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A Software Startup's Horror Story

Beware of VCs bearing gifts, or this could happen to you

Ever hear of Sanovi Inc.? We hadn't either, until a few folks contacted us to say the disaster recovery software supplier based in Bangalore, India and Chelmsford, Mass., had shut up shop in the U.S.

Nothing unusual in that. Startups come and go all the time. But this story is a cautionary tale we pass along to anyone interested in joining a new venture.

Sanovi was like most other new tech companies: Founded in 2003, it scored a very modest amount of venture capital (about $6 million) three years ago and had lined up GlassHouse Technologies and India's Wipro as resellers of services based on its software. Press reports in India quoted founders boasting of fresh R&S funding there.

Several months ago, people familiar with Sanovi say the startup went into high gear in the U.S., hiring several top executives, adding to the engineering team, and revamping its Website. The most recent hires started less than six weeks ago.

A new CEO, David Sung, took the helm. It's not clear whether this is the same former managing partner with HIG Ventures who also helped out at Scentric. Calls to Sanovi's Mr. Sung went unanswered, though I left a message and will update this blog if anything materializes.

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