Satish Dharmaraj

TheFunded: Still the Valley's anonymous gossip shop

March 24, 2011: 3:33 PM ET

Founder Adeo Ressi talks about TheFunded, a site that lets startups take aim at venture capitalists with brutally honest reviews of the way they do business.

Adeo Ressi

Founder Adeo Ressi listening closely. Image by The Next Web via Flickr

If you're not already acquainted with TheFunded, think of it as Yelp for entrepreneurs who rate venture capitalists. But there's a twist -- a throwback to the web's woolier days: TheFunded shields users' identities, encouraging them to don a cloak of anonymity. That means the reviews of venture capital firms and individual investors on the site can range from benign to scathing.

"Still a complete pompous ass," is how one poster commented about a particular investor. "We never met him, but he back-stabbed our start-up/founder and created many problems to us," goes the line about another.

Users don't care a whit about making statements like these because anonymity is on their side -- an increasingly rare luxury when even sites like Techcrunch have switched over to verified-identity systems, like Facebook's plugin comments system. It's also why maligned venture capitalists continually threaten litigation against the site, at a pace of one or two nasty lawyer letters per week. More

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