Google Ventures managing director said Secret was 'like a bank heist' to the New York Times
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Secret!
Stashed in: Google Ventures!
Google Ventures managing partner Bill Maris told The New York Times that Secret's decision to raise another round of financing worth $25 million just a few months after raising its first round — which Google Ventures participated in — was one of the main reasons Google Ventures decided to not re-up its participation.
"We advised them against it ... And raising that much money that soon, it was going to be impossible to meet the expectations in the future," Maris told The Times.
Secret cofounders David Byttow and Chrys Bader went on to raise the $25 million, and they reportedly pocketed $3 million each for personal use.
"It's like a bank heist," Maris said. "That's not how you do a startup."
It's not too common to see an investor publicly criticize a startup in which that person had previously invested, especially in such a brutal manner. But Maris didn't seem to care, as he already seems to have burned bridges with the two Secret cofounders.
Maris added he did not know what the two Secret cofounders were doing with the money today, but he had some nice things to say about news they were planning to return some of it back to their investors. "The braver thing to do is return the money, which is what they are saying they will do," he said.
The day after Maris' interview with the Times, he wrote a blog post dialing back some of his comments:
"I do want to make clear that this was not a 'bank heist,' and that was a poor choice of words on my part.
That implies that the founders were trying to line their pockets at the expense of others. After having a heart to heart with David, I don’t think that’s true. David rightly pointed out to me that he and Chrys worked extremely hard. They built something that captured the imagination of a lot of people and had a huge amount of users. The tone and content of my comments as printed don’t pay the appropriate respect to that fact."
He's also a big fan of Uber's Travis Kalanick: