Exodus at Path as Dave Morin Tries to Raise Money at a Flat Valuation

Not long after Dave Morin laid off 20 percent of his employees in October, Path began hemorrhaging valuable staffers.

First there was wunderkind designer Danny Trinh, who announced his departure the day after the layoffs. TechCrunch once called the 22-year-old dropout "perhaps one of the most talented, up-and-coming product designers in the social and mobile space today." Today, TechCrunch reports that Matt Van Horn, Path's head of business and a self-described "non-technical no talent ass-clown," is also parting ways with the company:

We’ve heard that Path’s Head of Business Matt Van Horn gave notice yesterday, in order to co-found his own company with Path iOS developer Nikhil Bhogal. We’ve also heard that Product Designer Danny Trinh left to raise funding for his own startup right before the company’s 20% layoffs in October. Both had been at Path for three years and had been co-workers at Digg before that.

TechCrunch's Alexia Tsotsis also reported that Path, which has had a rough time rallying investors with sticker packs, is rumored to be raising money at a flat valuation, rather than the $500 million figure floated this summer:

According to one source the company is close to closing an over $7 million raise (between $7m -$10m) from Morin-pal and former Facebooker Dustin Moskovitz, at a flat valuation around $250 million, the same as the last round reported.

It has been said that “friends and family” would also join the funding, though the size of that portion is unclear.

Valleywag heard something similar: that Path was raising a bridge round somewhere in the vicinity of $5 million from Kleiner Perkins at a flat valuation, which was part of the reason for the layoffs. According to my source, Kleiner Perkins cofounder John Doerr was annoyed at Path board member Chi-Hua Chien for micromanaging Path's product team without results, especially as traffic has dropped.

Chien is thought of as instrumental in Accel Partners' investment in Facebook and seems to have the same faith in Morin.

Moskovitz and Morin are close friends and former Facebook colleagues. They also have a fund together called Slow Ventures. Here's Moskovitz talking about deal flow and the Facebook mafia with Business Insider last year:

Even though Moskovitz has his own fund, he says the startup gossip isn't his scene.

"I actually purposely stay out of that world. I'm really focused on Asana. My way of dealing with this is I have a fund with Dave Morin called Slow Ventures, and Dave loves to hear about that stuff. If anyone comes to me with an idea, I send it his way and he looks at all stuff."

Morin has one of the most eagerly backed syndicates on AngelList.

Path did not respond to questions about fundraising. But Van Horn sent us to a Tumblr post about his departure, thanking the company and Morin. "The future is bright for Path," he says.

To contact the author of this post, please email nitasha@gawker.com.

[Image via Shutterstock.com]