Tryp Rides Lawsuit

13 Reasons Why Tryp Rides CTO Taha Abbasi Left

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Tryp Rides Funding Issues, Tryp Rides Lack of Transparency, Tryp Rides Lawsuit, Tryp Rides Management Issues

13 Reasons Why Tryp Rides CTO Taha Abbasi Left

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Let Me Start By Setting The Record Straight

When Tryp Rides stated that I resigned because I couldn’t deliver, they were once again misrepresenting the facts behind why I left. You can see Tryp Rides’ statement on this matter posted by Bill Crosby on behalf of Bob McNulty below.

Incorrect statement about why Taha Abbasi Tryp Rides CTO left Tryp Rides

Many reasons led me to the decision of leaving Tryp Rides. However, the inability to deliver a product from a technical perspective was not one of them. This is yet another one of the misrepresentations being spread by Bob McNulty, David Motta and Bill Crosby, instead of telling the truth that the company is flat out of money, and has been for a while. To top it off it is near impossible for Tryp Rides to raise any more money because Bob McNulty has assigned a ridiculous valuation of 60 million dollars to a company that doesn’t have a production app, production rides, or a proven model.


Many reasons led me to the decision of leaving Tryp Rides. However, the inability to deliver a product from a technical perspective was not one of them. This is yet another one of the misrepresentations being spread by Bob McNulty, David Motta… Click To Tweet
This is yet another one of the misrepresentations being spread by Bob McNulty, David Motta and Bill Crosby, instead of telling the truth that the company is flat out of money, and has been for a while. – Taha Abbasi – Former CTO at Tryp Rides Click To Tweet
It is near impossible for Tryp Rides to raise any more money because Bob McNulty has assigned a ridiculous valuation of 60 million dollars to a company that doesn’t have a production app, production rides, or a proven model. – Taha Abbasi -… Click To Tweet

