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Former Square COO Keith Rabois lands at Khosla Ventures

Rabois left Square last month amid allegations of sexual harassment but was still thought of in Silicon Valley as one of the most successful executives around.

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
3 min read
Former Square COO Keith Rabois Square

Keith Rabois, the former Square COO who resigned last month amid sexual harassment allegations, is joining Khosla Ventures, one of Silicon Valley's leading VC firms.

Khosla Ventures was founded by former Kleiner Perkins partner Vinod Khosla and was an early investor in Square, the mobile-payments company. According to TechCrunch, Rabois had been considering an offer to join Airbnb as an executive before deciding on the Khosla position. Clearly, the cloud of scandal hanging over his head did nothing to cool the ardor the tech industry felt for him.

That might have something to do with the fact that on his resignation, Rabois posted a heartfelt and detailed explanation of the circumstances surrounding the allegations, leading some to question the charges. As well, it may have been the fact that Rabois had an established history of successful tech-startup leadership, from his stint at Square to his work with Slide and previous efforts at PayPal. He's also on the board of Xoom, a money-transfer service that went public earlier this month.

On Twitter, Rabois spent the morning thanking well-wishers, though he did not outright confirm that he has taken the new VC gig.

Update 1:22 p.m. PT: Rabois appears to have posted his reasoning for joining Khosla Ventures on Quora. Here's his statement:

I moved to Silicon Valley in 2000, joining a bunch of misfits who had some provocative ideas about how the world should work. [1] Three years later, I started investing to enable other driven people to chase their dreams. I quickly discovered that the more companies I invested in, the more brilliant and inspirational new people I could encourage. As a result, for twelve years I harboured dreams of becoming a VC who did this every day for a long time.

Indeed, twice before -- in the middle of 2007 and the summer of 2010-- I nearly converted into a professional investor. But in both cases, I ran into a world-class entrepreneur with a compelling vision of the future and who asked for my help. And I said yes.

But with Khosla Ventures, I recognized a team that shared my belief in funding only entrepreneurs who dream vividly bold dreams. I love their passion, work ethic and obsessive focus on impact. This is not marketing from a recruitment process: I have enjoyed Board discussions and debates with a KV partner consistently since May 2007.

Of course, there are other exceptional VCs; some of my favorite colleagues from PayPal and LinkedIn are now extraordinary investors. But what sets KV apart from other investors is that we are dedicated to a different model of venture assistance where the team and the partners bear the obligation to provide insightful guidance. In fact, I can attest that Square would not be Square today without KV's help.

In my experience, raising capital is easy. High caliber mentoring and genuine counsel is rare. Those qualified to dispense it to a fragile startup are in short-supply. I am excited to join Khosla Ventures because we recognize that this what the most ambitious entrepreneurs crave.