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Lawyers for former Tinder execs file to dismiss ‘retaliatory’ defamation lawsuit

Last week, former Tinder CEO Greg Blatt filed a defamation lawsuit against Sean Rad and Rosette Pambakian, who are part of a group of Tinder founders and former executives who accused Blatt (pictured above) of sexual harassment and assault as part of a broader suit. Now Rad and Pambakian’s attorneys have filed their own motion […]
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Lawyers for former Tinder execs file to dismiss ‘retaliatory’ defamation lawsuit – TechCrunch

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Lawyers for former Tinder execs file to dismiss ‘retaliatory’ defamation lawsuit

Last week, former Tinder CEO Greg Blatt filed a defamation lawsuit against Sean Rad and Rosette Pambakian, who are part of a group of Tinder founders and former executives who accused Blatt (pictured above) of sexual harassment and assault as part of a broader suit.

Now Rad and Pambakian’s attorneys have filed their own motion to dismiss the suit, arguing that it “seeks to chill protected speech through costly litigation” — in other words, that it’s the kind of lawsuit prohibited under California’s anti-SLAPP law.

“This lawsuit is intended to muzzle Rosette and Sean from telling the truth about how [IAC chairman] Barry Diller and Greg Blatt stole from their employees and covered up sexual assault allegations,” said Rad and Pambakian’s attorney Orin Snyder in a statement. “Unfortunately, unlawful retaliatory lawsuits like this one designed to silence victims and violate their First Amendment rights are all too common in the #metoo era.”

In the filing, Rad and Pambakian’s attorneys also argued that Blatt filed the suit “solely to launch a public smear campaign against Pambakian and the person who reported the assault to Match, Sean Rad. At the same time, and now that Blatt’s public court filings have served his media objective, Blatt says that the complaint that he himself chose to file in court should actually be sent to private arbitration.”

In response, Blatt’s attorney Vineet Bhatia sent the following statement:

We fully expected this run-of-the-mill, procedural smoke screen to be made by Rad and Pambakian. These arguments are legally wrong and we expect to prevail in Court. The bottom line is, Rad and Pambakian conspired to defame Mr. Blatt and should be held responsible.

Both Blatt’s suit and the new filing seek to connect the case to the broader #metoo movement (which, as Snyder alluded to, has seen a number of high-profile figures accused of sexual assault, and who then fought back through defamation lawsuits).

Blatt’s lawyers argued that “Rad and Pambakian have attempted to weaponize an important social movement, undermining the plight of true victims of sexual abuse by making false accusations in cynical pursuit of a $2 billion windfall.”

In contrast, Rad and Pambakian’s attorneys said the “ensuing crescendo of retaliation — reminiscent of many Hollywood #MeToo cases — included [Tinder’s parent company] Match circling the wagons around Blatt, publicly belittling Pambakian by chalking up the assault to ‘consensual cuddling,’ and firing her months later after she refused to sign an NDA.”

In a lawsuit filed in the summer of 2018, Rad (Tinder’s co-founder and former CEO), Pambakian (who was then the company’s vice president of marketing and communications), Rad’s fellow co-founders Justin Mateen and Jonathan Badeen and others sued Match and its controlling shareholder IAC, accusing them of manipulating financial data and removing Rad as CEO in order to create a “fake lowball valuation” and strip the founders and executives of their stock options.

The suit also accused Blatt — who served as an executive at IAC and as CEO of Match before replacing Rad as CEO of Tinder — of sexually harassing Pambakian at a company holiday party in 2016.

IAC and Match have called this suit meritless. And in Blatt’s defamation lawsuit, his attorneys said the encounter between Blatt and Pambakian at the holiday party was consensual and that Rad and Pambakian subsequently “conspired to make false allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault against Blatt with the specific intent to damage Blatt’s good name, personal and professional reputation, and credibility.”

In a footnote, Rad and Pambakian’s attorneys say that because they’re making a free speech argument, their motion to dismiss Blatt’s suit does not require the court to “delve into the facts.” However, they add:

Blatt’s false narrative — that this was consensual, and that Pambakian and Rad concocted the assault allegations to aid their valuation lawsuit — is patently false and offensive. The evidence shows that Blatt admitted being drunk at the holiday party, making inappropriate comments to Pambakian, and “snuggling and nuzzling” her in a hotel bed. It further shows that Blatt apologized to Pambakian the following week, and later offered to resign over his misconduct. These are not the actions of an innocent man, nor is it the first time Blatt has been accused of mistreating women in the workplace.

To back that up, the motion points to a Gawker article describing supposed harassment and verbal abuse by an unnamed “CEO of a major dating site” owned by a corporation “in a glass building on the far side of town” (subsequent coverage has suggested that the piece was about Blatt).

Pambakian withdrew from the initial suit due to an arbitration agreement, but is now suing Blatt and Match for wrongful termination and sexual assault.

You can read the full motion below.

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Crunch","desc":"Exclusive articles, conference calls, no banner ads, and more.","url":"/subscribe/?tpcc=rightrailmay19","button_text":"Try it free"},"live_event":"0","livestream_hash":null,"feature_islands":{"homepage":[{"id":1897381,"date":"2019-10-15T08:20:04","date_gmt":"2019-10-15T15:20:04","guid":{"rendered":"https://techcrunch.com/?p=1897381"},"modified":"2019-10-15T11:19:08","modified_gmt":"2019-10-15T18:19:08","slug":"heres-everything-google-just-announced-at-the-made-by-google-2019-event","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/15/heres-everything-google-just-announced-at-the-made-by-google-2019-event/","title":{"rendered":"Here’s everything Google just announced at the Made By Google 2019 event"},"content":{"rendered":"

 

n

Google held its annual “Made By Google” hardware event this morning in New York City, where they launched all sorts of new gear back to back to back.

n

Didn’t have time to watch the whole stream, but still want to know the bullet points of what’s new? We’ve got you covered.

n

Stadia launch

n

n

Stadia, Google’s cloud video game streaming service, will launch on November 19th.

n

Pixel Buds

n

Google Pixel buds

n

Google went back to the drawing board with its answer to the AirPods. Shipping sometime in “Spring 2020,” the new Pixel Buds will cost $179. Google says the battery should last about five hours per charge, with the familiar floss-style charging case packing an additional 24 hours’ worth of charge. On-board microphones will adapt the sound based on your environment, and help to cancel out background noise like wind.

n

Pixelbook Go

n

Google Pixelbook Go

n

It’s been a while since Google shipped a higher-end Chrome OS laptop u2014 but with Pixelbook Go, they’re taking another swing at it. It’s got a 13.3″ display, up to 16GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage, with the company promising around 12 hours of battery life. It’ll weigh roughly two pounds, with a base model that’ll cost $649.

n

New Nest Aware

n

Nest Aware (which lets you add cloud recording to your Nest cameras) used to cost a few bucks per device. Now it’s a flat fee, regardless of how many cameras you’ve got — $6 per month gets you 30 days of “event” history (read: just the bits of video where things are actually happening), while $12 per month gets you 60 days of event history or 10 days of 24/7 video history.

n

Nest Aware also now lets you put your Nest Minis/Nest Hubs into a security-centric listening mode, with the smart speakers listening for things like smoke alarms and dogs barking and sending you notifications accordingly.

n

They’ll switch to the new pricing structure in “early 2020.”

n

Nest Wifi

n

EG7TM0pXYAIlB

n

As rumored over the past few weeks, Google is mashing up the concepts of its Google Wifi mesh router with its Google Home speakers, voltroning them into Nest Wifi u2014 a router/smart speaker hybrid. They’ll ship starting on November 4th; a two-pack will cost $269, with a three-pack going for $349.

n

New Nest Mini

n

Google Nest Mini

n

The Google Home Mini is now the “Nest Mini,” and a bit has changed beyond the name. It’s now wall-mountable without any adapters, with a speaker that Google says offers up double the bass. It has a new machine learning chip on board for faster responses, and more microphones to work better in louder environments. It’ll ship on October 22nd for $49.

n

Pixelu00a04

n

Google Pixel 4

n

After an endless series of leaks, the next generation of Pixel u2014 Google’s flagship Android phone u2014 is officially official. The Pixel 4 will come in at 5.7″ with a 2,800mAh battery, while the Pixel 4 XL comes in at 6.3″ with a 3,700mAh battery. They’re both running on the Snapdragon 855 chipset with 6GB of RAM. They’ve both got “Project Soli” radar chips inside, allowing you to do things like switch songs, snooze alarms or silence calls by waving your hand over the phone without actually touching it.

n

The main focus here for Google is the cameras, with the company leaning hard into the idea of using machine-learning and AI-centric software to improve photos u2014 things like live HDR preview with dual exposure controls, AI-driven “learning” white balance and an improved Night Sight mode that can handle taking photos of star-lit nights. Both phones have two cameras on the back (12.2 megapixel f/1.7 main camera and a 16-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto lens) and one on the front (8 megapixels). You can read all about the new software-focused camera goods here.

n

It’ll ship starting October 24th, starting at $799.

n

n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

  Google held its annual “Made By Google” hardware event this morning in New York City, where they launched all sorts of new gear back to back to back. Didn’t have time to watch the whole stream, but still want to know the bullet points of what’s new? We’ve got you covered. Stadia launch Stadia, […]

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Greg Kumparak is an editor at TechCrunch.

nn

Greg started at TechCrunch in May of 2008. He led TechCrunch’s sister site MobileCrunch as editor until AOL acquired the company in 2010, at which point the editors of TechCrunch’s four main sites (TechCrunch, CrunchGear, MobileCrunch, TechCrunch UK) merged the sites under one domain.

nn

Best known for his gadget coverage, Kumparak has broken hundreds of stories within the space u2014 unearthing details on everything from abandoned Samsung smartphone prototypes to new Apple devices. He’s also one of the Internet’s most prolific “live bloggers”, having reported from the scene at dozens of international events for live audiences in the hundreds of thousands.

nn

He was one of the earliest writers to highlight and report on a number of companies that have since become “unicorns” (reaching a valuation of $1B or more), including Zenefits and Twilio.

nn

Kumparak is a frequent guest on TechCrunch’s Gadget, Apple, and Android podcasts, and often appears on stage as an interviewer or judge at TechCrunch’s meetups and Disrupt conferences.

nn

In 2012, Greg was featured on the BBC, Wired, Mashable, Engadget and many other outlets for a side project he called the “tARdis”, or the Augmented Reality TARDIS. By combining augmented reality with a handmade physical model, Greg was able to replicate the otherwise physically impossible “bigger on the inside” visual effect that commonly appears on television’s Doctor Who series.

“,”cbAvatar”:”https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1397184689/d45c9b9b954bcc0a697dae821253a36b.png”,”twitter”:”grg”,”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/5188242″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users”}]}}],”replies”:[[{“id”:676175,”parent”:0,”author”:0,”author_name”:”Melissa Fox”,”author_url”:””,”date”:”2019-10-15T13:59:19″,”content”:{“rendered”:”

I’m using it now and it’s awesome! I’ve signed up for my account and have been bringing in fat paychecks. For real, my first week I made $302 and the second week I doubled it and then it kinda snowballed to $120 a day! juet folllow the course.. they will help you out… visit This Site ———->>> http://www.Wic3.com

n”},”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/15/heres-everything-google-just-announced-at-the-made-by-google-2019-event/#comment-676175″,”type”:”comment”,”author_avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/de28105fd9325be0cc255f0b56694c9c?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/de28105fd9325be0cc255f0b56694c9c?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/de28105fd9325be0cc255f0b56694c9c?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”techcrunch”:{“avatar”:”https://ct.yimg.com/cy/1768/39361574426_98028a_64sq.jpg”,”company”:”(no company found)”,”title”:”(no title found)”,”user”:”YBNKDSRQH2AKUU4OEKPON6WX7A”},”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments/676175″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments”}],”up”:[{“embeddable”:true,”post_type”:”post”,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1897381″}]}}]],”author”:[{“id”:5188242,”name”:”Greg Kumparak”,”url”:””,”description”:””,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/greg-kumparak/”,”slug”:”greg-kumparak”,”avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9b107c9f9a43a21d8c93fcdefcc97dcd?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9b107c9f9a43a21d8c93fcdefcc97dcd?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9b107c9f9a43a21d8c93fcdefcc97dcd?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”links”:{“homepage”:”http://www.kumparak.com”,”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/grg”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/greg-kumparak”},”position”:”Editor”,”cbDescription”:”

Greg Kumparak is an editor at TechCrunch.

nn

Greg started at TechCrunch in May of 2008. He led TechCrunch’s sister site MobileCrunch as editor until AOL acquired the company in 2010, at which point the editors of TechCrunch’s four main sites (TechCrunch, CrunchGear, MobileCrunch, TechCrunch UK) merged the sites under one domain.

