VC Dave McClure reportedly resigns after admitting to being a 'creep'

After several women accuse him of sexual harassment, McClure resigns as general partner of his 500 Startup seed investment group, according to Axios.

Michelle Meyers
Michelle Meyers wrote and edited CNET News stories from 2005 to 2020 and is now a contributor to CNET.
Michelle Meyers
3 min read

Dave McClure, the latest VC to apologize for his workplace behavior toward women, is reportedly resigning as general partner of 500 Startup firm.

500 Startup

Never mind the Fourth of July fireworks. Allegations of sexual harassment in the tech industry just keep blowing up, this time shining the light on venture capitalist Dave McClure.

McClure has reportedly resigned as general partner of all funds managed by 500 Startups , the accelerator and early stage seed funding company he founded in 2010. 500 Startups has invested in companies like MakerBotUdemy and Twilio.

McClure had already stepped down as CEO of 500 Startups. This additional step was reportedly disclosed to partners on Monday via an email from new CEO Christine Tsai, Axios said, adding that a public announcement is expected to be made soon.

McClure tweeted on Monday that he was resigning "effective immediately" at the request of Tsai.

Later Monday, TechCrunch reported that partner Elizabeth Yin resigned, citing a lack of transparency and "several untruths" presented by company leadership. 

500 Startups and McClure didn't respond to a request for comment and confirmation.

McClure and investor Chris Sacca were named Friday in report by The New York Times about sexual harassment in the technology startup industry. Out of more than two dozen women who spoke with the Times about the issue, 10 named the investors involved, including Sacca and Dave McClure of 500 Startups.

That triggered an apology from Sacca published on Friday, and then another one published Saturday by McClure, which was titled "I'm a creep. I'm sorry."

"I made advances towards multiple women in work-related situations, where it was clearly inappropriate. I put people in compromising and inappropriate situations, and I selfishly took advantage of those situations where I should have known better," he wrote. "My behavior was inexcusable and wrong."

McClure's, who was further accused Monday of making unwanted advances in a blog post from entrepreneur Cheryl Yeo, is just the latest tale out of Silicon Valley of harassment, discrimination or basic unfair practices when it comes to hiring and retaining diverse tech talent. 

In February, a former Uber engineer wrote her own account detailing sexual harassment at the company. Last week, venture capital firm Binary Capital's co-founder Justin Caldbeck left after a story from The Information said he'd made sexual advances at female entrepreneurs. A former employee is suing the firm for harassment and defamation, also describing a sexist environment. Back in March 2015, Ellen Pao lost her gender discrimination lawsuit against VC firm Kleiner Perkins.

Meanwhile, a 2016 report from Bloomberg showed that the majority of founders are men and they tend to raise more money, about $100 million on average compared to $77 million for startups led by women.

First published July 3, 2:23 p.m. PT.
Update, 4:59 p.m.: Adds information and links about partner Elizabeth Yin's resignation and new allegations made by entrepreneur Cheryl Yeo.
Update, July 4 at 1:45 p.m. PT: Adds tweet from McClure.

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