Better.com CEO Vishal Garg accused of fraud, hostile workplace

Mortgage startup valued at $4B after raising $200M this month

National /
Nov.November 20, 2020 11:30 AM
Better.com CEO Vishal Garg (Photo via Better.com)

Better.com CEO Vishal Garg (Photo via Better.com)

Mortgage originator Better.com is one of the most buzzed-about startups, and was recently valued at $4 billion.
But CEO Vishal Garg is a volatile leader ensnared in a rash of lawsuits alleging financial mismanagement and worse, according to a new report.

Garg, 42, is accused of improper management of funds at several prior startups, including as much as “tens of millions of dollars,” Forbes reported. Some of the allegedly mismanaged money went to starting Better.com.

Founded in 2014, New York-based Better.com is trying to digitize home loans. Covid-19 has accelerated demand for its product, and since March, the company has hired 2,000 employees. It’s now on track to generate $800 million in revenue this year and is rumored to be eying an IPO.

But Garg’s legal woes could present a challenge to a public offering. Goldman Sachs, which invested in Better.com, accused entities controlled by Garg of “flagrant self-dealing,” Forbes said. And while the bank dropped its legal claims in October, Garg is still facing accusations by PIMCO that startups he controlled siphoned off money owed to investors.
Meanwhile, Garg has been battling a former business partner and friend, Raza Khan, who claims Garg transferred $3 million from a joint business to his personal bank account, and used that money to launch Better.com. Garg denied the claim in a countersuit. But in a deposition, things grew so heated Garg threatened to burn Khan alive. Garg later apologized for letting his emotions get “out of control.”

A spokesperson for Better.com called the accusations “baseless,” and said “lawsuits are an unfortunate fact of life for successful startups and their CEOs.”

Former employees described a harsh work environment where Garg chastised managers who only worked eight-hour days. “You are TOO DAMN SLOW,” he wrote in an email that was obtained by Forbes. “You are a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS and … DUMB DOLPHINS get caught in nets and eaten by sharks. SO STOP IT.”

[Forbes] — E.B. Solomont


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Joan Collins and 110 East 57th Street #8EFG (Getty, BHS)

Soap star Joan Collins lists longtime Midtown pied-à-terre

Soap star Joan Collins lists longtime Midtown pied-à-terre
Jenna Ryan was part of a group who flew on a private plane from Denton, TX, to Washington, D.C., with the intention of joining the protestors (Twitter.com/DotJenna)

Texas Realtor faces criminal charges for role in Capitol attack

Texas Realtor faces criminal charges for role in Capitol attack
Porch CEO Matt Ehrlichman (iStock)

Porch snaps up four startups for over $122M

Porch snaps up four startups for over $122M
As companies leave Silicon Valley, Austin, Texas is becoming a top destination. (Getty)

Silicon Valley exodus: Where’d everyone go?

Silicon Valley exodus: Where’d everyone go?
Damien Dwin of Lafayette Square Holding (Photos via Lafayette; iStock)

Sustainable housing is focus of Damien Dwin’s social justice effort

Sustainable housing is focus of Damien Dwin’s social justice effort
Mortgage applications reach pandemic peak

Mortgage applications reach pandemic peak

Mortgage applications reach pandemic peak
From left: Lionheart's Ophir Sternberg, Fifth Wall's Brendan Wallace, Chamath Palihapitiya, Supernova Partners' Spencer Rascoff and Proptech Acquisition II's Tom Hennessy (Getty, LinkedIn, iStock)

These blank-check firms are courting proptech deals

These blank-check firms are courting proptech deals
Tom Ford's Cerro Pelon Ranch. (Getty, Kevin Bobolsky Group)

Tom Ford sells Tadao Ando-designed estate in New Mexico

Tom Ford sells Tadao Ando-designed estate in New Mexico
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...