nn

Best known for his gadget coverage, Kumparak has broken hundreds of stories within the space u2014 unearthing details on everything from abandoned Samsung smartphone prototypes to new Apple devices. He’s also one of the Internet’s most prolific “live bloggers”, having reported from the scene at dozens of international events for live audiences in the hundreds of thousands.

nn

He was one of the earliest writers to highlight and report on a number of companies that have since become “unicorns” (reaching a valuation of $1B or more), including Zenefits and Twilio.

nn

Kumparak is a frequent guest on TechCrunch’s Gadget, Apple, and Android podcasts, and often appears on stage as an interviewer or judge at TechCrunch’s meetups and Disrupt conferences.

nn

In 2012, Greg was featured on the BBC, Wired, Mashable, Engadget and many other outlets for a side project he called the “tARdis”, or the Augmented Reality TARDIS. By combining augmented reality with a handmade physical model, Greg was able to replicate the otherwise physically impossible “bigger on the inside” visual effect that commonly appears on television’s Doctor Who series.

“,”cbAvatar”:”https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1397184689/d45c9b9b954bcc0a697dae821253a36b.png”,”twitter”:”grg”,”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/5188242″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users”}]}}],”wp:featuredmedia”:[{“id”:1897433,”date”:”2019-10-15T08:09:57″,”slug”:”eg7ahhfxuaala7a”,”type”:”attachment”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/eg7ahhfxuaala7a/”,”title”:{“rendered”:”Google Hardware Family 2019″},”author”:5302483,”license”:””,”authors”:[5302483],”caption”:{“rendered”:”

Google Hardware Family 2019

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close with Google’s new Pixel 4″},”content”:{“rendered”:”

This is the Pixel 4, the handset that literally everyone saw coming. Even by Google’s standards, the handset leaked like crazy. Some was almost certainly by design, as the company looked to hype its new flagship amid slowing smartphone sales. That said, showing up for pre-order on two different sites in the past few days is a lot, even by Pixel Standards.

n

n

From the front, at least, the new device doesnu2019t really stand out. The standard Pixel 4 maintains some pretty sizable bezels on the top and bottom, even as most of the industry has moved toward a notch or hole punch to accommodate the camera.

n

CMB 8458

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The back of the device is another story entirely, of course. After a few generations of pushing back on multiple camera setups, Google is finally embracing them with the 4. The pair of cameras are positioned in a square configuration, similar to the iPhone 11.

n

The sensor is up top and the flash is on the bottom, with the wide angle and telephoto sitting next to one another in the middle. There is a 12-megapixel and a 16-megapixel, per earlier leaks. Iu2019ve included a handful of random shots Iu2019ve taken here. They leave a little to be desired u2014 more when we get our hands on the device later for a proper review, but this should give you some idea of what weu2019re working with here.

n

CMB 8438

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Honestly, Iu2019m pretty excited to see whatu2019s on offer with the device here. Googleu2019s always done a good job using AI/ML to augment the single-lens configuration, so the idea of what itu2019s capable of producing in tandem with dual lenses could well make it a contender for one of the best camera phones on the market.

n

CMB 8437

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Imaging has been improved across the board here, including the already solid Night Sight, Portrait Mode and zoom, which uses a hybrid of digital and the physical telephoto lens. I mean, if itu2019s good enough for Annie Leibovitz, right?

n

Recorder is an exciting new prospect for someone who makes a living interviewing people such as myself. I tried it out, but honestly, it leaves a bit to be desired in this super noisy setting. Again, a more official write-up of that later, though I do appreciate that the company is doing the transcribing on-board, versus the cloud.

n

n

That means a faster response and no concern over more sensitive stuff. Once recording, youu2019ll see a gray wave form that turns blue when speech is detected. Tapping u201ctranscriptu201d will show the speech. From there you can share it via social media or save it to Google Drive.

n

CMB 8450

n

Itu2019s fun to see Google embracing gestures here, as a natural followup to its squeezable Active Edge. Admittedly, itu2019s something that plenty of phone makers have tried with limited success. Perhaps the inclusion of the new radar chip will save it from accidental gestures and make it more user-friendly.

n

Screen Shot 2019 10 15 at 12.01.18 PM

n

Or maybe the inclusion of a kind of game where you can wave at Pikachu and other Poku00e9mon will help with adoption. I donu2019t have particularly high hopes on either one, if Iu2019m being honest. Training users on a new form of input is an uphill climb, though the gestures are pretty responsive. At least everyone is already familiar with face unlocks, which is augmented by the aforementioned radar feature, detecting the user as they reach for the phone and beginning the unlock process from there.

n

The handset ships October 24, starting at $799. Look for a much meatier review in the near future.

n

n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

This is the Pixel 4, the handset that literally everyone saw coming. Even by Google’s standards, the handset leaked like crazy. Some was almost certainly by design, as the company looked to hype its new flagship amid slowing smartphone sales. That said, showing up for pre-order on two different sites in the past few days […]

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Brian Heater is the Hardware Editor at TechCrunch. He worked for a number of leading tech publications, including Engadget, PCMag, Laptop, and Tech Times, where he served as the Managing Editor. His writing has appeared in Spin, Wired, Playboy, Entertainment Weekly, The Onion, Boing Boing, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Beast and various other publications. He hosts the weekly Boing Boing interview podcast RiYL, has appeared as a regular NPR contributor and shares his Queens apartment with a rabbit named Lucy.

“,”cbAvatar”:”https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1461345979/xynitsmpgmmobpekzxkg.jpg”,”twitter”:”bheater”,”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/699688″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users”}]}}],”replies”:[[{“id”:676172,”parent”:0,”author”:0,”author_name”:”Melissa Fox”,”author_url”:””,”date”:”2019-10-15T13:53:37″,”content”:{“rendered”:”

My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out ……. visit This link ……. http://www.Wic3.com

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Brian Heater is the Hardware Editor at TechCrunch. He worked for a number of leading tech publications, including Engadget, PCMag, Laptop, and Tech Times, where he served as the Managing Editor. His writing has appeared in Spin, Wired, Playboy, Entertainment Weekly, The Onion, Boing Boing, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Beast and various other publications. He hosts the weekly Boing Boing interview podcast RiYL, has appeared as a regular NPR contributor and shares his Queens apartment with a rabbit named Lucy.

