Here’s a story about a venture capital firm that made a big splash in Silicon Valley a few years ago. It had a glamorous co-founder and several other key executives who drew a lot of attention. But it takes more than that to make a successful business, and some of the things that attracted investors to the firm’s investment funds were major reasons the fund is falling apart now.
The first outward sign of trouble came in August 2017, when co-founder Mamoon Hamid left to join rival venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. It was Hamid who led the Slack deal, and many of Social Capital’s limited partners viewed him as the firm’s “top rainmaker.”
Soon after came the resignation of Social Capital’s third co-founder, Ted Maidenberg. Like Hamid, Maidenberg was frustrated by Palihapitiya’s push to prioritize data in the VC investment process, which is traditionally based on a more high-touch, personal approach.