Minglebox’s Controversial $7 Million Funding From Sequoia

Minglebox LogoOne of the latest Indian social networks, Minglebox recently picked up $7 million by Sequoia Capital India. The brouhaha on the funding is that there is rumor spreading that the founder of the company, Kavita Iyer is married to a Sequoia Capital India Managing Director. On ContentSutra and Mashable, there are comments floating around that the Sequoia Managing Director’s name is Sandeep Singhal (ValleyWag spelled it wrong).

The reason behind the controversy is not because of the actual relationship, but because of the dollar amount involved and potential insider trading. Given Sequoia India has been searching for Indian social networks to invest in and have access to business plans, this information could potentially be passed between the couple. Also, seven million U.S. dollars in India is no joke. Just to give you an idea of salaries in India compared to America:
– Average starting salaries for top software engineers in America generally make:
$60,000-$80,000 per year.
– Average starting salaries for top software engineers in India generally make:
Rs. 180,000-300,000 per year ($4,390-$7,317) [at conversion of 41 rupees per dollar].
[Salary Sources: Vault forums]

Facebook received $25 million in funding after it was given a $525 million valuation and had a $750 million acquisition offer from Viacom (Information Source: Bambi Francisco). Bebo was given a total of $15 million in funding and is based in the U.K. (note: $1 = £0.5, 1 dollar doesn’t go as far in the UK). The current valuation of Minglebox is not yet known.

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at

Minglebox’s Controversial $7 Million Funding From Sequoia Comments

  1. NewHat says:

    “… average starting salaries for TOP softweare engineers – Rs 180,000 – 300,000 …”

    wake up and smell the coffee – you won’t be able to hire a fresh graduate from a college of any repute for that money in bangalore. the top freshers that get picked by the likes of google get anywhere from Rs. 900,000 – 1,500,000 ($22,000). And thats the freshers. You want some experience and want TOP engineers its in the range of a third of what engineers get in the US.
    Having said that $7M is a lot of money for a social networking startup in India and I am sure this number does not reflect what minglebox would have actually gotten. My guess is it would be somewhere in the 2-3 M range.

    … and the relationship – I looked at Kavita’s profile, IIT/IIM and a ton of experience with consumer products. I wonder how (who?) come the thing that is getting the attention is the relationship …

  2. Lisa Sharma says:

    Even after 5 months of getting funded, Minglebox’s Alexa ranking does not compare with a site of $7 mn in funding. I wonder i their smaller rivals such as Yaari.com, MetroJoint.com, IndyaRocks.com (all 3 climbing up the chart) will surpass without even that kind of funding.

    Did sequoia made a wrong investment in minglebox? Their only revenue source seems to be advertisements and with no great visitor-base, there seems to be a black future for this social network.

    Kavita Iyer’s so-called ton of experience does not seem to be working here.

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