13 Reasons Why Tryp Rides CTO Taha Abbasi Left

  1. Management Issues – I did not agree with the Management Approach in practice at Tryp Rides, especially relating to the way Bob McNulty and David Motta treat users, investors and employees.
  2. Investor Misrepresentation – I find it unethical in my opinion to misrepresent the state of the company to investors by either omitting important details or by stating facts in a manner that will not shed light on the holistic scenario. From what I observed, I felt a misalignment of ethical and moral values in the way Bob McNulty and Jeffery Aaronson were presenting Tryp Rides to investors vs the reality of the situation on the ground and state of the company.
  3. Unrealistic Expectations – I strongly believe in underpromising and over delivering. However, with the approach Bob McNulty continuously used to set unrealistic expectations, we fell flat on our face repeatedly. I would provide a timeline regarding when the applications can be ready if we have X amount in funding, Bob would start sharing that out with people, without first locking down the funding. In other words, the estimates I provided were becoming useless due to a critical missing factor: lack of funding to pay for services and engineers to build the app. In fact, I believe that there have been continuous exhibitions of extreme optimism and unrealistic expectations in relation to scaling the company (# of markets opening this year, # of drivers onboarding, # of riders and rides, or amount of revenue generated).
  4. Lack of Transparency & Leading People On – Furthermore, I find it unethical to lead people on and make them believe that Tryp Rides is about to launch in a market, when Tryp Rides can’t even afford to pay its server bill. I personally had to pay for server costs in October, November, and December because Tryp Rides Credit Card won’t approve the charges due to funds related issues. I disagree with the level of transparency we have with employees, investors and customers with regards to the state of the company.
  5. Inflated & Overestimated Valuation – In my opinion Tryp Rides’ valuation at $60MM + is extremely Inflated and overestimated. In fact, previously Bob McNulty was trying to raise money at an 80 million dollar valuation for Tryp Rides when the company didn’t have a functioning app, didn’t have any production rides and long pathway to accomplish both of those things.
    1. I strongly believe this has been and continues to be one of the main reasons why Tryp Rides is unable to raise the funding necessary to grow.
      1. I believe the claim to investors is likely stating the same thing that is being shared with the drivers and users. Tryp Rides keeps stating that they have got it all figured out, and that they are able to scale in an instant. The reality is much different, but if the reality of the state of the company is shared, then the valuation doesn’t make sense. 
      2. I believe this has been one of the core reasons why VCs (Venture Capital Firms) will not entertain Tryp Rides anymore at it’s valuation.
      3. I believe that the inflated and overestimate valuation was also a result of unrealistic and over optimistic expectations. This has created a typical scenario of a runaway valuation for Tryp Rides.
  6. Budget and Funds Allocation – I don’t agree with the way funds are handled without appropriate budget allocation at Tryp Rides. I believe this pattern is negligent by nature. In my opinion its one of the main reasons why Tryp Rides regularly failed to predict when it will run out of money to pay employee salaries, bills, vendors.
    1. Employee Notification of Burn Rate – I don’t agree with the approach Tryp Rides uses to notify employees about funding issues. The approach was largely based around unrealistic expectations and optimism. The communications to employees would generally be “Funding is coming tomorrow”. Instead, it should have been grounded in reality a bit more. Tryp Rides should have communicated something like this when the company ran out of money: “Funding might come tomorrow, but we’re not sure. It could take a few weeks, or a month or two. So adjust your lifestyle and commitment to the company accordingly”. I believe this type of behavior and negligence in notifying employees, contractors, and vendors of lack of funds resulted in dire consequences for many of the dedicated teammates working hard at Tryp Rides, including the risk of losing their housing.
  7. Failure to Recognize and Reward Committed Team Members – When Tryp Rides ran out of money and couldn’t pay its bills or employees for a significant period, a good portion of Tryp Rides employees had to figure out other ways to make money since Tryp Rides kept telling them that “Money was coming tomorrow”. There were a few individuals, who continued to put in extraordinary hours despite not getting paid. These are the same individuals who had intimate knowledge of how to open a market, interact with drivers on the ground, conduct UAT, etc. Tryp Rides failed to compensate these individuals with the appropriate equity incentive for going above and beyond in this critical time. I disagree with this approach Tryp Rides used to assess and assign value to key team members and allocate appropriate incentives to protect and ensure company growth. I believe this pattern resulted in negligence towards risk avoidance of key employees leaving. The result was, those key team members left the company. Now the Tryp Rides is left with almost no one with driving experience along with the relevant experience to conduct the above activities to launch a market.
  8. Lack of Standard Business Process – Bob McNulty tends to verbally commit or promise business-related items but fails to follow through with documentation of such commitments. The lack of standard business practices caused significant issues for Tryp Rides. In my opinion, Jeffery Aaronson and Bob McNulty at Tryp Rides have demonstrated an inability to execute basic and core business practices, such as documenting employment contracts, documenting compensation change discussions, etc.
    Example
    1. Bob McNulty would say things like “I’ll double your stock options” verbally, but wont provide any documentation to back it up.
      1. This has consistently led to miscommunication and errors in compensation and contractual updates.
    2. Bob McNulty and Jeffery Aaronson failed to establish a written employment contract with individuals working in a full-time capacity. This put Tryp Rides’ assets at significant risk since the ownership of those assets was not defined through an agreement. To give you a better idea of the magnitude of this problem, take a look at the Fair Engine data. The Fair Engine core was compiled primarily by Nick Odio. There is no contractual agreement between Tryp Rides and Nick Odio stating that Tryp Rides has ownership rights to the work being done by Nick Odio. This means Nick Odio can claim ownership to the core Fair Engine that Tryp Rides is using. Not having any contractual agreement with folks working in a full-time capacity risks the company’s core IP including core Fair Engine data. Establishing these agreements is Business 101, and in my observation, Bob McNulty and Jeffery Aaronson at Tryp Rides failed to establish these basic business practices.
  9. Making Decisions without Executive Team and Expert Input – I do not agree with the approach where decisions are consistently taken without consultation from the necessary stakeholders, continuously putting the company at risk
    Examples
    1. Bob McNulty and Jeffery Aaronson decided to pay for the TNC Insurance coverage that was needed to open Florida. Tryp Rides was attempting to open the NYC and Florida markets together. The limited funds could have been used to pay for critical employee and contractor salaries. Paying the insurance company did not result in reinstating active coverage to open Florida since there was a history of missed payments with them. This left Tryp Rides with no funds to pay salaries.
    2. The limited funds should have been used to complete and launch the app in one market instead of trying to open multiple markets. Paying the insurance company did not result in reinstating active coverage to open Florida since there was a history of missed payments with them. This left Tryp Rides with no money to pay for the technology development bill which put the company’s technology and assets at risk.
  10. Charging Drivers Before Opening A Market – I am against and do not agree with creating liability by taking the Driver Account Setup fee from users in markets where we have not opened yet. Tryp Rides has continuously charged setup fees to drivers in markets around the country and the world. For most of these markets, Tryp Rides doesn’t have a clear path to open anytime soon. To clarify what I mean by this, let me give you a few examples:
    1. Before opening a market Tryp Rides would have to research the regulatory requirements to operate in that region. Once approved as a company, then Tryp Rides would have to understand the requirements for drivers in that region and enforce the requirements per the laws of the market.
      1. So, as drivers sign up and pay the setup fee in places like Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago etc. Tryp Rides has no definitive path to ensure that these drivers will qualify to drive. In other words, Tryp Rides is charging a setup fee for a service it may not be able to provide, and will likely have to refund.
      2. Think this is a stretch? We had multiple cases in NYC where drivers signed up and paid $399 to be a Driver Influencer months ago. However, when it came time to approve them, it turns out they didn’t qualify since they didn’t have the right type of Vehicle Base (Black – Car). 
    2. Tryp Rides also didn’t have a connection with a background check provider anymore. So charging money around the country for “Driver Account Setup” was simply a way to generate revenue. One might wonder why Tryp Rides didn’t have a connection with a background check provider?
      1. Tryp Rides owes Universal Background Screening $48,165.88 in a past due balance. So they stopped processing background checks until the bill was paid up. 
      2. Tryp Rides got two other background check providers Sterling and Accurate, convinced both of them to give Tryp Rides 500 free background checks (1,000 in total). However, Tryp Rides couldn’t integrate with these providers as Tryp Rides had a past due balance with the Software Development house of over $210,000. 
    3. So, looking at the information above, as far as I can tell Tryp Rides didn’t pay for a single background check but charged its drivers a setup fee for exactly this purpose.

