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The grisly death of a startup CEO

July 16, 2020, 2:43 PM UTC

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Fahim Saleh, a 33-year-old founder, was found decapitated and dismembered in his luxury New York City apartment Tuesday.

The circumstances of his death—an electric saw was still plugged into an outlet when police arrived—looked to be a “professional job” or a “hit,” The New York Times reported, citing a law enforcement official.

The accounts are thoroughly disturbing. Wearing all black and a mask, the killer followed Saleh from his elevator and into his apartment before likely using a stun gun on the founder, the report states. His body parts were found in plastic bags in his Lower East Side home in what appear to be efforts to clean up the scene.

Saleh, born to Bangladeshi parents in Saudi Arabia, graduated from Bentley University in 2009, according to a Medium post. Driven by a passion for practical jokes, he created a system that allowed users to prank call others dubbed PrankDial.

He later turned his attention to transportation in emerging markets. Most recently, he was CEO and co-founder of Gokada, a motorcycle hailing company in Lagos, Nigeria that raised millions from investors including Rise Capital and CRE Ventures, per Pitchbook data. Saleh was also an investor himself, founding Adventure Capital, a New York-based venture firm focused on emerging markets, in 2018. But his bets did not come without their struggles. In February, Lagos banned motorbikes, which was among the most popular forms of transportation in the city. 

“I know I’ve been a little bit quiet…with the motorcycle transport ban in Lagos,” he had said in a video following the news. “It’s tough for an entrepreneur who is trying to innovate and invest his own money when this is not my own country.”

Police currently have no suspects in custody.

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda


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