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unreliable research bury your healthcare startup?”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

For healthtech founders and funders, scientific claims and conclusions are more than policy u2014 business models depend upon the lucid appraisal of clinical problems, evaluating inadequacies in current standards of care, a clear understanding of disease pathways, and designing superior interventions.u00a0

n

At each step along this value chain, founders stand on the shoulders of the scientists that preceded them to obtain reliable evidence. When they promote their own innovations, credibility is a critical prerequisite. But where does credibility come from?

n

A 2012 study selecting 50 common cookbook ingredients found that 80% had publications linking their consumption to cancer risk; according to some reports, tomatoes, lemons, and celery all cause cancer. The to-and-fro of nutrition science is emblematic of a larger dynamic related to fickle research findings across disciplines. Because investigators seeking to build upon seminal studies struggle to reproduce the original findings, researchers have deemed the problem a reproducibility crisis.u00a0

n

Simulations have found that up to 85% of published findings could not be replicated. In turn, tens of billions of dollars are wasted and countless patient lives are adversely impacted annually due to unreliable research.u00a0

n

Historically, academic research and healthcare VC have had considerable overlap, but in recent years, this co-dependence has increased as researchers are looking more and more for financial support. Government research fundingu00a0has seen a steady decline, with private sources now supporting almost 60% of the spend. Biomedical VC has been portrayed as a critical source of risk capital for early-stage research and a key engine for its translation at later stages.

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

For healthtech founders and funders, scientific claims and conclusions are more than policy u2014 business models depend upon the lucid appraisal of clinical problems, evaluating inadequacies in current standards of care, a clear understanding of disease pathways, and designing superior interventions.u00a0 At each step along this value chain, founders stand on the shoulders of the […]

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migrates more than 100 consumer services from Oracle to AWS databases”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

AWS and Oracle love to take shots at each other, but as much as Amazon has knocked Oracle over the years, it was forced to admit that it was in fact a customer. Today in a company blog post, the company announced it was shedding Oracle for AWS databases, and had effectively turned off its final Oracle database.

n

The move involved 75 petabytes of internal data stored in nearly 7,500 Oracle databases, according to the company. “I am happy to report that this database migration effort is now complete. Amazonu2019s Consumer business just turned off its final Oracle database (some third-party applications are tightly bound to Oracle and were not migrated),” AWS’s Jeff Barr wrote in the company blog post announcing the migration.

n

Over the last several years, the company has been working to move off of Oracle databases, but it’s not an easy task to move projects on Amazon scale. Barr wrote there were lots of reasons the company wanted to make the move. “Over the years we realized that we were spending too much time managing and scaling thousands of legacy Oracle databases. Instead of focusing on high-value differentiated work, our database administrators (DBAs) spent a lot of time simply keeping the lights on while transaction rates climbed and the overall amount of stored data mounted,” he wrote.

n

More than 100 consumer services have been moved to AWS databases, including customer-facing tools like Alexa, Amazon Prime and Twitch, among others. It also moved internal tools like AdTech, its fulfillment system, external payments and ordering. These are not minor matters. They are the heart and soul of Amazon’s operations.

n

Each team moved the Oracle database to an AWS database service like Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Aurora, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) and Amazon Redshift. Each group was allowed to choose the service they wanted, based on its individual needs and requirements.

n

Oracle declined to comment on this story.

n

n

 

n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

AWS and Oracle love to take shots at each other, but as much as Amazon has knocked Oracle over the years, it was forced to admit that it was in fact a customer. Today in a company blog post, the company announced it was shedding Oracle for AWS databases, and had effectively turned off its […]

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Ron Miller has been writing about the enterprise at TechCrunch since 2014.

nn

Previously, he was a long-time Contributing Editor at EContent Magazine. Past regular gigs included CITEworld, DaniWeb, TechTarget, Internet Evolution and FierceContentManagement.

nn

Disclosures:

nn

Ron is currently corporate blogger for Intronis where he writes once weekly on IT issues. He has contributed to various corporate blogs in the past including Ness, Novell and the IBM Mid-market Blogger Program.

“,”cbAvatar”:”https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/diuuw7dfbczpdwmcpldm”,”twitter”:”ron_miller”}],”author”:[{“id”:521068,”name”:”Ron Miller”,”url”:””,”description”:””,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/ron-miller/”,”slug”:”ron-miller”,”avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/0b82cfe9f0e15c08c5816481c9f383d9?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/0b82cfe9f0e15c08c5816481c9f383d9?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/0b82cfe9f0e15c08c5816481c9f383d9?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”links”:{“homepage”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/ron-miller/”,”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/ron_miller”,”linkedin”:”http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronsmiller”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/ron-miller”},”position”:”Enterprise Reporter”,”cbDescription”:”

Ron Miller has been writing about the enterprise at TechCrunch since 2014.

nn

Previously, he was a long-time Contributing Editor at EContent Magazine. Past regular gigs included CITEworld, DaniWeb, TechTarget, Internet Evolution and FierceContentManagement.

nn

Disclosures:

nn

Ron is currently corporate blogger for Intronis where he writes once weekly on IT issues. He has contributed to various corporate blogs in the past including Ness, Novell and the IBM Mid-market Blogger Program.

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new Artemis spacesuits make it easier for astronauts of all sizes to move on the Moon”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

NASA revealed new spacesuits, specifically created for the Artemis generation of missions, which aim to get the first American woman and the next American man to the surface of the Moon by 2024. The new design’s toppling feature is greater mobility and flexibility, in basically every respect. NASA unveiled both a full suit designed for use in extra-vehicular activities on the surface of the Moon, and a flight suit for use while in transit to lunar orbit.

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Guided by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, the agency first demonstrated the suit that astronauts will use on the surface of the Moon (and, with modifications, eventually on Mars). It’s called the “xEMU” variant, and it looks a lot like what you might think of when you imagine “space suit” in your mind. But it’s quite different in many respects from what astronauts used to visit the surface of the Moon during the Apollo program.

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It allows you to actually moonwalk, for instance: The original suit used for Moon-based activities actually only offered enough range of motion for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to be able to essentially “bunny hop” on the lunar surface, in Bridenstine’s own words. This new design allows them to move around much more dynamically, including actually walking, and offers plenty of range of motion for their arms. Combined with new gloves that actually allow astronauts to freely move their fingers, they can do things like pick up rocks off the lunar surface with relative ease.

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NASA Artemis spacesuits

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The new spacesuit design is also designed to work with virtually everyone who could want to become an astronaut, with inclusive sizing that can accommodate anyone from the “first percentile female to the 99th percentile male,” according to Kristine Davis, an Advanced Space Suit Engineer at NASA and the person who demonstrated the xEMU variant of the suit onstage at the event on Tuesday.

