VC Joe Lonsdale's tweets about technology diversity 'wake up' investor momentum - TechCrunch

VC Joe Lonsdales tweets about technology diversity wake up investor

Last week, in response to someone who tweeted that VCs were racist, venture capitalist and entrepreneur Joe lonsdale differences in venture capital investing to “average black culture. ”

“True view: the average black culture needs to step in and stop so many children being born out of a seizure situation (a statistical indicator of underachievement) / who do not value education or spend so much time on homework, ”Lonsdale wrote in this time -deleted series of tweets.

Opining Lonsdale, co - founder of Palantir and which runs the early 8VC venture company, began sharp criticism from a number of technical investors, many of whom called on Lonsdale advisers and limited partners - who including the likes of Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, Box CEO Aaron Levie and actor Leonardo DiCaprio - to speak out against the actions of the entrepreneur.

In one tweet with full picture of Londsale tweets, Bessemer partner Elliott Robinson write, “[I]VCs are not similar [Joe Lonsdale] which holds back the tech ecosystem and society. Hundreds of LPs, co-investors, founders, and decision-makers are still silent because: they are not worried, they are afraid [or] they agree. I feel bad for him / her for living like that. It's sad. ”

Stealth mode common partner Lolita Taub, a former investor through Backstage Capital and the Community Fund, has told anyone who agrees to disclose Londsale's "racist statement".

Light capital doctor Brian Brackeen said in the meantime in a tweet that “any LP is complicated” and that “there is no shame in being in SF. The culture is there to accept people like it. Diversity in technology cannot develop until we diversify on land. ”

Lonsdale responded to a request for further context, telling TechCrunch by email that he was "jumping on the fly" but that "someone edited a screenshot and tweeted completely out of the situation to cause a riot. "He also said that" those who attack me have political motives. You can see that they are almost entirely on the far left and prefer divided attacks against working for progressive solutions together. ”

He maintains that the context surrounding the statements has been lost from its original thread.

“I commented on how racism has caused issues with some cultures today that we need to talk about and deal with, and with the awfulness of some of the things that those communities used to do - red lining , Jim Crow, and so many horrific cases in the past - it's not necessary to blame 100% of today's racist problems. ”

Lonsdale also said that he has “invested millions of dollars in black founders and related philanthropic causes and works proudly with many councilors from these communities and we continue to do more to reach out to talent from these backgrounds and to partner. As I said, not only is it dumb to discriminate, but if it's nothing if someone comes from a difficult background and still thrives - that means that they tend to be tough, which means they's an even better founder back then. I want to continue to support talented black founders. ”

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When asked about the Black Founders that Lonsdale has invested in, a spokesman for Lonsdale responded that “it does not seem appropriate to list names and force [anyone] to answer questions ”as“ Lonsdale's notes were taken out of context. ”

Lonsdale has a successful business history, but also a record of troubled personal dealings. In addition to Palantir and 8VC, Lonsdale has co - founded a line of companies including Addepar, OpenGov, Affinity, Epirus, Esper, Swiftscale Bio, Resilience Bio, Hearth and LIT, which recently received a $ 50 million investment from Tiger Global.

He has been a major character in a number of controversies, including a breakup with earlier investment partners and a high-profile lawsuit filed by a discharged Stanford alumnus after that.

Recently, he shouted "Anyone in a critical condition who takes 6 months' newborn leave… bereaved."

Lonsdale - who has been successful in his fundraising efforts despite public controversy - has been trying to relinquish his earlier position since taking over last Friday. . Later in the day, for example, he tweeted: “It's worth clarifying: you can be against separation and 'wake up' needles, and I am. But we should still be aware of the positive aspects of our 21st century culture and wisdom - that it is important to be aware of past racism, kind, inclusive and anti - racist. races of all kinds. ”

“I do not expect TC to give me a fair hearing - an emotional article attacking and making [people] I think that someone is racist and angry at what you are being taught to do in journalism these days - but I hope that you will consider representing this idea fairly, ” Lonsdale said in an email statement to TechCrunch.

In a competitive and money-making fundraising market, Lonsdale's controversial views could draw negative attention to his venture company and make its founders less likely to accept its money. In fact, the founder of Block Party Tracy Chou She tweeted that Lonsdale had even spoken to their batch Y Combinator before making his latest comments, and said his comments on the platform were "terrifying."

"He claims that even after all he has been deceived by the building for example and to give advice," she tweeted.

In the meantime, it may be more difficult for Lonsdale to partner with the growing number of black investors. Asset Manager Del Johnson and Spencer Tyson, which is a partner of Revere VC, was among many investors who took to Twitter to post Lonsdale's comments afterwards, and their dissatisfaction was clear. Tyson added: "What you, and many others, can't understand is the difference between a 'wake' culture and a BLACK culture," he said. "Our rich liberal friends are not the ones you argue with at dinner parties… You attacked BLACK culture."

For now, Lonsdale is continuing its efforts to re - text his previous statements. “The data shows that structural issues (which may have been caused by racism in the past) are holding people back and making a difference, not hate- decisions by VCs, ”Lonsdale tweeted in a separate response.

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