Benjamin Pasternak (born 6 September 1999) is an Australian entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of the American technology and social media company Monkey, which was acquired by Holla Inc. in December 2017. He began his career while still in high school in Sydney creating two viral iOS games, Impossible Rush and Impossible Dial. Ben is recognised as the youngest person to receive a round of venture capital in technology, at just 15 years of age.
Fortune Magazine described Pasternak as a young innovator who is changing the world. Pasternak was included in Crain's New York Business Magazine '20 Under 20' list as a teen who cares about the world and wants to make his mark on it. He was also named one of TIME Magazine's Most Influential Teens of 2016.
Early life and education[edit | edit source]
Ben was born in Sydney, to Anna Pasternak and Mark Pasternak. Pasternak grew up in Vaucluse, New South Wales. He was raised Jewish. He was educated at Moriah College and Reddam House in Bondi, New South Wales. He dropped out of high school in tenth grade.
Pasternak completed his first app, Impossible Rush while bored in science class at school. Impossible Rush and his second app Impossible Dial went on to get millions of downloads and were both the No. 1 trending app in multiple countries.
Career[edit | edit source]
Impossible Rush[edit | edit source]
When Ben was 14 years old he designed Impossible Rush, while bored in science class at school. He showed the idea to his online friend Austin Valleskey, an iOS engineer from Chicago. They completed building the game in a matter of hours and later sold it to Carlos Fajardo who launched the game for them. The game went on to be downloaded millions of times and peaked at No. 16 on the US App Store (iOS). The game overtook Tinder and Twitter on the App Store (iOS) top charts.
Impossible Dial[edit | edit source]
Ben released the game Impossible Dial as a follow up to his original game Impossible Rush. The game was made in collaboration with Tamir Triguboff and later sold for $85,000.The game peaked at No. 31 on the US App Store (iOS).
Flogg[edit | edit source]
Ben's early success caught the attention of venture capital firm Binary Capital. Binary Capital agreed to lead a round of venture capital funding in Flogg, they were joined by other investors including Greylock Partners, John Maloney and Paul Bricault. After Pasternak received venture capital funding at 15 years of age, he dropped out of high school and relocated to Manhattan.
Flogg is a social networking app for young people to buy and sell. The app launched on 13 April 2016 and was temporarily the No. 1 trending app in The United States, (Germany) and Australia.
Monkey, Inc.[edit | edit source]
Ben co-founded Monkey, which was launched on 29 November 2016. Monkey is a video chat based app for teenagers to meet new people. The app has been used to make over 1,000,000,000 calls and has over 3,000,000 users. The app peaked at No. 26 on the US App Store (iOS). On 1 December 2017 HOLLA Ltd. announced that it was acquiring Monkey. After the acquisition, Ben took a trip to India to get inspiration for the next project.