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“We want every person who dreams of going into space to be able to say to themselves, that yes, they have that opportunity,” Bridenstine added, regarding the suit’s inclusive design.

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Because NASA is also looking to ensure that this time when they return to the Moon, they do so sustainably (meaning with the intent of eventually setting up shop and staying), they also designed this suit with a much higher range of temperature variances to ensure it can serve at both the North and South poles of the Moon, as well as around the equatorial region. This xEMU suit is designed to survive temperature ranges from between -250 and +250 degrees Fahrenheit.

n

NASA also talked about how this is an improvement from the spacesuit currently used on the International Space Station. For one, this one has usable legs, where the legs on the ISS suits are essentially just for protection since you aren’t using them in zero and microgravity. The bearing designs used to connect the arms here also mean you have greater range of motion for reaching and grabbing, as mentioned.

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The other suit, called the “Orion Crew Survival Suit,” is a much lighter suit that’s designed to be worn during take-off and landing. It’ll generally be depressurized when in use, but can provide protection in case of accidental depressurization. It was demonstrated by Dustin Gohmert, project manager on the Orion crew suit, who explained that it also has thermal protection and radiation protection, though not to the level of the xEMU.

n

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The larger xEMU suit is also intentionally designed to be upgradeable, somewhat like a PC motherboard, and it’s designed so that it can be upgraded and worked on in space by the astronauts to adopt new and improved technologies as they become available, rather than having to be round-tripped back to Earth for updates.

n

Bridenstine re-iterated that NASA is also working with commercial partners on sourcing the production of the Artemis suits, as the agency announced earlier this month. It’s also looking to these companies to provide advice and input about what to do in terms of future evolutions and upgrades for the technology used in the suit.

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Overall, Bridenstine was obviously eager to talk about commercialization, and NASA’s eagerness to work with commercial partners on the Artemis program, and on space in general.

n

“What NASA has already done is invested in commercial resupply of the International Space Station […] We have invested now in commercial crew. And in the first part of next year, we’re going to once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil for the first time since the retirement of the Space Shuttles in 2011,” he said. “That’s going to be a really positive development for our country, but it’s going to be commercial […] And of course, we want to see a lot of robust commercial habitats in low-Earth orbit as well. Ultimately, what that enables us to do is then take the resources that the taxpayers give us, and go to the Moon and on to Mars, always keeping an eye on commercialization even there. The goal here is to expand humanity further into space than ever before.”

n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

NASA revealed new spacesuits, specifically created for the Artemis generation of missions, which aim to get the first American woman and the next American man to the surface of the Moon by 2024. The new design’s toppling feature is greater mobility and flexibility, in basically every respect. NASA unveiled both a full suit designed for […]

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Darrell Etherington is a Writer at TechCrunch, focused on science, space and health tech startups. Darrell used to work for Apple and Shopify in their respective PR departments, but he does not currently hold any stock in either company.

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unreliable research bury your healthcare startup?”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

For healthtech founders and funders, scientific claims and conclusions are more than policy u2014 business models depend upon the lucid appraisal of clinical problems, evaluating inadequacies in current standards of care, a clear understanding of disease pathways, and designing superior interventions.u00a0

n

At each step along this value chain, founders stand on the shoulders of the scientists that preceded them to obtain reliable evidence. When they promote their own innovations, credibility is a critical prerequisite. But where does credibility come from?

n

A 2012 study selecting 50 common cookbook ingredients found that 80% had publications linking their consumption to cancer risk; according to some reports, tomatoes, lemons, and celery all cause cancer. The to-and-fro of nutrition science is emblematic of a larger dynamic related to fickle research findings across disciplines. Because investigators seeking to build upon seminal studies struggle to reproduce the original findings, researchers have deemed the problem a reproducibility crisis.u00a0

n

Simulations have found that up to 85% of published findings could not be replicated. In turn, tens of billions of dollars are wasted and countless patient lives are adversely impacted annually due to unreliable research.u00a0

n

Historically, academic research and healthcare VC have had considerable overlap, but in recent years, this co-dependence has increased as researchers are looking more and more for financial support. Government research fundingu00a0has seen a steady decline, with private sources now supporting almost 60% of the spend. Biomedical VC has been portrayed as a critical source of risk capital for early-stage research and a key engine for its translation at later stages.

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For healthtech founders and funders, scientific claims and conclusions are more than policy u2014 business models depend upon the lucid appraisal of clinical problems, evaluating inadequacies in current standards of care, a clear understanding of disease pathways, and designing superior interventions.u00a0 At each step along this value chain, founders stand on the shoulders of the […]

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tips for founders trying to raise their first round of venture capital”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

If you’re an avid TechCrunch reader, someone who loves to absorb endless startup profiles and pore through fundraising stories, you might think raising venture capital is easy. In reality, itu2019s very, very difficult and not the best source of capital for most businesses.

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For startups hoping to scale far and wide as fast as possible, VC may be the right fit. To shed light on the process of raising equity capital from venture capital firms and provide some exclusive tips and tricks for Extra Crunch subscribers, we sat down with three experts on the subject. Below are the top pieces of advice from Charles Hudson, founder and managing partner of Precursor Ventures, Redpoint Ventures general partner Annie Kadavy, and DocSend founder Russ Heddleston. The following has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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1. First, make sure your company is fit to raise venture capital.

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Charles Hudson: I think venture capital, it’s really a specialty type of capital. It’s really for companies that have the aspiration to grow really quickly, to build really large businesses u2026 If you’re not a company that needs to grow quickly, venture capital might not be the right source of capital for you. There has to be a really big prize at the end of the journey.

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2. Raise capital early if youu2019re stressing about small costs or fretting competition

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Russ Heddleston: If you’re thinking about whether or not to raise, there are a couple of reasons that I will often advise people to raise early. One is if they’re really stressing about buying a whiteboard for their office, or like some something of relatively small cost. If you think it could be a big company, and you’re stressing about small things, raise money and buy the whiteboard, hire the additional person and get back to what you should be doing, which is running your business and growing it quickly.

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The other thing is if you ask the question, ‘is there a competitor I don’t know about?’ If you heard tomorrow, that competitor just raised $2 million, or $5 million or $10 million, how nervous would that make you? For some businesses, you’re like, I don’t really care, itu2019s a services industry, it’s not a winner take all market. And other times, you’re like, oh, I’d be really nervous. So if either those apply, that’s a good reason to make a compelling case to someone like Charles.

