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19-Apr-2017 09:33

Three high-profile sexual harassment lawsuits have been filed against Tinder, the virtual town square of hookup culture, and two of the biggest venture capital firms—Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and CMEA Capital.The complaints include a senior CMEA partner harassing a series of executive assistants like a character in , replete with sexual nicknames, trapping them in his office and frequently referring to porn and pubic hair.Four months later, the hustler won the project’s first investor, a woman who works at one the world’s biggest hedge funds.It was a small sum, but the entrepreneurs quit their jobs the next day, setting up camp in a donated corner of another startup’s loft office above San Francisco’s Union Square. In the ensuing months, the pair eschewed new clothes, walked instead of Ubered and assembled a small, mostly unpaid staff.They walk into a venture capital firm on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park or in San Francisco's So Ma district, and they walk out with a million dollars.A few years later, if all goes well, an IPO makes a lot of people richer.

That CMEA partner is no longer with the firm, and Tinder temporarily suspended the executive involved.They had been emailing each other about the idea for months, with growing conviction of its awesome potential. That summer, they would keep their day jobs at media and advertising companies, but devote many off-hours and weekends to the startup.It addressed a well-known problem, one that afflicts the tech industry but also banking, media, advertising and film. The savvy talker, who had worked in communications at Citigroup and Thomson Reuters, joined professional clubs, sought out older advisers, arranged meetings and worked at creating buzz that just might pique investors.They found pro bono lawyers with startup expertise, signed contracts, designed and revised their Power Point pitch a dozen times and met with more than 50 potential investors. They had 1,500 clients wait-listed for a beta launch.