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Oxford: Two Indian students turn millionaires overnight
Prasun Sonwalkar in London | May 08, 2008 11:39 IST
Two cousins of Indian-origin at the University of Oxford have overnight become millionaires after a free online service they started for students was sold for 2.5 million pounds within months after its launch.
Kulveer Taggar, 24, and Harjeet Taggar, 22, started their company 'Auctomatic' as a free online service while studying and working in the university's student society -- Oxford Entrepreneurs.
Things actually began when they set up their first company, internet auction site 'boso.com' (Buy Or Sell Online), as undergraduates which was supported by Oxford's Sad Business School.
The site was a big success and the pair went on to receive major financial backing to move to Silicon Valley. They then built on their experience to launch 'Auctomatic', a service helping businesses manage selling on online sites like eBay, in October last year.
Kulveer and Harjeet returned to Oxford for the 'Silicon Valley comes to Oxford' event at the Sad Business School in November 2007.
Two days later, they were approached by a buyer. As 'Auctomatic' had only just launched, Kulveer and Harjeet were still in negotiations regarding funding and so were struggling to make ends meet. After the event, though, Auctomatic became part of a bidding war between three companies before it was sold to Live Current Media.
Kulveer, former president of Oxford Entrepreneurs, said: "The approach came as a surprise. Any entrepreneur is inherently confident, but we never imagined to be so lucky that we'd sell our company within a year of launching."
Harjeet is now a millionaire just a year-and-a-half after graduating with a Law degree, while Kulveer graduated with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics in 2005.
While at university, the cousins have shown keen interest in developing entrepreneurial ideas. In his first year, Kulveer designed a freshers' guide for the London School of Economics, which funded a trip to Canada to start a property investment project.
Kulveer now has property in the UK, Canada and India. He said: "Oxford Entrepreneurs introduced me to successful entrepreneurs and gave me the confidence to think I could start my own company."
Harjeet added: "The Sad Business School has also been fantastic. Their annual 'Silicon Valley comes to Oxford' event gave us the opportunity to meet some of the biggest names in the Internet industry and gave us the belief that we could move to Silicon Valley and become a success."
Live Current's COO Jonathan Ehrlich said: "Their software is a set of tools and technologies to help us fulfill our potential. And the guys are amazing -- incredibly bright and so hungry."
Kulveer hopes to spend his windfall on more property, a car and a watch for his mother, while Harjeet also plans to buy a car and treat his mother.