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t

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nttt The number one thing you can do to get a VCu2019s attention is make [your pitch] really simple. tttttttPrecursor Ventures' Charles Hudsonnttttt

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3. Itu2019s OK to take a salary

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Annie Kadavy: Iu2019d be hard-pressed to think of an example where a founder is not paying themselves, the question, though, is how much? You’re paying yourself enough so that the basic costs of life and running your business are not giving you anxiety, because as an early stage investor one of our primary roles is to try and keep the baseline stress as low as it can be, because it’s really hard to go build a company.

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If a founder is coming in at the Series A and they say I’m going to go pay myself $300,000, we might be like, well, that doesn’t really feel right, shouldn’t you want to put some of that money into the company? The ranges I’ve seen are anything from $60,000 up to probably $120,000 at the Series A, or maybe $150,000. Then, as the company grows and as the balance sheet grows and it’s de-risked, your salary as an executive at the company will scale with that.

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“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

Charles Hudson, Annie Kadavy and Russ Heddleston offer pro tips.

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Kate Clark is a reporter at TechCrunch covering startups and venture capital. She’s interested in diversity & inclusion, consumer technology, mobility and more.

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She previously covered the venture capital ecosystem for PitchBook News.

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A Seattle native, she is a graduate of the University of Washington, where she studied journalism and international studies.

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Reach Kate via e-mail at kate.clark@techcrunch.com or on Twitter @KateClarkTweets.

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Kate Clark is a reporter at TechCrunch covering startups and venture capital. She’s interested in diversity & inclusion, consumer technology, mobility and more.

nn

She previously covered the venture capital ecosystem for PitchBook News.

nn

A Seattle native, she is a graduate of the University of Washington, where she studied journalism and international studies.

nn

Reach Kate via e-mail at kate.clark@techcrunch.com or on Twitter @KateClarkTweets.

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 03: (L-R) TechCrunch Reporter Kate Clark, DocSend Co-founder & CEO Russ Heddleston, Precursor Ventures Founder & Managing Partner Charles Hudson, and Redpoint Managing Director Annie Kadavy speak onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019 at Moscone Convention Center on October 03, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

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guide to the pre-IPO secondary market”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

The increase in activity in the pre-IPO secondary market means that founders, early employees, and investors are receiving liquidity much sooner in a companyu2019s lifecycle than ever before. For most startups and privately-held companies, liquidity is often an issue for stockholders, as no market exists for selling shares and/or transfer restrictions can prevent their sale. Secondary stock transactions, however, are a way to work around this problem.

n

Here’s a quick look at how they work and what to keep in mind, especially if you’re going through the process for the first time. (If you’re not familiar, secondaries are transactions in which an existing stockholder sells their stock for cash to third parties or back to the company itself before the company undergoes an exit; traditionally, an exit refers to an M&A or an IPO.)

n

Offering secondary transactions to founders is a tool VCs have been using to win deals. For example, if a VC promises that the founders will receive $1,000,000 in cash through a secondary sale from a $15,000,000 venture financing round, the founders will likely prefer that VCu2019s term sheet to a term sheet from a VC that does not offer that deal.

n

Why would a founder consider a secondary sale of their equity?

n

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

The increase in activity in the pre-IPO secondary market means that founders, early employees, and investors are receiving liquidity much sooner in a companyu2019s lifecycle than ever before…

n”,”protected”:false},”author”:133574221,”featured_media”:1896712,”comment_status”:”open”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:{“outcome”:””,”status”:””,”crunchbase_tag”:0,”amp_status”:””,”relegenceEntities”:[],”relegenceSubjects”:[],”jetpack_publicize_message”:””},”categories”:[25515,15835174,20429,17396,35394854],”tags”:[708639,695544,576646912,449547367,416115,52860,198],”crunchbase_tag”:[],”tc_stories_tax”:[],”tc_event”:[],”jetpack_featured_media_url”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Screen-Shot-2019-10-14-at-12.44.31-PM.png”,”jetpack_publicize_connections”:[],”shortlink”:”https://tcrn.ch/32hdZ9w”,”rapidData”:{“pt”:””,”pct”:””},”featured”:false,”subtitle”:””,”fundingRound”:false,”seoTitle”:””,”seoDescription”:””,”premiumContent”:true,”premiumCutoffPercent”:0.23,”tc_cb_mapping”:[],”associatedEvent”:null,”event”:null,”authors”:[1895943],”hideFeaturedImage”:false,”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1895843″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”}],”about”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post”}],”version-history”:[{“count”:12,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1895843/revisions”}],”predecessor-version”:[{“id”:1896900,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1895843/revisions/1896900″}],”authors”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/guest-authors/ryan-conner”}],”replies”:[{“embeddable”:true,”count”:1,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=1895843&order=asc&tc_hierarchical=flat”}],”https://techcrunch.com/edit”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1895843&action=edit”}],”author”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574221″}],”wp:featuredmedia”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media/1896712″}],”wp:attachment”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=1895843″}],”wp:term”:[{“taxonomy”:”category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=1895843″},{“taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=1895843″},{“taxonomy”:”_tc_cb_tag_taxonomy”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/crunchbase_tag?post=1895843″},{“taxonomy”:”tc_stories_tax”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_stories_tax?post=1895843″},{“taxonomy”:”tc_event”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event?post=1895843″}],”curies”:[{“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/{rel}”,”templated”:true}]},”_embedded”:{“authors”:[{“id”:1895943,”name”:”Ryan Conner”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/ryan-conner/”,”description”:”Ryan Conner is a corporate attorney at Atrium part of the General Counsel Group representing early-stage startups.”,”slug”:”ryan-conner”,”links”:{“twitter”:”atrium”},”position”:”Contributor”,”cbDescription”:”Ryan Conner is a corporate attorney at Atrium part of the General Counsel Group representing early-stage startups.”,”cbAvatar”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/LarryZhouPhotography-Atrium-Scale-20190518-1021.jpg?w=150″,”twitter”:”atrium”}],”replies”:[[{“id”:675984,”parent”:0,”author”:0,”author_name”:”jimmy ku”,”author_url”:””,”date”:”2019-10-14T12:58:17″,”content”:{“rendered”:”

This is amazing! Thanks for sharing, Ryan!

