Physical and sexual violence Edit
- Michael Arrington (founder of TechCrunch and founding partner of CrunchFund) has multiple allegations of physical and sexual violence towards past partners.
- Dan Bilzerian (venture capitalist and trust-fund child of corporate takeover specialist/ex-convict Paul Bilzerian) threw a model off a roof during a Hustler shoot and broke her foot.
- Michael Goguen, a partner at Sequoia Capital for 19 years, was accused of sexual, physical and emotional abuse of a woman for over 12 years, who was a victim of sexual trafficking. Her allegations include that he left her alone in a hotel room in 2012 after physically injuring her in a sex act so badly that she required emergency surgery. Goguen's lawyers are countersuing for extortion without denying the sexual relationship. Sequoia Capital famously has no women partners, stated that Goguen was leaving the firm as a result of these allegations.
- Alleged rapist Kobe Bryant founded a $100 million VC fund with long-time investment partner Jeff Stibel, vice chairman at Dun & Bradstreet, a Fortune 500 corporation. Stibel responded to questions about the allegations with “I think it is completely irrelevant and largely water under the bridge. A huge chunk of our portfolio company CEOs are women, and more than half of my senior executives [at Dun & Bradstreet] are female.”
- Edwin Urrutia was a co-foudner of Turing Pharmaceuticals with Martin Shkreli. Urrutia left Turing after being investigated for alleged sexual assault of the company's chief commercial officer. He then joined EUKU Ventures, a VC firm focusing on New York City area ventures.
Sexual harassment Edit
- Pavel Curda (European angel investor) propositioned multiple women who pitched to him.
- CMEA Capital settled a lawsuit alleging "pervasive and severe" harassment by chief operating partner John Haag out of court. According to ValleyWag, "The allegations are not limited to Haag. The complaint also says that management was aware of the problem—the firm's founder warned that Haag was a "predator"—and that the women faced retaliation from CMEA employees after they reported the allege."
- @garza_girl describes a comment about her breasts at the 2015 Crunchies from a "pre-IPO eBay exec."
- Shervin Pishevar allegedly dated a PR vendor working for Hyperloop while chairman of the company. Allegedly he raised her salary from $15,000 to $40,000 a month, and then fired her when their engagement ended.
- VC Christine Herron describes fellow board members commenting on her body in board meetings.
- See also KPCB Alumni
Racism and sexism Edit
- Dave McClure (founding partner of 500 Startups and former O'Reilly Media conference organizer) called a woman a lying bitch at a talk. His presentation also included a slide about leaders in technology reading "BTW, Those Guys NEVER Got Laid. ....until, They Got Filthy Stinking Rich."
- Paul Graham (co-founder of Y Combinator) said he would probably not co-found a company with a young woman because she might give birth. Seems oblivious to the fact that women have used computers for as long as computers have existed. Famously panned CEOs with "strong foreign accents" but insisted this wasn't racist. Said that programmers in India "aren't real programmers".
- Jessica Livingston (co-founder of Y Combinator) tweeted approvingly about an article mocking UK feminists for fighting for improved equality in the workplace and at home using standard anti-feminist arguments, e.g. "And, yes, of course there are vital concerns like FGM, forced marriage and access to education for many girls and women in developing countries. But are we really pretending that a woman's lot in life in 21st century Britain is so bad?" (see Many bad things in the world).
- Peter Thiel (Facebook board member, PayPal co-founder, and Clarium Capital founder and president) said women getting the vote was disastrous for U.S. democracy. He directly funded videos by James O'Keefe, known for attacking progressive organizations like ACORN and Planned Parenthood through misleadingly editing secretly filmed videotapes. He spoke in support of notorious racist and sexist Donald Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention. He donated $1.25 million dollars to Trump's campaign after news broke about tapes of Trump bragging about sexual assault. With fellow "PayPal Mafia" member David Sacks, Thiel co-authored a book called "The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and Political Intolerance on Campus" that featured multiple instances of rape apology, including describing date rape as "seductions later regretted." The book argues that racism is largely over and remaining racial tension in the U.S. is caused by people raising awareness of racism, not racism itself.
- John Doerr (KPCB general partner) said on stage that KPCB has "two new partners who are so diverse that I have a challenge pronouncing their names." He later apologized on Twitter.
- Sir Michael Moritz, chairman of Sequoia Capital, said Sequoia is "looking hard" for women but "we're not prepared to lower our standards."
- Scott Stanford and Shervin Pishevar co-founded a VC company with the racist and appropriative name "Sherpa Capital" (Stanford is white and Pishevar is Iranian American - read more about the fight to reclaim the term "Sherpa" here). Shervin Pishevar also proposed an app to stop racist police violence, an idea that was widely derided by anti-racism activists, including Anil Dash.
- John Greathouse, a partner at Rincon Venture Partners, wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal that recommended women hide their gender online by using initials instead of first names and removing photos. He apologized shortly thereafter, writing: "I apologize for the dreadful article I wrote in the WSJ. I told women to endure the gender bias problem rather than acting to fix the problem. I hurt women and I utterly failed to help, which I wholly regret and apologize for having done. Women have a tough enough time having their voices heard and my insensitive comments only made things worse. I am truly sorry."
- See also KPCB Alumni
- Jason Calacanis (founder and CEO of inside.com, Uber angel investor, and former "entrepreneur in action" for Sequoia Capital): claims racism doesn't exist in blogging.
- Marc Andreessen (cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and co-founder of Mozilla predecessor Netscape) tweeted support of Tom Preston-Werner after he departed GitHub in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal. Claimed "technology driven change disproportionately benefits the poor". Blows off women who tell him that VCs overlook women who found startups. Claimed "Silicon Valley is nerd culture, and we are the bro's natural enemy" and "99.9999% of nerds I have known have zero frat in them." Tweeted in support of colonialism in India (later retracted).
- Benedict Evans recently used some clueless language and then later tone-policed Melinda Byerley on Twitter.
- Marc Andreessen and Jason Calacanis both expressed support for serial harasser Milo Yiannopoulos on Twitter, as documented in a blog post by Holly Wood [trigger warning: includes images of graphic violence tweeted at the author].
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) Alumni Edit
- Tom Perkins compared the persecution of Jews under Nazi Germany to the "war" on the rich 1%. This incident made it into popular culture when it was referred to during season 5 of the TV show "The Good Wife," in the episode "The One Percent ." It was also referred to in season 2 of the TV show "Silicon Valley" in the episode "Bad Money."
- John Doerr said he looks for white male Stanford dropouts with no social life.
- Ray Lane allegedly advised a woman KPCB partner being harassed by another KPCB partner to solve the problem by marrying her harasser. Lane also married an employee who reported directly to him. Amity Shlaes wrote an op-ed on the lawsuit titled Women Win in Venture Capital When They Don’t Sue, which serves to remind us that not all geek women are feminists and of accusations of harming the community as a silencing tactic.
- Also see: "The Ellen Pao trial is spilling Silicon Valley secrets", Nitasha Tiku
Academic research and other systemic studies Edit
- Women Are Disappearing From Venture Capital - Karen E. Klein for Businessweek, citing this research.
- "The vast majority of U.S. venture capital investments go to companies led exclusively by men."
- "Only 15 percent of nearly 7,000 VC-backed companies analyzed had a woman executive."
- "The total proportion of women VC partners has dropped to 6 percent, from 10 percent in 1999."
- "Women getting VC funding [in 1999] amounted to only 5 percent of the total, compared to 15 percent today."
- "The continued gender gap in investment is especially puzzling in light of multiple studies released in recent years that have shown that companies with women in senior positions are more likely to succeed than those that are all-male."