Minglebox’s Controversial $7 Million Funding From Sequoia

Posted May 11, 2007

One 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.