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February 05, 2005

Dot Edu ventures parts ways with Naval Ravikant

As pointed out in a New York Times article linked here last week, three of the five founders of e-commerce firm Epinions - including Naval Ravikant and Ramanathan Guha - had sued the company's VCs, Benchmark Capital and August Capital, and their co-founder, Nirav Tolia.

Now, Private Equity Week reports that Naval Ravikant, who had joined and quit August Capital inbetween, has been ejected from Dot Edu Ventures (founded by Stanford professor Rajeev Motwani and his wife Asha Jadeja):

The suit is also a primary reason why Dot Edu Ventures has decided to part ways with him...

...But Jadeja concedes that, “We were at a point where we felt there were multiple factors, including the suit, which helped us all decide that this might be a good time to part ways."...

...The partners at Dot Edu likely could have been thinking about whether having Ravikant on their team would hurt their relationship with August and Benchmark.

...The Dot Edu team may also have been thinking about thorny questions that could come from limited partners about the suit. The Palo Alto, Calif-based firm's first fund (a $20 million vehicle raised in 2000) is close to being fully committed, and the firm is believed to be out fund-raising. Surely, making a presentation to a potential LP who is already an investor in August or Benchmark would be more challenging provided Ravikant's role with the firm.

Here is Google's cache of the Dot Edu Ventures web site listing Ravikant as a Partner.

Arun Natarajan is the Editor of TSJ Media, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of TSJ Media's Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.