The ousted cofounder of Cruise has fired back.
In a cross complaint filed Thursday, Jeremy Guillory says that he is entitled to 50% of the company now that it’s being sold to General Motors for a reported $1 billion.
“This case is about whether a founders’ agreement means anything in today’s Silicon Valley start-up culture, or if naked ambition, a desire to take all the credit, conceit, and greed for the very last dollar now rule the day,” the cross-complaint reads.
The legal debate came to light on Wednesday after Cruise unsealed its initial complaint against Guillory. Y Combinator president (and Cruise investor) Sam Altman also wrote a public blog post detailing the dispute between cofounders.
According to the original Cruise filing, the startup argues that Guillory never had equity, wrote code, nor invested in the company, although he was listed on the application to Y Combinator. Cruise requested a declaration that no part of the company belongs so the merger can move ahead “because Defendant frustrated Cruise’s acquisition by GM”.
In that suit, Cruise claims that Guillory “emerged from the shadows with his hand out within days” of the GM acquisition news. “As explained below, Mr. Guillory should put his hand back into his pocket; he does not have any stake in the company,” the claim says.
That’s not so, Guillory’s counterclaim now states. In what appears to be a copy of Cruise’s application to Y Combinator seen by Business Insider, Vogt and Guillory are listed as having a 50/50 split:
Their video application also shows them together.
“When the truth comes out, as it will, the label of extortionist will land somewhere other than on Guillory in this case,” the counterclaim states.
Guillory admits that he wasn’t heavily involved with startup. While he was listed on the application, he and Vogt parted ways around November 11, right after they were accepted into Y Combinator.
Guillory appears to be counting on the application and video alone to support his claim of owning 50% of the company, and now it’s up to a judge to decide if an agreement in an application is enough to uphold his argument.