When Stitch Fix founder Katrina Lake told Lightspeed Venture
Partners, an early investor in her company, that (then) Lightspeed
partner Justin Caldbeck had sexually harassed her, the firm asked
her to sign a non-disparagement agreement. Not signing, a source
suggests, could have endangered her entire company’s future. So
she signed, and remained silent about her experience.
Why it matters: Lightspeed today tweeted that it regrets not
taking “stronger action” when it learned of Caldbeck’s alleged
behavior. Lake signed the non-disparagement clause while Stitch
Fix was trying to raise money — which it eventually did in a
round led by top-tier VC firm Benchmark. Lightspeed could have
blocked that investment.
Let me get this straight: Lightspeed now says “we regret we did not take stronger action”, but at the time, the only action they did take was to encourage Caldbeck’s accuser to sign a legal agreement to keep her mouth shut?