Did EDF Make an Error?

Michigan-based venture capital firm EDF Ventures earlier this week had a subpoena served on Adeo Ressi, founder and chief poobah of TheFunded.com. They’d actually been trying to do so for weeks, but Ressi was in New York instead of Silicon Valley.

The purpose was to learn the identity of an entrepreneur who left a particularly unflattering comment about EDF on TheFunded — a website that lets entrepreneurs rate venture capitalists. Seems EDF wants to pursue legal actual against the entrepreneur, but first needs to know who it is.

Unfortunately, EDF didn’t do its homework. TheFunded does not have any record of members’ real names, nor does it track IP addresses. This fact was reported extensively  last fall – including here – after a bunch of us got a peak at the site’s back-end during Ressi’s coming out party.

What this means is that EDF is swatting at ghosts, and perhaps damaging its reputation in the process. Most of the comments on EDF’s profile in TheFunded were actually positive (including the most recent one), so this subpoena actually runs a risk of accentuating the negative. Even if EDF feels it was been unfairly maligned by TheFunded, it ultimately needs to appeal to entrepreneurs – and they almost universally seem to love the site. I’m not saying it’s a fair situation, but EDF does not seem to be making the best of it.
EDF and I are playing phone tag, and will update here if we’re able to connect.