I started 2 startups with the same set of 3 (so total 4 co-founders).
First one, 3 of us brought in some of our savings to bootstrap our venture. Since it was clearly not enough, we brought in a private investor and sold too much equity (33%) for too little money ($50,000 USD).
Anyways, moving on, we made some money on the 1st venture but had to stop our work abruptly so we started another venture reinvesting the money we made on this venture into the 2nd one. I was financially drained in the first venture so it was decided that 3 of the 4 will bring the capital this time around and I will be contributing sweat equity by working fulltime on a 50% reduced salary. The others need not be ever present. I was promised 18% stake holding in return for my sweat and my contribution from revenues of Company #1 (where I hold 27%).
The person in charge of legal documentation took ages to complete the full legal process while I was slogging 90 hours a week trying to bring stability and revenue to the 2nd company.
When the documentation was finally done 10 months after we started, I found out that I had exactly 0% stake holding in the 2nd company. I took this up with the rest of the guys and gave them a 30 day deadline to fix this. They did nothing. I quit.
My 30 day notice period ended on 17th July 2015. I have 0% equity and company has not yet paid me for 4.5 months of my services (at 50% reduced wages from a total of 11 months). I still have to co-operate and play nice since these guys are still partners of my only company (#1). How do I overcome this situation and get what is rightfully mine?
P.S.: This is India. I cannot use the legal system or I will be twice my age before the courts give me anything.