A number of girls who both work at enterprise agency DFJ or have labored for the 30-year-old outfit prior to now are pushing again in opposition to new allegations that founders needs to be cautious of approaching the agency owing to “predatory habits” that’s “rampant.”
Yesterday, The Data reported that Steve Jurvetson, a cofounder of DFJ, is being investigated for sexual harassment, as advised to it by the Menlo Park-based agency. It says it launched an investigation in August after rumors started swirling about him.
Stated longtime DFJ worker Carol Wentworth to the outlet, “[E]arly this summer time we grew to become conscious of oblique and secondhand allegations about Steve Jurvetson and we instantly opened an unbiased investigation, which is ongoing right now,” she added.
Requested for remark earlier in the present day, Wentworth would solely share the identical assertion.
It isn’t clear if the investigation is tied — or tied completely — to Keri Kukral, founding father of an organization known as Uncooked Science. However she wrote on Tuesday on Fb publish that “girls approached by founding companions of Draper Fisher Jurvetson needs to be cautious. Predatory habits is rampant.” She added that “silencing habits ranges from safety w/within the agency creating information on girls, to potential violations of revenge porn legal guidelines, to grotesque threats.”
Kukral additionally wrote, considerably cryptically, that “girls have been banned by heads of TED from attending conferences. I’ve skilled some (not all) of these items together with many others. The scenario I discovered myself in is personally atypical and I’ve not been in every other scenario remotely prefer it. I used to be not searching for funding or attempting to additional my profession. My funding rounds have occurred solely exterior of Silicon Valley each earlier than and after this expertise. I cannot step foot in SV for funding.”
Kukral had a private relationship with Jurvetson, a supply tells The Data. Kukral had added in subsequent feedback to her publish that her expertise was not in knowledgeable context.
The founding companions of DFJ are Tim Draper, who left the agency two years in the past, Steve Jurvetson, and John Fisher, who stays on DFJ’s development crew.
Within the meantime, writing on her private website this morning, Heidi Roizen, who has been a accomplice with the agency since early 2012, didn’t mince phrases concerning the agency’s tradition, saying that “[S]indicate put, I might not work for DFJ if I felt the tradition was not certainly one of excessive integrity and alternative for all — together with girls. Together with me.”
Two different girls — Annie Hazlehurst, a former DFJ worker who in the present day runs her personal science and software-focused enterprise agency in New York, and one other former DFJ worker named Courtney McColgan, who’s in the present day the cofounder and CEO of Runa, a Mexico Metropolis-based HR software program startup — have additionally weighed in to return to DFJ’s protection, and that of Jurvetson.
Writing on Medium, the ladies say that whereas they’ve each sexism “every day in lots of varieties and boards,” neither “encountered it at DFJ or working with Steve Jurvetson.” As a substitute, they proceed, “The truth that we’re in management positions within the trade in the present day is a testomony to Steve and DFJ cultivating an surroundings the place girls advance professionally. DFJ thrives on mental curiosity and collaboration. Our contributions had been revered from accomplice conferences to board rooms. Our accomplishments yielded promotions and long run profession tracks. And Steve was at all times our strongest skilled champion, nominating us to talk at conferences, sit on boards and signify DFJ world wide.”
Value noting: Roizen was much less protecting of Jurvetson particularly in her publish, writing that this previous summer time, “we heard about allegations of misconduct by one (and solely one) of our companions from a 3rd celebration. We felt the accountable factor to do was to launch an unbiased investigation, and so we did. It’s nonetheless ongoing.” She mentioned that she doesn’t “want an investigation to state with certainty that” claims about predatory habits on the agency is “patently incorrect.
“I’m too grizzled and previous to jot down bullshit about an organization to please my boss. I’m scripting this as a result of I imagine it to be true,” added Roizen.
We sat down final month with Jurvetson at our TechCrunch Disrupt occasion.
Jurvetson isn’t speaking concerning the investigation with the press, per the agency. We’ve additionally reached out to Kukral; we’ve but to listen to from her however hope to have extra on this story quickly.