Ron Conway, the 'Godfather of Silicon Valley,' has been sued by his former partner for millions of dollars

Ron Conway
  • VC David Lee is suing his former partner Ron Conway for millions of dollars he alleges that Conway is withholding from him.
  • The two of them were partners in SV Angels, which backed companies like Airbnb, Pinterest and Snapchat.
  • Lee is also looking for a judge to rule that he will be legally owed another $US15 million to $US20 million in future assets.

Ron Conway, one of the tech industry’s most prominent and powerful startup investors, who had early stakes in Twitter, Facebook and Google, has been sued by his former partner over allegations of unpaid money from past investments.

Venture capitalist David Lee, who was previously a partner with Conway at the firm SVAngel, has filed a a multi-million lawsuit against Conway in Marin County Superior Court last week, reports Axios Dan Primack.

The complaint alleges that Conway, often referred to as the “Godfather of Silicon Valley,” has not paid Lee certain fees and shares he believes he is due in investments in companies such as Airbnb, Pinterest and Snapchat.

Lee was previously the managing partner of SV Angel, founded with Conway. He left two years ago, officially citing “a personal decision” to spend more time with his family in Los Angeles. Primack previously reported that there were difficulties when Lee left because the partnership was set up in such a way that Lee owned a big chunk of SV Angel’s management company.

“I wish Ron no ill will”

Lee now runs a VC firm called Refactor Capital and is suing Conway for $US3.5 million for breach of contract in what he says he’s owed via the settlement agreement they reached when he left. He claims that Conway is holding $US1.5 million in escrow.

Lee also is also seeking “declaratory relief” meaning a judgment ruling, which he wants to address future assets, ranging from $US15 million to $US20 million that he expects to be owed once some of the companies in the SV Angel portfolio, like Airbnb go public, reports TechCrunch.

Conway and Lee did not immediately return Business Insider’s requests for comments. Here is the comment that Lee and Conway gave to both Axios and TechCrunch.

“When I left SV Angel, Ron Conway and I reached a settlement regarding my departure. Many of the terms we agreed upon were proposed by Ron. I wish Ron no ill will. I simply want him to honour the agreement we signed,” Lee said.

“In connection with his departure, the SV Angel funds and David entered into a settlement agreement,” Conway said. “Recently a dispute has arisen regarding compliance with some settlement agreement terms. Before we could resolve our differences David filed a lawsuit insisting upon money that SV Angel does not believe he is entitled to receive. It is very disappointing that David is trying to pressure SV Angel to pay monies that do not belong to him, and the SV Angel funds intend to vigorously defend against David’s meritless claims.”

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