Another Partner Departs Social Capital VC Firm

(Bloomberg) -- Another partner is leaving Social Capital, marking the latest in a series of defections from the young venture firm known for its early bets on Yammer Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc.

Arjun Sethi will depart the company in a year’s time, said Social Capital spokeswoman Ashley Mayer. Sethi will retain his board seats for that period with companies including Carta, Relativity Space, Cover and CryptoMove while he raises his own fund. Sethi, who joined in 2016, was not immediately available for comment.

“Arjun will continue to serve as a board partner at Social Capital and support our portfolio companies as he starts a fund of his own,” Mayer wrote in an email. “We’re grateful for his contributions and excited for him as he takes this big next step."

His defection is the third such high profile departure for the fledgling firm that manages $2 billion including the use of special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs. Social Capital has championed SPACs and other novel methods in an attempt to remake the venture industry.

Mamoon Hamid and Ted Maidenberg, who co-founded the firm with Chamath Palihapitiya in 2011, both tapped out last year.

Hamid joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers as general partner to make investing decisions and help manage daily operations. Maidenberg remains at Social Capital as a board partner but is not named in its latest fund -- a sign that he is phasing out his involvement.

Palihapitiya, the firm’s CEO and formerly an early Facebook employee, wrote in a Medium Post on June 10 that Social Capital was taking a new direction that would include a more data-driven approach to investing. “Over the next few months, you will see us accelerate some of these new efforts and push them to the forefront,” he wrote. “This change may be hard but necessary.”

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