Google Ventures partner compares failed startup Secret to 'a bank heist'

Secret is the once popular secret-sharing app that raised $US35 million in just about a year. After failing to gain much traction, it shut down late last month.

And adding insult to injury, one of the earliest investors of the company is now throwing Secret under the bus.

Google Ventures’ managing partner Bill Maris told The New York Times that Secret’s decision to raise another round of financing worth $US25 million just a few months after raising its first round — which Google Ventures participated in — was one of the main reasons it decided to not re-up its participation.

“We advised them against it…And raising that much money that soon, it was going to be impossible to meet the expectations in the future,” Maris told the Times.

Despite the warnings, Secret cofounders David Byttow and Chrys Bader went on to raise the $US25 million, and reportedly pocketed $US3 million each for their own personal use.

“It’s like a bank heist,” Maris said. “That’s not how you do a startup.”

It’s not too common to see a former investor publicly criticise a startup they invested in in the past, especially in such a brutal manner. But Maris didn’t seem to care as he already seems to have burned bridges with the two Secret cofounders.

Maris added he doesn’t know what the two Secret cofounders are doing with the money now, but he had some nice things to say over the fact that they are planning to return some of it back to their investors. “The braver thing to do is return the money, which is what they are saying they will do,” he said.

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