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Springleap charges: Are claims as world’s 7th most innovative firm a fabrication? [Updated]

SA entrepreneur and former CEO of Springleap Eran Eyal faces fraud charges in the US, one of the claims he has made is that his former company is the “7th most innovative in the world”. Is it really?

The charges against Eyal were contained in a statement on Saturday (25 August) by New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood.

Eyal has been charged with allegedly stealing $600,000 from investors by fraudulently soliciting investors to purchase convertible notes through false representations of his company, Springleap. If convicted of the top count charged, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

A simple internet search by Ventureburn found that at least one of the claims against former Springleap founder Eran Eyal to be untrue

Among the various claims made, the New York State Attorney General says Eyal “allegedly fabricated that Springleap was featured as the 7th most innovative company in the world by a prestigious business and technology magazine”.

The magazine in question is Fast Company SA’s December 2014/January 2015 issue (see the cover of issue below and the page in question above) in which Springleap is ranked at seventh position out 25 companies under a sub-section titled “SA’s Top 25 Companies 2014”. Top ranked under “SA’s Top 25 Companies 2014” was HealthQ.

The feature on SA companies followed that issue’s main feature on “the world’s most innovative companies”.

Eyal himself listed his company as “the 7th most innovative company in the world” on his profile  page on investment portal VC4 Africa (see below screenshot).

springleap-screenshot-7th-most-innovative

Eyal also lists as his accomplishments in his  LinkedIn page (see below screenshot) that he has been featured in Fast Company magazine’s “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies” — when Springleap was in fact listed under a sub-section titled “SA’s Top 25 Companies 2014” in the same magazine issue.

springleap-screenshot-7th-most-innovative2

Ventureburn is still attempting to get comment from Eyal.

There has been no comment from Eyal so far via his social media channels and he did not respond immediately to Ventureburn attempts to get hold of him tonight via the telephone number listed on his Facebook and via his email address.

Ventureburn contacted Eric Edelstein —  who started Springleap with Eyal in 2008 — and asked if there was any comment he had and whether he was involved in any way in the company during the time the allegations of fraud are said to have taken place.

Via Facebook messenger Edelstein said only he had “no comment” and referred Ventureburn to an earlier story which refers to his exit from Springleap in 2012 (see here).

This is a developing story. 

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Read more: SA entrepreneur Eran Eyal charged with fraud in the US over startup Springleap
Read more: Springleap’s Trevor Wolfe talks agencies, startups, and pivots [Q&A]
Read more: Springleap’s new Creatives Insights platform helps brands expand to foreign markets
Read more: Springleap goes big: expands into Middle Eastern, pan-African markets
Read more: SA crowdsource design startup Springleap secures R4m+ Angel round
Read more: Life after t-shirts: Ventureburn gets the exclusive behind Springleap’s pivot

Editor’s note (30 August 2018): The feature under which Springleap appeared in a Fast Company magazine issue had Springleap listed under a sub-section titled “SA’s Top 25 Companies 2014” — which followed that issue’s main feature on “the world’s most innovative companies”.

UPDATE: A reader on 3 September 2018 alerted Ventureburn that former Springleap CEO Eran Eyal himself listed his company as “the 7th most innovative company in the world” on his profile page on investment portal VC4 Africa (see below screenshot).

Eyal also lists as his accomplishments in his LinkedIn page (see below screenshot) that he has been featured in Fast Company magazine’s “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies” — when Springleap was in fact listed under a sub-section titled “SA’s Top 25 Companies 2014” in the same magazine issue.

Featured image: Screenshot of the page in Fast Company SA’s SA’s December 2014/January 2015 in which Springleap is ranked by the magazine at 7th on its list of the “world’s most innovative companies”.

  • Opinion1

    The SA version always features the world’s top Innovative companies and the ALSO the SA equivalent.

    So he would be listed as one of the top 25 #7 of SA companies – hardly of the world.

    Total Fabrication.

  • Opinion1

    Pause at 1.41… He spun it as #7 worldwide…

    https://youtu.be/rX1d_uS-JTE

    Fascinating to watch the slick pitch.