n”},”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/14/founders-guide-to-the-pre-ipo-secondary-market/#comment-675984″,”type”:”comment”,”author_avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/e2c42d8471c73af289c6f2cffcee26c9?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/e2c42d8471c73af289c6f2cffcee26c9?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/e2c42d8471c73af289c6f2cffcee26c9?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”techcrunch”:{“avatar”:”https://ct.yimg.com/cy/1768/39361574426_98028a_64sq.jpg”,”company”:”(no company found)”,”title”:”(no title found)”,”user”:”DSKME5OIXDDHB723Q7HI733IW4″},”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments/675984″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments”}],”up”:[{“embeddable”:true,”post_type”:”post”,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1895843″}]}}]],”author”:[{“id”:133574221,”name”:”Arman Tabatabai”,”url”:””,”description”:”Arman focuses on venture capital, startups and urban tech at TechCrunch. Previously, he worked as an equity analyst at Morgan Stanley covering the Power, Utilities & Clean Tech sectors. Arman is based in New York City and can be contacted via email at arman.tabatabai@techcrunch.com.”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/arman-tabatabai/”,”slug”:”arman-tabatabai”,”avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/1eaa0c59d23afba9c58446ab70fbf24b?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/1eaa0c59d23afba9c58446ab70fbf24b?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/1eaa0c59d23afba9c58446ab70fbf24b?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”links”:[],”position”:””,”cbDescription”:””,”cbAvatar”:””,”twitter”:””,”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574221″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users”}]}}],”wp:featuredmedia”:[{“id”:1896712,”date”:”2019-10-14T09:45:21″,”slug”:”screen-shot-2019-10-14-at-12-44-31-pm”,”type”:”attachment”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/14/founders-guide-to-the-pre-ipo-secondary-market/screen-shot-2019-10-14-at-12-44-31-pm/”,”title”:{“rendered”:”Screen Shot 2019-10-14 at 12.44.31 PM”},”author”:133574221,”license”:{“source_key”:”other”,”source”:”Atrium”,”source_url”:”https://www.atrium.co/”},”authors”:[133574221],”caption”:{“rendered”:”

Image via @Atrium

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Lockheed Martin Ventures manages its early-stage $200M fund”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

In niche markets like aerospace, where the traditional VC model might not yield an abundance of available funding, corporate venture funds can offer entrepreneurs an interesting alternative.

n

Unlike traditional VCs, firms like Lockheed Martin Ventures are in constant contact with internal business units about challenges they need solved, or improvements they’re seeking that cannot be sourced internally or through existing vendors.u00a0

n

Lockheed Martin Ventures Executive Director and General Manager J. Christopher Moran explains that while in the past that has traditionally meant the companyu2019s in-house VC sought out later-stage investments in companies with more u201cmatureu201d technology, the fund recently shifted its focus to early-stage companies.

n

u201c[Lockheedu2019s venture arm] was actually established in 2007, as a fund called the u2018Emerging Technologies Funds,u201d Moran said in an interview. u201cAnd it was a vehicle for the business areas to look for and find small startups […] They were using it to look for sort of leading edge, but more mature technology. We started realizing that what we wanted to do was focus more on commercial tech, with a dual-use capability for aerospace, then that made us think that we should probably be looking at much earlier stage companies.u201d

n

Aerospace has always spun out dual-use technologies like GPS and satellite imaging, but today’s startups are solving larger problems; autonomous technologies like machine learning, computer vision, neural networks and artificial intelligence have tremendous potential for application in Lockheedu2019s aerospace and defense businesses u2014 but most of the startups working on these challenges are geared towards automakers and mobility, since they offer a clearer and more immediate path to revenue.

n

Moran accordingly shifted the focus of the fund, aiming its investments at much earlier stage companies, and looking instead for leading edge or u201cvisionaryu201d startups. Once identified, they look to establish partnerships with areas of Lockheedu2019s business to help inform the startups’ work at an earlier stage in the process.

n

Lockheed Martin Ventures now has $200 million committed, and Moran says it has returned around $80 million on its first $100 million invested already in its first decade of operation. Itu2019s an u2018evergreenu2019 fund by design, meaning that returns generated by the fund go back into funding more startups through the venture wing exclusively.

n

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

In niche markets like aerospace, where the traditional VC model might not yield an abundance of available funding, corporate venture funds can offer entrepreneurs an interesting alternative. Unlike traditional VCs, firms like Lockheed Martin Ventures are in constant contact with internal business units about challenges they need solved, or improvements they’re seeking that cannot be […]

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When Susan Fowler’s 2017 blog post shined a light on Uber’s raucous culture, outlining rampant harassment and sexism, a debate erupted. What role do the deep-pocketed investors behind the company, those who allowed it to scale to monstrous proportions, have in developing and nurturing its culture? Entrepreneurs and venture capitalists themselves wondered aloud, how involved should a venture fund be in early-stage recruiting processes and ensuring a safe environment for employees? If a culture is bad, unsafe, damaging, is it the VC’s fault?

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Late-stage venture funds, for the most part, miss the opportunity to deeply impact their portfolio companies’ cultures. When they invest, typically large sums of capital in companies with hundreds of employees and multiple offices, the company’s culture is formed and, as Uber and others have proven, rebuilding culture a decade in is no easy challenge. Early-stage funds, however, the people that write the very first check in startups, have a front-row seat to decisions crucial to defining how a company operates and treats its employees in the long term. These people, if they care to, have the power to help determine key hires and establish company values, norms and behaviors from the get-go.

n

This week, San Francisco-based early-stage fund True Ventures hired its first-ever vice president of culture, a move that suggests VCs are taking concrete steps toward further involving themselves in the company-building process from a D&I and hiring perspective. Madeline Kolbe Saltzman joins the firm, which raised $635 million across two new funds last year, from Handshake, where she was the VP of people and talent.

n

“There’s a responsibility to guide the company and the founder to being the best they can be, and that involves paying attention to who you’re hiring and how people are being treated,” Saltzman tells TechCrunch. “If we can come in and establish inclusive norms, my hope is that our companies will scale inclusively as well.”

n

Most venture capitalists are in regular communication with active investments. Early-stage investors, particularly, are very involved with building businesses, facilitating hires and scaling. But as they seek to decrease cash-burn or find product-market fit, VCs are not often very concerned with issues of diversity and inclusion, something that’s became increasingly important as companies are finally being held accountable for the diversity of their workforces.

n

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True Ventures VP of culture Madeline Kolbe Saltzman on how to “scale inclusively.”

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A Seattle native, she is a graduate of the University of Washington, where she studied journalism and international studies.

