Primary Role
Advisor @ Dropbox
27 Investments in 25 Companies

Person Details


Based in San Francisco, Ali is an angel investor, startup advisor, and serial entrepreneur. Ali is also a co-founder of computer education non-profit, and an active investor in sustainable food systems.

Ali co-founded and sold two high-profile startups: iLike, acquired by MySpace in 2009, and LinkExchange, acquired by Microsoft for $265 million in 1998. His portfolio as an investor / advisor has included such successes as Zappos, Facebook, and DropBox, as well as newer ventures such as Viagogo and OPOWER (see complete Partovi portfolio). As a visionary, he was among the first people to see the potential of the Facebook Platform (in 2007), and among the earliest to grasp the business opportunity of search (in 1997). His current passion is sustainable food and agriculture, based on his articles Food is the New Frontier in Green Tech and Hacking the Food System: Focus on the Supply Chain, and related angel investments in Farmigo and BrightFarms, and serves on the board of school food non-profit FoodCorps.

Relevant videos: "What Most Schools Don't Teach" (video below) "Myspace exec goes rogue" (video below) "Hackley Commencement Speech" (video below) "Bono (U2): Wave of Sorrow interview and song" (video below)

Ali co-founded [iLike]( with his twin brother, Hadi, serving as CEO and President respectively. They created iLike in an effort to reinvent, which Ali ran after acquiring the assets of the company from the original owners. iLike created the first successful application on the Facebook Platform, which remains the most popular music app on Facebook today. In 2009, Myspace acquired iLike, and Ali served as Head of Business Development at MySpace until transitioning to a strategic advisory role in April 2010.

Ali originally established himself as an entrepreneur by co-founding LinkExchange, which was acquired by Microsoft for $265 million in 1998. From 1998-2000, Ali worked at Microsoft and created "Keywords," a pilot project to develop pay-for-placement, keyword-targeted text ads on alongside MSN Search results (essentially equivalent to Google AdWords, but many years earlier). Ali left Microsoft when the Keywords pilot program was shut down.

Ali also co-founded "DrinkExchange," a monthly social event that spread from San Francisco to Washington, London, Tokyo, and Sydney.

Education (2)