VC Justin Caldbeck raised funding in email to accuser ahead of scandal breaking – TechCrunch
TechCrunch has reviewed an email allegedly sent by VC Justin Caldbeck, of Binary Capital, to one of the female founders who have accused him of inappropriate behavior — which suggests he tried to use his influence as an investor to encourage the woman to drop the allegations against him.
The email, dated June 8 — although we have not yet been able to independently verify the year it was sent — was published earlier by Pando, and was sent to Evertoon founder Niniane Wang, who shared it with us. It has the subject line: “Catching up”.
Caldbeck is currently on an indefinite leave from the firm after The Information published details of what amounts to predatory behavior, publishing the stories of six women who had been in contact with Caldbeck in a professional capacity.
Among the allegations are that he sent inappropriate text messages to female founders and that he groped a woman under a bar table during a business meeting.
At least some of these women were having meetings with Caldbeck in the hopes of being able to gain funding for their businesses.
The email to Wang looks to have been sent prior to the publication of The Information’s story, on June 22, but also long after Binary Capital had been contacted by the publication for comment about the allegations against Caldbeck.
A source close to the matter told us Binary Capital was first contacted by The Information regarding the allegations a full two months ago.
Pando reports Wang saying she received the email from Caldbeck three days after she had agreed to go on the record with The Information about his behavior. He had apparently only contacted her once in the previous two years prior to this email.
In the email, he starts by telling Wang it’s “been a long time” since they have been in contact, before segueing into a suggestion they meet to discuss funding for her startup.
“I’m not sure you [sic] Evertoon is thinking of raising more capital but would love to catch up and hear more about what you’re building if you’re open to it,” he writes in an email that includes a footer that it was “sent from my iPhone”.
“Hope you’re doing well,” he concludes, signing off with his first name.
Wang has given her permission for the email to be cited.
At the time of writing a Binary Capital representative had not responded to multiple requests for comment.
Caldbeck’s initial response to the The Information’s story was an aggressive denial. However the messaging coming out of Binary Capital rapidly changed tone as outrage about the story spread — and in a statement on Friday the firm said Caldbeck would be taking an indefinite leave of absence.
It’s also since reportedly delayed the closing of a new fund amid the controversy.
TechCrunch has reached out to several LPs associated with the fund for comment but at the time of writing we are yet to hear back.
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