Raj Gokal: Who Is Solana’s Right-Hand Man?

Introducing the other Solana Labs co-founder.

Raj Gokal Surrounded by digital questionmarks and fairy dust.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin

Raj Gokal, the co-founder of the Solana (SOL) blockchain, is an unsung hero. Despite leading Solana Labs and championing the ecosystem for years, Gokal is often overshadowed by his better-known co-founder, Anatoly Yakovenko.


Who is Raj Gokal, and why is the engine room behind one of the crypto industry’s biggest projects so often overlooked? What has Gokal implemented as the co-founder of Solana, and how has the entrepreneur helped the ecosystem flourish?

Who Is Raj Gokal?

Solana Labs co-founder Raj Gokal is an entrepreneur and economics jack-of-all-trades based in San Francisco, California. As the leader of one of the largest platforms in the Web3 world, Gokal is the COO orchestrating the day-to-day operations of Solana Labs.

Raj Gokal.
Source: LinkedIn

While his co-founder and brother-in-arms Anatoly Yakovenko is perhaps more technologically inclined, Gokal has a head for business and helps emerging Solana ecosystem projects find their feet in a fast-moving world.

But what was Raj Gokal’s life like before he founded the crypto industry’s most performant blockchain?


When Solana was nothing more than a popular surfing beach in California, Gokal was hard at work putting pen to paper and getting a Bachelor of Science in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. 


Before graduating in 2010, Gokal interned at financial services companies (KBW) and hedge funds (Meridian Capital LLC), where he primarily worked as an analyst, likely evaluating potential deals and products for the firms.

Early Career

Before co-founding Solana Labs, Gokal had his fingers in many different pies. He worked in a vast array of industries but seemed to find success at everything he turned his hand to.

One of his biggest early-stage career positions was as an associate at General Catalyst Partners in Boston, MA. On behalf of the company, Gokal scouted and analyzed potential deals in sectors like consumer intent, software systems, and clean, renewable energy.

With a wealth of experience, Gokal turned his attention to entrepreneurial pursuits. He co-founded his first startup, Sano, in December 2011, which specialized in wearable healthcare devices. 

Sano was an objective success, raising over $20M USD in funding and providing essential healthcare products that dramatically improved users’ livelihoods.

This seemed to inspire Gokal, who spent the next several years working as an advisor and entrepreneur for various healthcare companies, including Rock Health and Omada Health.

In 2017, Raj Gokal finally stepped away from the healthcare sector and began working on his most ambitious project.

Raj Gokal & Solana Labs

After witnessing the struggles and scalability issues plaguing Ethereum (ETH), Gokal and Yakovenko joined forces to create Solana, a modern decentralized blockchain famous for high speeds and minimal transaction fees.

Solana logo.
Source: Solana

As Solana Labs COO and a board member of The Solana Foundation, Gokal is often seen as the face of Solana. Gokal represents both Solana Labs and the Solana Foundation at key blockchain events and conferences, acting as a spokesman for the network and championing its unique selling points, simplified user experience, and use cases.

Gokal was also one of the biggest supporters of the Solana Saga, a web3 mobile phone setting its sights on disrupting the Apple and Google duopoly.

Raj Gokal as an Investor

Not afraid to put his money where his mouth is, Raj Gokal has been one of the biggest supporters of emerging teams building products on the Solana blockchain. Backing everything from on-chain payment processors to DeFi exchanges and NFT marketplaces, Gokal is a seed round and private investor in some of Solana’s most exciting projects.

Some of Raj Gokal’s investments in the Solana ecosystem include:

  • Drift Protocol
  • Tensor
  • Helius
  • Sphere

Who’s the Top Dog at Solana?

Raj Gokal and Anatoly Yakovenko are distinctly named as Solana Labs co-founders. However, the majority of the crypto world still considers Yakovenko to be the one who ultimately calls the shots and makes Solana the industry’s leading Ethereum-Killer. 

But why is that?

Primarily, Yakovenko is the CEO of Solana Labs, meaning that despite both him and Raj Gokal being co-founders, Yakovenko still officially outranks Gokal in the traditional business hierarchy.

On top of that, the crypto community loves a cult figure. Mysterious tech ‘geniuses’ have long been the rallying focal point of any emerging project. Bitcoin has Satoshi Nakamoto, Ethereum has Vitalik Buterin, and even Cardano has Charles Hoskinson.

While Yakovenko might be the eccentric tech guru behind Solana, Gokal is more of the business mastermind. This may be why Yakovenko is better known than his fellow co-founder in what is undoubtedly a tech-driven industry.

On the Flipside

  • Despite its stellar comeback following the FTX collapse, Solana has long been criticized for blockchain outages and claims that the network is not sufficiently decentralized.

Why This Matters

Solana’s success is as much due to Raj Gokal’s business acumen and entrepreneurship as Anatoly Yakovenko’s aptitude for technology. 


What did Raj Gokal study?

Raj Gokal graduated from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.

What is Raj Gokal’s position at Solana Labs?

Raj Gokal is a co-founder and COO (Chief Operations Officer) at Solana Labs, the technology company behind the Solana blockchain.

What is Raj Gokal’s net worth?

Raj Gokal’s net worth is unknown, but he is likely a multi-millionaire.

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Finn Miller

Finn Miller is a New Zealand-based blockchain writer for DailyCoin who specializes in simplifying complex blockchain topics. He is experienced in crafting whitepapers, researching on-chain data, and advising emerging crypto projects, and uses his unconventional approach to learning and passion for knowledge to provide cornerstone educational content for readers of all levels. When not exploring the depths of DeFi, Finn can be found exploring his other passion, the great outdoors.