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A DFJ partner says claims of ‘predatory’ culture at the company are ‘patently wrong’

Partner Heidi Roizen pushes back on claims against Steve Jurvetson’s firm, even as it continues to investigate allegations of sexual harassment.

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A female partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson on Thursday intensified the pushback against sexual harassment allegations that have rocked the storied venture capital firm this week.

Two days after DFJ said it had launched an investigation into the firm’s co-founder, Steve Jurvetson, a firm partner said she was already sure that at least the firm did not house a predatory “culture.” The woman who went public with her allegations against DFJ this week, Keri Kukral, had alleged “predatory behavior is rampant” at the company. She did not name Jurvetson specifically.

“I don’t need an investigation to state with certainty that this is patently wrong,” wrote Heidi Roizen in a post on her personal website. “I am too grizzled and old to write bullshit about a company to please my boss. I’m writing this because I believe it to be true. I value my own personal reputation and integrity above any firm, and simply put, I would not work for DFJ if I felt the culture was not one of high integrity and opportunity for all — including women. Including me.”

Roizen’s comments are unexpected given that the investigation is still ongoing. She has worked at DFJ as an operating partner since 2012. Roizen herself has said that she was a victim of inappropriate behavior, writing on her website in a 2014 post that a man in Silicon Valley several decades ago once placed her hand down his pants at a restaurant when closing a deal.

Jurvetson, a high-profile investor at one of Silicon Valley’s older firms, has not yet commented on the allegations. He has been scheduled to speak at an unrelated conference in Toronto on Thursday.

Jurvetson still sits on the board of SpaceX and Tesla and is working at DFJ as the investigation unfolds. Roizen said in her post that DFJ is not aware of any allegations against any other partners. DFJ has said it has never received an “official complaint” accusing any DFJ partners of misconduct.

Two former DFJ employees continued to mount the Jurvetson defense later on Thursday, when a pair of women heralded the venture capitalist as “our strongest professional champion.”

“The VC industry along with many other male dominated industries is wrought with sexism. We, along with many of our female counterparts, have experienced it on a daily basis in many forms and forums,” wrote Annie Hazlehurst and Courtney McColgan on Medium. “However, we never encountered it at DFJ or working with Steve Jurvetson.”

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