The best part in reading the Seattle P-I’s investigative piece into InfoSpace’s meltdown five years ago is the emails. Case in point: A series of pleading messages from InfoSpace CEO Naveen Jain to a partner in a venture fund (one in which Jain was an investor).
To make a long story shorter, Jain has a revenue shortfall. He asks the venture guy to put money into another company at a wildly inflated price, the idea being that then Jain could show his company’s holdings in the aforementioned company as being valuable enough to offset InfoSpace’s revenue problems. Got it?
After some entertaining back-and-forth between the two, here is the venture guy’s final answer to Jain:
Brother, can you spare a venture investment? No.