Twelve hours after Rishi Khanna saved his neighbor’s life, he was at the bar at Lure in Soho.
We were both there to meet a couple dozen investors and founders at a dinner convened by venture capitalist Howard Lindzon
Rishi said the morning began with an urgent knock on the door of his apartment. He opened it to find his neighbor frantic. Her husband had collapsed in the hallway.
The man was unresponsive and turning blue in the face. With 911 on the line, Rishi started chest compressions for about six minutes until half a dozen EMT and policemen arrived.
The EMTs shocked the man’s chest and took him to the hospital. Fortunately, he survived.
Rishi said the man was in his early 50s, but so healthy he could pass for late 30s. Evidently, that wasn’t enough.
After the drama, Rishi went to work and then to dinner.
Rishi seemed aware of the odd juxtaposition of starting the morning with a sudden near-death experience and ending focused on the long-arc of venture capital, an investment process that often lasts seven to ten years.
Rishi is the CEO of StockTwits, a Twitter-style platform used by traders. The company raised $30 million in seed B funding in early 2021, which valued the business at $210 million.
The company has engineered a number of foundational changes, including the addition of free equity trades, an expansion in India and a crypto trading platform.
The changes – along with Covid fueled growth – have catapulted usage. There are now over six million people using the platform, up from 3 million two years ago. A decade ago, Stocktwits had 240,000.
The StockTwits newsletter recapping market activity goes out to 1.1 million subscribers and has an amazing 40 percent open rate.
After dinner a few of us lingered at the bar long after the coat check closed and the waiters reset the tables for tomorrow. The bartender asked for last calls.
The conversation drifted back away from the business of user counts and open rates and the total addressable market for this or that to Rishi’s experience that morning.
Life is so strange, everyone agreed.
We spend our days planning and investing long-term for a future that can disappear in a heartbeat.