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TechCrunch / Flickr CC

500 Startups did not inform its limited partners of sexual harassment allegations against firm founder Dave McClure, nor that he had stepped down from running day-to-day operations of the firm, until after the situation was made public in early July by The New York Times. This is according to conversations with two limited partners – and from comments made by current 500 Startups CEO Christine Tsai, speaking confidentially on a recorded LP call that was obtained by Axios.

500 Startups declined to comment on what it did, or didn't, tell LPs (or when). So, let's go to the audiotape, which was recorded just a few days after this mess broke out into the open:

  • "Many of you were disappointing with the way the messaging and perspectives were shared with you… And I deeply apologize for the trouble we have caused all of you."
  • "In late 2016 the management team was made aware of inappropriate comments that Dave had made to a potential investment team candidate, prior to her entering a formal interview process back in 2014. At the time we believed we addressed it appropriately with Dave. In April of this year we were informed of an incident involving Dave and an employee. Upon investigation we felt we needed to take significant action."
  • "The only person who had the legal authority to make Dave resign was Dave himself."
  • "We communicated this transition to our entire staff in an all-hands meeting and email in May. We did not disclose the reason for this transition to respect privacy. We told the team at this meeting of our intention to communicate this transition to our LPs and the general public later this year."
  • "In retrospect these moves were insufficient. We failed to anticipate that Dave would be so resistant to pulling back from the company in the way we had requested despite repeated, direct requests by me to disengage from day-to-day direct communications within the firm."
  • "We also failed to recognize the damage we'd be inflicting on ourselves, our business partners and the women who had come forward by allowing him to continue representing 500."

Go deeper

Ohio sues Biden admin over reversal of Trump-era abortion referral ban

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration Monday over a Trump-era ban on abortion referrals that President Biden overturned earlier this month.

The big picture: The lawsuit aims to reinstate two measures included in the 2019 legislation that required federally funded family planning clinics to be "financially independent of abortion clinics," and refrain from referring patients for abortions.

Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocks abortion restrictions

A pro-choice activist demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4, 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked three abortion restrictions set to take effect on Nov. 1.

Why it matters: The laws would place new limits on medication-induced abortions and require doctors who perform abortions to attain board certification in obstetrics and gynecology.

U.S. freezes aid to Sudan over military coup

Protesting the coup in Khartoum. Photo: AFP via Getty

The Biden administration froze a $700 million aid package to Sudan after a military coup on Monday threatened to end the country's transition toward democracy.

Driving the news: At least three protesters have been killed and dozens wounded in the chaotic scenes that followed the announcements from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling council, dissolving the government and declaring a state of emergency.

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