Ann La said she was fired after helping to lead a $145m round of funding from Bullpen Capital.


On AnnBullpen Capital’s general partner has been fired from the firm, she says. The investor described the termination experience as “discriminatory and counterproductive” in a LinkedIn post published Monday. La was named an equal partner in Bullpen Capital’s latest fund, a $145 million investment vehicle.

Prior to joining Bullpen Capital in September 2020, Lai was a principal at Binary Capital, co-founded by investor Justin Caldbeck. When she resigned from that company, she said it was related to alleged sexual behavior she witnessed while there. Caldbeck, who has previously been accused of sexual harassment, told her he would blacklist her from the industry if she spoke up. Leigh sued for breaching her NDA and telling others about the reason for her resignation – she eventually settled. Also to help others in the industry negotiate silent warranty contracts.

Her return to investment has made her the firm’s first female partner and first partner of color to be hired as a GP at Bullpen.

“The general point of my first issue [with Binary] It’s that they don’t cover such behaviors with disparagement,” he told TechCrunch. “I drafted it out of a GP deal for the bullpen, not thinking I’d ever need it. “If it were like any other time, the only narrative would be theirs. And then I have no options. “

It’s TechCrunch’s understanding that Leigh’s regular outgoing communications are done entirely through legal counsel. La did not receive a severance package from Bullpen Capital when she was terminated. She declined to comment further, referring to her attorneys, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan’s Michael Liftick, who were asked for comment.

“She didn’t choose to leave the bullpen and there wasn’t an opportunity for her to stay after the end of April. We believe she was illegally coerced because she was not afraid to speak her mind and share her thoughts. While strong arguments between the other white male partners seem to have helped, this is unacceptable when it comes to Anne, the only female and minority in the partnership. Anne continues to be committed to the diverse founders she brought to the bullpen and her vision for her shared LPs through an informed due diligence process.

A spokesperson for the bullpen told TechCrunch that they do not comment on personnel matters. “We are disappointed by Ms. Lay’s recent comments about the bullpen, and strongly disagree with them.

On LinkedIn, Lai described the partnership at the firm as an “all-white, all-male partnership” where ‘equal’ wasn’t exactly equal. During her time at the company, she says she has had to “defend female founders when they are called baseless ‘untrustworthy’ or ‘non-committal,'” push male founders in the bullpen network to take standard precautions and stand up for herself. In meetings after being called a “waste of time” in partner meetings.

A company spokesperson said Bullpen “encourages a culture of healthy debate and diverse perspectives among our entire team, which is essential to finding high-potential unproven companies.”

Bullpen added, “Our successes in this area have been prior and we are free to join the organization on Ms., and our commitment is as strong as ever. We remain focused on moving forward without compromising on our founding vision of being a market leader with strong founders and generating attractive returns for LPs. A lawyer for Lai did not have a comment in response to Bullpen’s statement.

La, for her part, said in her post to LPS that she is “committed to delivering what we marketed and what we promised to Fund VI.” I will never stop so suddenly and responsibly.”

As part of her termination, Lai will not be allowed to remain on the board of her existing portfolio companies — including ChairmanMe, which was built by CEO Sarah Lacy, a former reporter at TechCrunch. Bullpen continues to hold equity in Lacy’s company as one of its largest investors.

Lacy believes Ley’s experience is an example of a larger issue in Silicon Valley. The above is an example of what happened, she wrote in an official LinkedIn post: “Why just hiring more female GPs hasn’t changed this industry, why the percentage of capital going to underrepresented founders has decreased even as the number of women getting these jobs has increased. . “

“Was it a character or a mistake that someone like Anne got fired for not playing the game?” Lacy wrote.

Lai says the bullpen has yet to contact her since going public with her account of the termination.

If you have a tip or lead on other staffing shakeups in the venture world, you can reach Natasha Mascarenhas on Twitter @nmasc_ or on Signal at +1 925 271 0912. Identity requests will be honored.


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