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Link”,”children”:[]},{“id”:1605180,”order”:16,”parent”:0,”text”:”TC Cribs”,”url”:”/shows/tc-cribs”,”attr”:””,”target”:””,”classes”:[“”],”description”:””,”object_id”:1605180,”object”:”custom”,”type”:”custom”,”type_label”:”Custom Link”,”children”:[]}]},”playlistData”:{“homepage”:[],”videohub”:[]},”entities”:{“posts”:[{“id”:1893937,”date”:”2019-10-08T07:29:23″,”date_gmt”:”2019-10-08T14:29:23″,”guid”:{“rendered”:”https://techcrunch.com/?p=1893937″},”modified”:”2019-10-08T10:51:56″,”modified_gmt”:”2019-10-08T17:51:56″,”slug”:”lawyers-for-former-file-to-dismiss-defamation-lawsuit”,”status”:”publish”,”type”:”post”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/08/lawyers-for-former-file-to-dismiss-defamation-lawsuit/”,”title”:{“rendered”:”Lawyers for former Tinder execs file to dismiss ‘retaliatory’ defamation lawsuit”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

Last week, former Tinder CEO Greg Blatt filed a defamation lawsuit against Sean Rad and Rosette Pambakian, who are part of a group of Tinder founders and former executives who accused Blatt (pictured above) of sexual harassment and assault as part of a broader suit.

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Now Rad and Pambakian’s attorneys have filed their own motion to dismiss the suit, arguing that it “seeks to chill protected speech through costly litigation” u2014 in other words, that it’s the kind of lawsuit prohibited underu00a0California’s anti-SLAPP law.

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“This lawsuit is intended to muzzle Rosette and Sean from telling the truth about how [IAC chairman] Barry Diller and Greg Blatt stole from their employees and covered up sexual assault allegations,” said Rad and Pambakian’s attorney Orin Snyder in a statement. “Unfortunately, unlawful retaliatory lawsuits like this one designed to silence victims and violate their First Amendment rights are all too common in the #metoo era.”

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In the filing, Rad and Pambakian’s attorneys also argued that Blatt filed the suit “solely to launch a public smear campaign against Pambakian and the person who reported the assault to Match, Sean Rad. At the same time, and now that Blattu2019s public court filings have served his media objective, Blatt says that the complaint that he himself chose to file in court should actually be sent to private arbitration.”

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In response, Blatt’s attorney Vineet Bhatia sent the following statement:

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We fully expected this run-of-the-mill, procedural smoke screen to be made by Rad and Pambakian. These arguments are legally wrong and we expect to prevail in Court. The bottom line is, Rad and Pambakian conspired to defame Mr. Blatt and should be held responsible.

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Both Blatt’s suit and the new filing seek to connect the case to the broader #metoo movement (which, as Snyder alluded to, has seen a number of high-profile figures accused of sexual assault, and who then fought back through defamation lawsuits).

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Blatt’s lawyers argued that “Rad and Pambakian have attempted to weaponize an important social movement, undermining the plight of true victims of sexual abuse by making false accusations in cynical pursuit of a $2 billion windfall.”

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In contrast, Rad and Pambakian’s attorneys said the “ensuing crescendo of retaliation u2014 reminiscent of many Hollywood #MeToo cases u2014 included [Tinder’s parent company] Match circling the wagons around Blatt, publicly belittling Pambakian by chalking up the assault to ‘consensual cuddling,’ and firing her months later after she refused to sign an NDA.”

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In a lawsuit filed in the summer of 2018, Rad (Tinder’s co-founder and former CEO), Pambakian (who was then the company’s vice president of marketing and communications), Rad’s fellow co-founders Justin Mateen and Jonathan Badeen and others sued Match and its controlling shareholder IAC, accusing them of manipulating financial data and removing Rad as CEO in order to create a “fake lowball valuation” and strip the founders and executives of their stock options.

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The suit also accused Blatt u2014 who served as an executive at IAC and as CEO of Match before replacing Rad as CEO of Tinder u2014 of sexually harassing Pambakian at a company holiday party in 2016.

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IAC and Match have called this suit meritless. And in Blatt’s defamation lawsuit, his attorneys said the encounter between Blatt and Pambakian at the holiday party was consensual and that Rad and Pambakian subsequently “conspired to make false allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault against Blatt with the specific intent to damage Blattu2019s good name, personal and professional reputation, and credibility.u201d

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In a footnote, Rad and Pambakian’s attorneys say that because they’re making a free speech argument, their motion to dismiss Blatt’s suit does not require the court to “delve into the facts.” However, they add:

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Blattu2019s false narrative u2014 that this was consensual, and that Pambakian and Rad concocted the assault allegations to aid their valuation lawsuit u2014 is patently false and offensive. The evidence shows that Blatt admitted being drunk at the holiday party, making inappropriate comments to Pambakian, and u201csnuggling and nuzzlingu201d her in a hotel bed. It further shows that Blatt apologized tou00a0Pambakian the following week, and later offered to resign over his misconduct. These are not the actions of an innocent man, nor is it the first time Blatt has been accused of mistreating women in the workplace.

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To back that up, the motion points to a Gawker article describing supposed harassment and verbal abuse by an unnamed “CEO of a major dating site” owned by a corporation u201cin a glass building on the far side of town” (subsequent coverage has suggested that the piece was about Blatt).

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Pambakian withdrew from the initial suit due to an arbitration agreement, but is now suing Blatt and Match for wrongful termination and sexual assault.

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You can read the full motion below.

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n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

Last week, former Tinder CEO Greg Blatt filed a defamation lawsuit against Sean Rad and Rosette Pambakian, who are part of a group of Tinder founders and former executives who accused Blatt (pictured above) of sexual harassment and assault as part of a broader suit. Now Rad and Pambakian’s attorneys have filed their own motion […]

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Anthony Ha is a senior writer at TechCrunch, where he covers media and advertising and co-hosts the Original Content podcast. Previously, he worked as a tech writer at Adweek, a senior editor at the tech blog VentureBeat, and a local government reporter at the Hollister Free Lance. He lives in New York City.

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Anthony Ha is a senior writer at TechCrunch, where he covers media and advertising and co-hosts the Original Content podcast. Previously, he worked as a tech writer at Adweek, a senior editor at the tech blog VentureBeat, and a local government reporter at the Hollister Free Lance. He lives in New York City.

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NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 20: Greg Blatt, chairmain of Match Group, celebrates the company’s initial public offering (IPO) at the NASDAQ stock exchange on November 20, 2015 in New York City. The company began trading on the NASDAQ yesterday morning with an IPO of $12 per share. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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