TheFunded is now two months old and has turned into a somewhat controversial place for entrepreneurs to provide feedback on the venture capitalists they’ve pitched.
Until now, membership was restricted. You have to be invited by another member, and you have to prove your identity as an entrepreneur by linking to a bio page or other evidence.
There are some really ugly comments on the site. Funds that have been trashed include Foundation Capital (“hot receptionist only thing of value”), Motorola Ventures (“if this were a good idea, we’d be doing it already”) and ComVentures (“a few bright sparks in a high-school locker room of uber-jocks”).
At least a few venture capitalists don’t enjoy having their flaws exposed on the site. One VC, Howard Hartenbaum, became incensed after comments said he was “rude, arrogant, slow and vomit-inducing”. Matt Marshall wrote about the incident and said TheFunded was “turning out to be a useless site.”
Well, controversy sells. Hartenbaum reportedly started asking companies that pitched him to write their feedback about him on the site. Since the date of Marshall’s post, ten new comments have come in about him, all extra-positive. Prior to that there were just four comments, half positive and half negative (the two negative comments are to the left).
Now, TheFunded says they are letting VCs participate directly in the discussion. They can write an overview of the fund and it’s partners and give other information entrepreneurs might find useful. VCs interested in building out their profile should start here. The page offers to let you “set the record straight.”
It’s not clear if this will be enough to assuage the angriest VCs, who don’t like to see their behavior reported to the world. But that may not matter for TheFunded. The more content that appears on the site the better, and if it’s controversial that will create even more attention for the young startup.