Early Uber investor and former board member Shervin Pishevar is speaking out against Benchmark again. This time, he penned a letter to Uber’s board, demanding that Benchmark Capital drop its lawsuit against former CEO Travis Kalanick. He also filed a legal motion, asking for he case to be dismissed, saying in his letter to the board that he had “no choice.”
The letter says Pishevar has “tried in every way possible to convince my friends at Benchmark to drop this lawsuit, to end their public campaign against the founder and the company and to divest their shares under a proposal which would reward them hugely for their investment.” But Benchmark has “refused to meet” with Pishevar.
Pishevar accuses Benchmark of violating fiduciary duty, by its willingness to “talk to others inappropriately.” He also accuses Benchmark’s Kris Frederickson of convincing Gautam Gupta, Uber’s head of finance, to go to another company where he owned shares.
Pishevar claims that Benchmark has also conferred with Lowercase Capital in an attempt to remove Arianna Huffington from the board.
Recently, Pishevar circulated a petition attempting to pressure Benchmark to sell most of its shares and give up its board seat.
Last year, at our Disrupt event in San Francisco, TC talked with Pishevar about the venture market and specifically about Benchmark’s Bill Gurley, who recently stepped off of Uber’s board. Said Pishevar at the time,”I have tremendous respect for Bill Gurley. He’s a friend of mine. I look up to him. Him and [fellow Benchmark partner] Matt Cohler actually referred Uber to me for the Series B.”
At the time, Pishevar was working as a venture capitalist with Menlo Ventures, which went on to lead that round.
“[Benchmark] did the Series A. So whenever he speaks I listen,” Pishevar had said.
Pishevar declined to comment for this story. We also reached out to Benchmark, which has yet to respond.
Here is the full text of the letter and below it, you’ll find the motion his attorneys filed.
Uber Technologies Inc.
c/o Garrett Camp
Chairman of the Board Directors
1455 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103