Weekly Update #212: Founder Friendly Commentary

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Hello Investors,

Founder Friendly Commentary

Last week, VC firm Benchmark turned up the thermostat on Uber with a lawsuit alleging that Travis Kalanick has not resigned as per an agreement. The lawsuit has sparked conversation about how VCs typically want to be perceived as "founder friendly" by reputation. By keeping a positive reputation amongst founders, they hope that this will secure future dealflow. Some commentary about the trend follows below:

  • Fred Wilson, a partner at Union Square Ventures (and a very vocal investor, generally), suggests that Benchmark's actions are actually an attempt to save the founder from destroying his own company. (link)
  • Matt Levine (Bloomberg reporter) argues that the Benchmark vs. Uber battle is an exception to the rule, and that Softbank's Vision Fund (which we've covered in past articles) is evidence that great founders still hold all the leverage. In other words: there's still a ton of capital, and only a handful of generational companies to invest in. (link)
  • Ben Thompson, the writer of Stratechery, has an incredible analysis of "The Uber Dilemma" where he compares it to the classic Prisoners' Dilemma, a well-known "game" covered in game theory. (link)

Phil Haslett
Founder + Head of Investments, EquityZen

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