Just because you run a private company that does not have to file quarterly financial statements with the SEC does not make it okay to cook your books. The CEO and CFO of Seattle-based CRM firm Entellium found that out the hard way. They were arrested by the FBI earlier this week for inflating their revenues and then lying to their board about it. The company appears to be toast.
According to Robi Cai, the company’s former head of corporate strategy and development from September 2016 through June 2018, earlier this year Eleven James tried to raise additional funds to allow them to continue operating. When the company was unable to raise said funds, the company’s main lender pulled its existing line of credit, causing the company’s management and board to begin winding down operations around the middle of June 2018. This process involves reclaiming lent watches that are currently with members. Cai’s understanding is that members who have returned all watches would no longer be charged their membership fees. At present, he says that he understands there to only be a handful of employees remaining at the company.

Morgan was the first to admit that a caveat was needed when talking about the “rules” for growth. Frameworks are great for teaching concepts but in the end life so often evades our best efforts to put method to madness. So, as neat and tidy as this framework looks, anyone who’s thrown their hat in the startup ring knows there are infinite variations on how the parts of this outline can be mixed, matched, layered and timed. Though you can never be sure how the details of your startup’s life story will reveal themselves, you should recognize bits and pieces of this framework all along the way.

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