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Brief: Japanese government startup fund caught in sexual harassment scandal

The Tokyo Tower. Photo credit: Taro Tokyo.

The news:

  • Another sexual harassment scandal is unfolding in the startup ecosystem, with a senior executive at Cool Japan Fund – a government-run investment fund with a mix of public and private capital – accused of improper conduct by female employees.
  • The executive is alleged to have held a “lottery” in which female employees drew cards variously requiring them to accompany the executive one-on-one to dinner, drinks, and movies.
  • Cool Japan Fund is the biggest investor in 500 Japan, 500 Startups’ Japan-focused microfund, Bloomberg reports. 500 Japan closed a US$35 million funding round last month, with Cool Japan Fund reportedly investing US$10 million.

Why it matters:

  • The startup and venture capital world has been rocked by a number of sexual harassment scandals in recent months. Dave McClure, co-founder of 500 Startups, quit the firm this month after multiple claims of sexual harassment were made against him by several women. A former Uber employee’s allegations of harassment and misconduct contributed towards the eventual departure of CEO Travis Kalanick last month.
  • The US startup scene has been the focal point for most of these allegations so far. However, after Malaysian entrepreneur Cheryl Yeoh accused McClure of assaulting her, several women in the region have come forward with their own accounts of misconduct.

Source: Bloomberg.

This post Brief: Japanese government startup fund caught in sexual harassment scandal appeared first on Tech in Asia.

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