      In my opinion, charging Driver’s setup fee in markets that are not open is unethical. I voiced this many times, but it fell on deaf ears. Even today, Tryp Rides claims to waive the setup fees yet the app still charges it.
  11. Not Following a Lean Startup Approach – I don’t agree with the approach of hiring too many people, too fast, in too many departments, in order to open multiple markets, when Tryp Rides didn’t have funds, technology or operations built to launch in one market.
    1. I further do not agree with the lack of initiative early on and failure to cut down the workforce, or right size the workforce when the funds ran out multiple times.
  12. Misrepresenting Available Funds – I do not agree with the approach of overstating / misrepresenting the funding available. For example, When I was hired, I was told by Bob McNulty that he had allocated $3MM in funding from his own pocket for the company for the year 2019, with $1MM allocated specifically for technology. Bob McNulty stated that he was looking to raise another $10MM.
    1. Inability to Hire Talent – I believe the limitations in the ability to hire showed this not to be the case. With limited funding Tryp Rides couldn’t hire internal engineers, or software development companies who typically look for a 30% to 50% deposit on the project cost.
      1. Inability to Pay Deposit to Software Vendor – In April after getting quotes from multiple vendors Tryp Rides ended up hiring the OneByte Division at Web N App to build the Tryp Rides platform and applications. Tryp Rides failed to make the very first payment for technology development on time, in fact this pattern continued to the present day. I do not agree with the approach towards payments, Tryp Rides has been consistently late and behind on the payments since the start of the engagement, jeopardizing the ability to scale the development team and the growth at Tryp Rides.
    2. Inability to Adequately Notify Employees of Funding Issues – I don’t agree with the “secrecy first” approach, I believe it led to the failure to notify employees and set proper expectations when the funding ran out in September. Employees were stuck in hotels racking up expenses, being told funding is coming “tomorrow”. The proper expectation should have been, “Funding might come tomorrow, but we’re not sure. It could take a few weeks, or a month or two. So adjust your lifestyle and commitment to the company accordingly.”
    3. Pattern of Not Paying Vendors – Habitual pattern to not pay vendors such as Customer Care (SheHelps owed over $57,419.00), Development Teams (Web N App – OneByte owed over $210,000), Background Check companies (Universal Background Screening owed over 48,165.88) etc.
    4. Mismanagement of Funds – I do not agree with how funding is allocated and how budgets are handled by Bob McNulty and Jeffery Aaronson. I believe this led to the inability to pay for critical bills including MongoDB, AWS etc. I’ve personally had to pay over $10,000 in these critical bills to keep our software live in just the past 2 months. This is in addition to the $23,000 I have had to pay personally to keep the lights on for Development. 
    5. Inability to Reimburse Expenses – Employee expense reimbursements are almost 2 quarters behind. I have personal expenses from September of 2019 that are still pending reimbursement. My expenses for Tryp Rides since September of 2019 are $42,337.17. These have still not been reimbursed by Tryp Rides.
  13. Putting up a Show – Most importantly, in my observation, Bob McNulty’s actions and the actions of Tryp Rides are not in line with the vision or ethos being shared with drivers.

Infographic: 13 Reasons Why Tryp Rides CTO Taha Abbasi Left

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