Snapchat is in the middle of its own epic founder lawsuit, Facebook-style. Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, CEO and CTO respectively, are being sued by their former classmate Reggie Brown, who claims to have come up with the idea for disappearing messages and helped start the company.
According to new information filed on October 23 by Brown, Snapchat investors are also being sued by Brown.
In June, Snapchat received $60 million in funding at an $800 million valuation led by IVP, with participation by General Catalyst and SV Angel. Brown claims that he is owed part of that funding. Earlier filings from Brown indicate he also feels entitled to a full one-third of the company, now valued around $3 billion to $4 billion.
The amended complaint, which tells Brown’s entire side of the story from app inception to what his lawyer’s refer to as the “betrayal” in August of 2011, also indicates that Snapchat really was created with the intent to sext, contrary to more recent statements from Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel.
Though he never states it implicitly, this latest filing (from October 23) includes an email sent from Spiegel to a professor who had conducted research on sexting, asking for feedback.
Spiegel has said before (in an article for The New Yorker that the idea came about when a friend of his said “I wish these photos I am sending this girl would disappear.”
Though it’s never been confirmed, given other information about the case that has since trickled out, that friend may very well have been Reggie Brown.
Of course, just because Snapchat was potentially built as a sexting app, that doesn’t mean its troves of users (sending over 300 million snaps per day) are using it predominantly for sexting. However, it does clash with statements from Spiegel claiming the opposite.
This latest filing also uncovers other emails from Spiegel describing an app he built with two of his friends, wording that was later switched to just one friend after Brown’s alleged removal from the company.
Brown also submitted a conversation between Spiegel’s father and Brown’s mother during the time that Brown claims to have lived with Spiegel and Murphy in Spiegel’s home. That home was located on Toyopa Drive, and the company was originally re-named Toyopa Group LLC from Future Freshman, a failed venture between Spiegel and Murphy.
Of course, Spiegel and Murphy haven’t told their side of the story yet, so it’s unfair to judge the situation just yet.
You can check out the full filing below:
[via Business Insider]