017 and founded the company to solve many problems he faced as the founder of several technology companies. Kan told reporters:
Over the years, I have been an involuntary power user of the legal industry. While I valued the counsel of my attorney, I was frustrated by the delivery of service, and there were many things I wanted to see done differently. The biggest headache for me was that no one could tell me when to use legal service [or] how much to use.
According to the company's website, Kan founded Atrium with the goal of "making legal faster and more transparent with upfront pricing." Kan's influence had the company use alternative pricing strategies to ease the concerns of its customers searching for legal guidance. The company does not charge hourly rates; instead, it uses a monthly subscription for its Atrium Counsel service, a service that takes care of day-to day-legal needs, using a dedicated attorney and paralegal team). Atrium also features a flat fee for its Atrium Financing service, which takes care of legal advisory for start-ups during their venture capital fundraising.
From May 2005 to August 2006 (1 year and 4 months), Justin Khan was an intern at Russel Investment Group.
From March 2014 to March 2017 (3 years and 1 month), Justin Kan was a Y Combinator partner.
Justin Kan has served, or is currently serving, on the board or as an adviser for the following companies: AirHelp, Kickback, Bitaccess, Screenleap, Cleanly, Founders Den, FightCamp, ResumeGem, Submittable, Monogram, Phenomenon Ventures, DoseDr, Atrium, Twitch, Seekmi, ZeroCater, and Trip Alder.
Justin Kan is married to Christine Oh.
10+1 Lessons from Serial Entrepreneur Justin Kan
May 17, 2019
24/7 World of Justin.tv
May 10, 2007
Founder Interviews: Justin Kan of Atrium - By
Hackernoon - Davis
November 8, 2018
How to Build a Team, Raise Capital, and Make an Impact | Startup Q&A with Justin Kan (Twitch, YC)
April 4, 2017
Justin.tv's Justin Kan: The story of a serial entrepreneur | Wizard
October 31, 2012