- Internet Archive WayWayBack Machine; Social Capital; and Samantha Lee/Business Insider
- Venture capital firm Social Capital seems to be unraveling following a tumultuous first half of 2018.
- Seven partners, including one of the firm’s cofounders, left the firm founded by early Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya.
- The latest defectors are VC partner Mike Ghaffary and vice president of marketing Ashley Mayer.
Social Capital, one of the most closely-watched venture firms in Silicon Valley, has vaporized the “team” page from its website, following a tumultuous first half of 2018.
The tech investing firm seems to be unraveling amid a wave of departures. The latest defectors are investment partner Mike Ghaffary and Ashley Mayer, social media darling and Social Capital’s vice president of marketing.
“It’s never a good sign when a VC firm deletes the ‘team’ page from its website,” Axio’s business editor Dan Primack first reported on Friday. “But that’s what recently happened at Social Capital, which is hemorrhaging more talent.”
The departures represent another blow to Social Capital, which was founded by early Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya, whose tech pedigree and iconoclastic pronouncements about investing made Social Capital one of the most buzzworthy venture firms in the industry.
Three partners – Arjun Sethi, Jonathan Hsu, and Ted Maidenberg – joined forces to launch a fund of their own, called Tribe Capital. Its vague focus is internet and software companies, though the firm just cut its first investment check to a cryptocurrency-related startup.
“It’s like Social Capital, but without Chamath,” one source recently told Business Insider about the new firm being launched by Sethi.
Here are all the partners who have left Social Capital so far this year, listed in order of their departure:
- Tony Bates, CEO of Social Capital Growth
- Marc Mezvinsky, vice chairman
- Arjun Sethi, partner (now: cofounder and general partner at Tribe Capital)
- Jonathan Hsu, partner and senior vice president of quantitative investing and data science (now: cofounder and general partner at Tribe Capital)
- Ted Maidenberg, founding partner (now: cofounder and general partner at Tribe Capital)
- Ashley Mayer, partner and vice president of marketing
- Mike Ghaffary, partner
It’s not immediately clear where Mayer and Ghaffary are headed, though a source with direct knowledge told Business Insider, Ghaffary is not joining Tribe Capital.
Mayer and Ghaffary shared these updates on Twitter:
Personal update: I’ve decided to leave Social Capital. Over the next few months, I'll focus on angel investing. It's been an incredible experience, working alongside a talented team. I'll continue to work closely with the founders I’ve invested in, and excited for the next step.
— Mike Ghaffary (@newmike) August 31, 2018
What’s next: I’m giving myself the gift of a break, something I have yet to do in my adult life. I’m excited to read, travel and work on a creative project. I may try to monetize my dog, but if unsuccessful I’ll be back in the game soon. Any ideas or advice, my mind/DMs are open. pic.twitter.com/zub1GWJ8S1
— Ashley Mayer (@ashleymayer) August 30, 2018