/// Is It Time to Rethink the Stigma for Tech Companies Led by Couples?
Romantically involved tech company co-founders are having a good year. In the past four months of big-ticket tech exits, Wildfire, co-founded and led by the engaged couple Victoria Ransom (CEO) and Alain Chuard (head of product management), was bought by Google for at least $250 million ; Michael (CEO) and Kass (COO) Lazerow’s Buddy Media sold to Salesforce for $745 million-plus ; and LinkedIn purchased married couple Rashmi Sinha (CEO) and Jon Boutelle (CTO)’s SlideShare for $119 million. Asked about the trio of hits, Michael Lazerow told me: “I guess this proves that successful companies are built by teams who love and respect each other, versus teams who hate each other. If you can’t work with people you love, who do you work with, people you hate? Hopefully, this puts an end to any talk that backing couples is risky.” 500 Startups investor Dave McClure, who backed both SlideShare and Wildfire, told me his portfolio includes probably a dozen companies founded by couples. “A year or a year and a half ago, we realized there were a huge number of couples in our portfolio, and they were actually some of our best companies,” McClure said. McClure added to the list two other recent acquisitions from his portfolio by companies led by couples: Kush sold to Smule , and Yell bought Moonfruit . 500 Startups doesn’t invest in companies because they are run by couples, McClure said, but it benefits from other venture capitalists seeing that as a risk factor. “Because they don’t want to invest in couples, we probably get a better deal,” he said.