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Seattle Police Department suspends its Twitch channel following Charleena Lyles controversy

Seattle Police Department suspends its Twitch channel following Charleena Lyles controversy

Facing backlash on its handling of the officer-involved shooting death of

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For Binary Capital’s investors, a public apology may fall short

For Binary Capital’s investors, a public apology may fall short

In May of last year, venture capitalist Justin Caldbeck of Binary Capital tweeted:  “Big believers in ‘addition by subtraction’ for company culture. Bad apples impact others, and rest of team will thank you when they’re gone.”

We may never know what company Caldbeck was referencing, but certainly, his messaging seems ironic in light of a detailed report  about his own serial and predatory behavior toward women in tech that was published yesterday by The Information.

One of these, a former business colleague of Caldbeck, produced sexually explicit text messages he had sent her as proof of his proclivities. A female founder separately told the outlet that after meeting with Caldbeck to discuss a business deal, he suggested they go to a hotel room. A third woman, Journy cofounder Leiti Hsu, said Caldbeck groped her one point underneath a restaurant table. (Hsu was among three women who agreed to be identified by name in the report.)

Talk about bad apples. Indeed, if Binary’s own team isn’t working right now on how to disengage Caldbeck from the firm for the sake of its greater good, we’d be shocked.

Certainly, it would be a breathtaking fall from grace for Caldbeck, a former managing director at Lightspeed Venture Partners whose earlier deals include investments in BloomReach and GrubHub and who in 2014, based on his track record, easily raised a $125 million debut fund with his friend, Jonathan Teo.

Teo, as industry insiders know, is a star in his own right. A former Google engineer, Teo worked briefly for Benchmark Capital, helping steer the firm into investments in Twitter and Instagram; afterward, he spent several years at General Catalyst Partners, where he was a cherished board member to several founders before jumping ship to partner with Caldbeck.

Indeed, when Binary Capital was ready for its close-up, the duo received splashy coverage in the New York Times.  A little more than two years later, it received more glowing coverage, including right here , for closing its second fund with $175 million in commitments. (Part of the excitement around Binary centered on the firm’s then 18-year-old analyst and associate, Tiffany Zhong, whose networking prowess was separately written about in the WSJ .

Unfortunately, behind the scenes, Caldbeck was making unwanted advances to the female founders who approached the firm. If there was any lingering doubt about this, Caldbeck earlier today acknowledged his poor behavior in a public apology earlier today, writing, “The past 24 hours have been the darkest of my life. I have made many mistakes over the course of my career, some of which were brought to light this week. To say I’m sorry about my behavior is a categorical understatement. Still, I need to say it: I am so, so sorry.”

Caldbeck also stated in this apology that he will be taking an indefinite  leave of absence from the firm “I will be seeking professional counseling as I take steps to reflect on my behavior with and attitude towards women,” he wrote. “I will find ways

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Walmart reportedly won’t bid for Whole Foods after Amazon’s huge offer

Walmart reportedly won’t bid for Whole Foods after Amazon’s huge offer

Walmart isn’t actively considering a bid for Whole Foods, which Amazon

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Uber has seen a sharp drop in new driver retention this year: Apptopia

Uber has seen a sharp drop in new driver retention this year: Apptopia

Uber has seen a sharp drop in retention rates for new drivers in the U.S., according to analysis of the Uber driver app provided to TechCrunch by app analytics firm Apptopia.

In an analysis of app downloads and usage, Apptopia estimates that 30-day user retention for the Uber driver app in the US has dropped 47 per cent from January through May.

This measure looks at the proportion of users opening the app each day after the initial day of download — continuing until the 30th day. The idea being to measure engagement meaningfully vs looking at app deletions (as lots of people just stop using an app vs actively deleting it).

Apptopia’s analysis also indicates a 20 per cent bump in downloads of the driver app over the same period.

So — if the data crunching is correct — it appears that while Uber is successfully managing to drive initial interest from new drivers it’s having serious trouble sustaining this interest.

From April, retention rates appear to fall especially dramatically.

