Start-up Gossip Site Sued by Disgruntled VC Firm

By James Thomson

A web site founded to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to report on their experiences dealing with various venture capital firms has received a subpoena from a disgruntled VC firm.

According to CNET, US site TheFunded received the subpeona from a VC firm that received a bad wrap from several entrepreneurs, with one writing it should “be avoided unless you’re desperate”.

The subpoena requires TheFunded to give up information on the identity of the contributor who made the negative comments by 27 August.

The VC firm has already launched a writ against the anonymous entrepreneur — all they need now is the identity of the person to kick off their case.

Fortunately for the no-doubt rather nervous entrepreneur concerned, TheFunded says it does not store any information that can allow its members to be personally identified.

“I’m confident that his or her identity will be maintained in this instance,” TheFunded founding member Adeo Ressi says.

  • Anonymous

    That entrepreneur deserves his identity to not be revealed.

  • Hmmm… I feel for the VC company.

    The speed at which one can spread rumors about another company (especially a rival) is very disturbing. We don’t know if what the contributor said is true, but he/she has obviously made a public claim – one which may negatively influence other entrepreneurs from considering the said VC company.

  • tidalx

    Either that, or he may have just save many other entrepreneurs from dealing with a bad VC.

  • Anonymous

    If your going to bad mouth an individual or business you should at least do it to their face, backed up of course with hard facts.

    It’s (too) easy to hide on the internet and TheFunded should reveal the identity of this person, unless of course TheFunded themselves have something to hide?

    In my view, TheFunded should also be sued; everyone is entitled to their privacy but not when their going around shooting off their big mouth – about time someone therefore took steps to shut them up, no?

  • the moose

    there are bad VCs out there, so what is wrong with voicing your opinion…???

  • Maybe should have some sort of rebuttal system built into the site? Who knows, maybe they already do. I couldn’t really tell during my brief visit to the site. I do think though that if you’re confident enough to bash somebody you should be confident enough to reveal your identity. I’m not aware of what the nature of the beef between the two parties was but it could just as easily be a misunderstanding or miscommunication between parties too. Tough call.

  • used1

    The problem here is that every company that goes to a VC signs a confidentiality agreement, that they will not reveal information regarding the transaction with anyone not even anonymously. So the VC certainly has a case against the entrepeneur, but would the courts allow this right to extend into the realm where the anonymous post was made? Bound to be a long battle.

  • cliche’s aside, it’s free speech. the guy is merely voicing his opinion, since when was that illegal?

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