Edited by: TJVNews.com
Seems like WeWork founder Adam Neumann is no stranger to controversy and this time is no different. According to a report in the New York Post, the Israeli businessman is making a comeback of sorts after quitting his position as WeWork’s CEO in 2019.
The Post reported that Neumann had created and encouraged a “frat party” atmosphere at the company with frequent smoking and drinking in offices. The company was also hit with allegations that its office culture fostered sexual harassment, which it denied.
But now, however, Neumann is using his talents to attract eye popping amounts of cash from investors for the new real estate startup called Flow that he recently founded. While some may appreciate this new company, the report indicated other venture capitalists are not thrilled with Neumann’s comeback agenda.
On Monday, it was reported that Neumann raised $350 million for his new company from prominent venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz at a valuation north of $1 billion. The Post reported that there were a number of technology investors and founders who reacted with anger when learning the news.
The Post reported that Kate Braddock, CEO of the startup Switch and a general partner at the W Fund posted a tweet that said, “THIS IS DISGUSTING.”
The Twitter post read:
THIS IS DISGUSTING.@a16z’s largest check going to a (straight white male) founder of one of the most toxic companies we’ve seen. Firms like this perpetuate over and over again a traditional system that favors a small, homogenous set of founders. https://t.co/PLMKGIULqC
— Kate Brodock (@Just_Kate) August 15, 2022
Clearly annoyed that Neumann’s WeWork gained a dubious reputation in terms of creating a culture that fostered sexual harassment, the Post reported that she came down hard on the investment firm for supporting a “straight white male” who’s the “founder of one of the most toxic companies we’ve seen.” She also took note of the fact that the investment is the largest single check in Andreessen Horowitz’s history, as was reported by the Post.
Andreessen Horowitz and Flow did not respond to requests for comment, as was reported by The Post. The report indicated that since the disclosure of the deal, Neumann has remained mum.
The Post reported that Braddock said that Andreessen Horowitz’s investment in Flow shows that the venture capital firm helps “perpetuate over and over again a traditional system that favors a small, homogenous set of founders.”
Senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and angel investor Julia Austin corroborated Braddock’s sentiments when she wrote that the deal is a “strong signal from one of the world’s top investors that bad behavior by “straight white male is not only tolerated, but rewarded,” as was reported by the Post.
Another person who was not pleased upon hearing the news of the deal was Allison Byers, a tech investor and founder of a startup called Scroobius that looks to diversify tech, the Post reported. She wrote that she was “obviously outraged” about the news.
In a LinkedIn post, Byers added that, “This is a function of how VC has evolved to operate. Generational bias is built in by the long-standing homogenous composition of decision-makers.”