One of Silicon Valley’s hottest immature VC firms is exploding — here’s what it only told investors

mike rothenberg
Mike Rothenberg.

Rothenberg Ventures has been a speak of Silicon Valley over the
final dual weeks, as a tiny venture-capital organisation led by
charismatic 32-year-old Mike Rothenberg has radically imploded.

Jessi Hempel and Lauren Smiley
have a story over during Backchannel
, and Business Insider has
schooled some additional sum from a minute sent to a firm’s
limited-partner investors on Tuesday morning.

The firm, that had had about $50 million underneath management, has
run out of handling money, and all a employees solely its
counsel were on delinquent leave as of mid-August, according to the
Backchannel report.

Now, according to an email performed by Business Insider
(duplicated below), Rothenberg has asked his investors — “limited
partners” in VC terminology — for assistance in lifting additional
operative collateral and offering them a possibility to join a general
partnership. Rothenberg had been a usually ubiquitous partner.

The organisation still exists yet has altered a name to Frontier Tech VC.

Rothenberg says in a minute that a organisation is auxiliary with
an exploration by a Securities and Exchange Commission, and he
laments a new “unfortunate press coverage,” yet he
maintains a indifferent concentration on a criticism rather than “reacting to
a press.”

The email also provides a summation of a phone call Rothenberg
conducted with a firm’s limited-partner investors on Aug 29.

Missing from a email’s criticism of a phone call highlights,
though, are what one authority informed with a conditions described
as some quarrelsome moments: Rothenberg had signaled intentions
to announce he was stepping down, yet altered his mind.

According to this person, Rothenberg pronounced on a call that the
media was out to get him and that his usually error was being too
ambitious. He afterwards hung adult but holding questions, this person

A representative for Rothenberg declined to comment.

How it came undone

According to accounts, a organisation started to uncover after a
whistleblower during a organisation done a censure to a SEC in July.
Rothenberg began to explain a conditions to tip employees. That,
along with flourishing financial troubles, led to a solid exodus
from a firm, as
initial reported by TechCrunch

Investors and employees were especially endangered about a division
called River Studios, that was clinging to creating
virtual-reality content. According to a Backchannel report, as
good a authority tighten to a organisation who spoke with Business Insider,
investors were unknowingly that Rothenberg was appropriation this business
with his possess money, and it was not disclosed in annual reports.

In his minute to singular partners, Rothenberg says that an
eccentric accountant, FTI Consulting, is “now examining our
financials and advising on best practices.”

Backchannel and
a apart news in TechCrunch
described Rothenberg spending
a lot of time and income bolstering his image. For instance, the
organisation hosted a “Founder Field Day” during a San Francisco Giants’
ball track that featured a private set by a rope Third
Eye Blind, and he attended sporting events and awards shows in
oppulance boxes.

He hired several executive assistants, a driver, and a personal
assistant, according to TechCrunch and a authority who worked during the

While a costs of these events were mostly lonesome — in
particular, Rothenberg told Backchannel, a Field Day was
totally paid for by sponsorships — some investors and
employees were endangered that his courtesy should have been
spent some-more on building companies and reduction on these networking

Read a story of a firm’s new troubles, and Rothenberg’s
attempts to solve them, during Backchannel »

Here’s a minute sent to limited-partner investors on Tuesday

“Dear Frontier Tech Limited Partners,

“What follows is an refurbish of a latest LP meeting, an refurbish on
a routine and a new name, and information on how we can
help. Many of we have reached out away over a last
several weeks, and we would like to respond to any inquiry. In
a meantime, time constraints make ubiquitous responses like this
some-more practical.

“Our initial priority continues to be to strengthen investors. We have
done good investments and those are behaving for you.

LP Meeting Recap

“Recently we fabricated some-more than 100 investors for a assembly and
coexisting discussion call on Monday, Aug. 29th. Key points
lonesome were:

1. Financing a companies in a most leaner, some-more focused
2. Restructuring a government team
3. Developing additional vital resources to further
promote this process
4. Creating advisory play for any annual criticism to address
matters singular to any fund

Process Updates

“Today we announce a firm’s new name ‘Frontier Tech Ventures’
(Frontier Technology Venture Capital LLC), formerly “Rothenberg
Ventures Management Company”. we trust a stream transition is
an suitable time for a rebranding to simulate a firm’s focus
and suspicion care on Frontier Technology. Frontier
Technology is a tenure and judgment we helped rise and deposit in.
For simplicity, a particular supports will sojourn as named ‘i.e.
Rothenberg Ventures 2016 Fund.’

“We acknowledge a hapless press coverage over a past few
weeks as good as worker departures. We continue to concentration on the
criticism instead of reacting to a press. Like other tiny venture
collateral firms, Frontier Tech Ventures now has a gaunt indication that
can relying essentially on contractors as-needed for a time

“Independent accountant FTI is now examining a financials and
advising on best practices. CFO Dave Haase, who oversaw financial
administration and stating during a firm, is no longer with the
company. We continue to concur with a SEC exploration as well.

How You Can Help

1. LP Advisory Board. We are formulating LP
Advisory Boards for any fund. Please let us know if we would
like to be on an Advisory Board or commission an LP to lay on an
Advisory Board for a criticism we are invested in.

2. Experienced Chairman. Please let us know if
we would like to commission an gifted authority of a house –
including potentially an LP – to assistance us with a current

3. Working capital. If we are meddlesome in
fasten a GP or training about other ways to deposit in or
support a transition greatfully let us know.

“Thank we for your continued support and patience.

Mike Rothenberg”

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