A new lawsuit threatens a decades-long collaboration that brought Skype, robot delivery startup Starship Technologies and encrypted enterprise messaging service Wire into the world.
TechCrunch has learned that Mark Dyne, one of Skype’s founding investors, is suing billionaire Skype co-founder Janus Friis in California’s Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles for unlawful conspiracy in his business dealings.
The lawsuit is complex, with plenty of twists, turns and allegations. The heart of the dispute is whether Dyne and his partners, who had managed some of Friis’s investments, were working for — or simply with — the Skype co-founder when they organized a rescue package for Wire in 2019.
At stake is who gets to control Wire and the financial return each side gets from Starship.
Dyne and his investor partners accuse Friis of illegally replacing one of them as a director of a general partnership that manages Wire, and conspiring to reduce their interest in Starship Technologies. Dyne and his partners also allege (and dismiss) accusations by Friis that they had fiduciary duties to him when they found funding for and restructured Wire.
“[Friis] unfortunately believes he is always entitled to have what he wants, can force others to do what he wants, …read more
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