Uber has seen a sharp drop in new driver retention this year: Apptopia

Apptopia does not get any usage data direct from Uber but pulls data from a network of 250,000 apps to which it has developer account access. It then uses an algorithmic framework to generate estimates for individual apps, including by using public signals such as App Store reviews — and says it’s methods result in “strong trend data for major apps”.

For the two percentages it’s pulling here, it says it’s averaging its data from the Google Play Store and iOS App Store together — for, as it puts it, a “more holistic view” on interactions with the Uber driver app.

We asked Uber if it had any comment on the data but at the time of writing it had not responded.

The company  currently has no CEO in its own driving seat , after co-founder Travis Kalanick resigned following investor pressure applied in the wake of a report into its internal culture — triggered after a female former employee blogged about experiencing  sexual harassment and sexism during her year at Uber .

It’s unclear whether new Uber drivers are sensitive to Uber’s internal turmoil. Perhaps more likely is general dissatisfaction with lower rates of pay from Uber pool rides and Uber’s lack of an in-app tipping feature (vs Lyft having in-app tipping) — tellingly this week Uber finally said it will start allowing riders to tip drivers via the app.

Asked for his view on Apptopia’s data Harry Campbell, founder of The Rideshare Guy  told us: “Uber drivers for the most part have been very happy this week because of the tipping option and TK’s [Travis Kalanick’s] departure.  We’ve known for a while that Uber has problems with high turnover and low satisfaction rates amongst drivers and a lot of drivers felt that TK was the root of many of their problems.”

Apptopia also looked at rider monthly usage for us, and on this said — perhaps surprisingly — that Uber hasn’t taken a hit due to #deleteuber — i.e. the social

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VC Justin Caldbeck is taking an indefinite leave of absence, apologizes to the women he ‘made feel uncomfortable’

VC Justin Caldbeck is taking an indefinite leave of absence, apologizes to the women he ‘made feel uncomfortable’

In light of allegations of sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances , Binary Capital co-founder and managing Partner Justin Caldbeck is taking an indefinite leave of absence, he said in a statement provided to TechCrunch,

In his apology statement, Caldbeck did not outright admit nor deny the allegations of the female founders who came forward. Instead, he vaguely directed his apology “first to those women who I’ve made feel uncomfortable in any way, at any time – but also to the greater tech ecosystem, a community that I have utterly failed.”

Note the part where he says “made feel uncomfortable.” Umm…I think what allegedly happened goes way beyond the territory of “uncomfortable.” And as Leslie Miley noted on Twitter, the way Caldbeck kicked off his apology letter with words are how hard the last 24 hours have been on him . That’s because women in tech and in the workplace at larger have been dealing with this shit since forever.

Below is Caldbeck’s full statement.

The past 24 hours have been the darkest of my life. I have made many mistakes over the course of my career, some of which were brought to light this week. To say I’m sorry about my behavior is a categorical understatement. Still, I need to say it: I am so, so sorry.

I direct my apology first to those women who I’ve made feel uncomfortable in any way, at any time – but also to the greater tech ecosystem, a community that I have utterly failed.

The power dynamic that exists in venture capital is despicably unfair. The gap of influence between male venture capitalists and female entrepreneurs is frightening and I hate that my behavior played a role in perpetrating a gender-hostile environment. It is outrageous and unethical for any person to leverage a position of power in exchange for sexual gain, it is clear to me now that that is exactly what I’ve done.

I am deeply ashamed of my lack of self-awareness. I am grateful to Niniane, Susan, Leiti, and the other women who spoke up for providing me with a sobering look into my own character and behavior that I can no longer ignore. The dynamic of this industry makes it hard to speak up, but this is the type of action that leads to progress and change, starting with me.

I will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from Binary Capital, the firm I co-founded in 2014. I will be seeking professional counseling as I take steps to reflect on my behavior with and attitude towards women. I will find ways to learn from this difficult experience – and to help drive necessary changes in the broader venture community.

The Binary team will also be taking measures to ensure that the firm is a safe place for founders of all backgrounds to find the support and resources they need to change the world, without abuse of power or mistreatment of any person.

I owe a heartfelt apology to my

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