For the Underdogs.
By Underdogs.

Why us? Boiling it down to one thing: we’ve spent our entire careers helping others grow.

We’re here to create a world where small brands and solopreneurs can thrive and compete on an equal footing with industry giants.

This starts with Needle, an AI-powered, human-assisted solution that gives you the power of an entire marketing agency that actually delivers, at a fair price.

Our founders

With diverse backgrounds in growth, e-commerce, and financing, our founders are uniquely positioned to understand and address the specific challenges faced by small e-commerce brands.

Kiyan Foroughi, CEO

Executive produces the whole thing

See more

Kiyan sets the vision and strategy for the company, and executes in areas of product development as well as distribution. A serial entrepreneur, he is driven by missions that make an impact, with a soft spot for underdogs.

Previously, he co-founded Boticca in London, a fashion e-commerce marketplace whose purpose was to provide access to global customers for small jewelry and accessories brands, allowing them to make the majority of the retail economics. Boticca was sold to Wolf & Badger in 2015. Following this, he co-founded Electric8, a bootstrapped and profitable growth agency based in Singapore whose mission was to help startups and brands discover and scale their product-market fit through sustainable growth strategies, prioritizing repeatability over indiscriminate spending. He has acquired and retained millions of customers as a CMO over this career.

He started his career in investment banking in technology mergers & acquisition at Jefferies, and investments at TA Associates, one of the world’s largest private equity funds. He studied at Tufts University in Boston, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics (Summa Cum Laude).

Having lived in Paris, Dubai, Boston, New York, London and now Singapore, he brings a global perspective to Needle. He speaks fluent English, French, Farsi and Italian.

Outside of his work, Kiyan's passion lies in neo-soul, hip hop, and R&B music. In his spare time, he produces music and gets his co-founder at Needle, Rachelle, to sing on his tracks.


Serene Gan, COO

Brings vision to life with flair

See more

Serene is a powerhouse operator across product management, UX design, and operations, and brings vision to life with flair. She has a proven track record of building and launching digital businesses globally, several of which have made successful exits.

Before co-founding Needle, Serene held key roles at Electric8, a leading growth agency based in Singapore, where she led the UX Research and Studio functions. Her tenure also includes leading the function at VLT Labs in Kuala Lumpur, which was later acquired by McKinsey in 2017. During her time at VLT Labs, she played a crucial role as a founding team member and product manager for Supahands (acquired by Omnilytics) and Scarlett of Soho (acquired by MyOptique Group).

She studied at the University of South Australia, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Management.

In her free time, Serene creates calligraphy art pieces and loves discovering indie brands, indulging in pretty things, and sipping on a good cup of kombucha.


Jeannie Nguyen, CGO

Marketing and growth guru

See more

Jeannie brings her expertise as a specialist with extensive hands-on experience in marketing, growth strategies, and data analysis. Her role at Needle involves working closely with customers, forming the logic for the backend algorithm and training the AI to continuously enhance its recommendations and intelligence.

Prior to co-founding Needle, Jeannie served as the Head of Growth at Electric8, a prominent growth agency headquartered in Singapore. She collaborated with startups and brands, assisting them in finding systematic approaches to drive business growth and distribution. Before her tenure at Electric8, Jeannie spearheaded the marketing function from inception to exit at travelmob, a travel e-commerce startup that was successfully acquired by HomeAway (now Expedia).

Jeannie studied at the National University of Singapore, where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. Additionally, she holds a Master's Degree in Advanced Marketing Management from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Jeannie finds solace in nature, enjoying long walks and hikes that connect her with the world around her.


Rachelle Yee, Product Engineering

Bridges product and engineering

See more

Rachelle leads the back-end of the product, and connects the dots among engineering, data and growth strategies that the AI recommends. She is a versatile operator and a true Swiss Army knife of skills across product, marketing, data analysis, and software engineering.

Before co-founding Needle, Rachelle held the role of Growth Product Manager at Electric8, a prominent growth agency based in Singapore. She collaborated with startups and brands across the Asia Pacific & European region, employing systematic approaches to drive business growth and distribution. Prior to this, she gained experience as a Solutions Architect at Segment, a data pipeline company, and held growth and marketing positions at Skyscanner and Carousell.

Rachelle studied at University College Dublin, where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Business Analytics.

Outside of work, Rachelle loves spending time with her toy poodle, Kaya, and pursues many artistic endeavours, such as singing and making music with her fellow co-founder at Needle, Kiyan.


The rest of the team

Faris Malik

Software Engineering

The Duong

Software Engineering

Alfontius Linata

Data Engineering

Phenphat Charoenpanich

Product Design

Our advisors

Joe Newell

Product & UX

Co-founder at Electric8

Yann AitBachir

Data Engineering

Head of Data at Shopback

Isuru Fonseka

Software Engineering

Co-Founder at Hitchd, former Solution Architect at Segment

Florian Cornu

Systems Building & AI Prototyping

Founder & MD at Future Flow

Charlie Yuan

AI & Machine Learning

Engineering Manager, Self-Driving at Lyft

Peggy Wu

Comms & PR

MD at Milkfish, former Head of Comms at Monk’s Hill Ventures

Join us on our mission

Needle has a team working across the US and Asia. We are a diverse group who value building self-awareness, demonstrating empathy, and adopting a growth mindset. Hustle, ambition, growth—it’s in our DNA.

Interested to join us? See current job openings.

Who’s backing us

We’re fortunate to be backed by these smart folks who see things are about to change:

In the news

Here are a few of the stories about Needle in the press:

Interested in telling our story? See our press room.