Grocery Industry Icons & Innovators
Co-Founder & Co-CEO
Rafael Ilishayev is a first-generation American who grew up with an entrepreneurial family in the New York metro area. Rafael met Yakir Gola in their first Business 101 class at Drexel University and the two went on to start Gopuff the following year. Together, they’ve grown Gopuff into the instant needs category creator and one of the fastest growing tech companies with 7,000 employees across the country. Today, Gopuff has operations in more than 650 U.S. cities, leveraging its network of over 250 micro-fulfillment centers and recently acquired BevMo! stores to fulfill orders of thousands of everyday essentials to customers in 30 minutes. Under Rafael’s leadership, every Gopuff initiative - big or small - is developed with a customer-first mentality. Rafael, along with Yakir, was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in the Retail & Ecommerce category in 2017, in 2019 received the Drexel University Founders Award and in 2020, Gopuff was named to CNBC’s Disruptor 50. Rafael is closely involved with his alma mater, Drexel University, through the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship and Chabad Serving Drexel University.