Mission Motorcycles is not Mission Motors. We say that off the start to avoid confusion about what follows. Mission Motors was started in San Francisco a few years back after exploding from its stealth cocoon, known as Hum Cycles. Mission Motorcycles was started much more recently by three gentlemen – Mark Seeger, Vincent Ip, and Andrew Ng – and partners symbiotically with Mission Motors for its technology. Ok, got that?
Now, every new company has its troubles, and many lose founders and co-founders along the way. One need look no further than Mission Motors for an example – Forrest North, the man with the original super-awesome electric motorcycle plan, parted ways early in that company's history, going on to start PlugShare and associated companies. Mission Motorcycles, itself, has not escaped this curse, and it's getting very ugly.
It's getting very ugly.
According to The Record, the young company has not only expelled Vincent Ip, but is suing him in an effort to force him to sell back his shares in the venture. It get worse. Among the alleged reasons for the expulsion are threats of violence and other improper behavior. Reasons, we hasten to add, that are disputed by Mr. Ip and his lawyer, Lisa Solbakken. To hear the defendant's side tell it, the lawsuit arose after the company learned that Ip had planned to file his own lawsuit for, among other things, fraud and breach of contract. Now, it seems the legal effort will take the form of a counter-suit.
All this messiness happens as, reportedly, Mission Motorcycles is about to close a significant round of funding. It's hard to predict how, or even if, the legal turmoil will affect customers waiting for what some have called the motorcycle of year.