Arif Janmohamed – Sexual Harassment and Silence
Arif Janmohamed is Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners and has allegedly failed to take any action against sexual harassment and human rights abuse by his firm.
The VC investor has ample experience under his belt. I have shed some light on that in the next section of this review.
However, it seems as if he has no regard for HR or UN’s human rights diligence requirements. Under his leadership, the company has even faced lawsuits for wrongful terminations.
The following review will give you bit more idea of how much his carelessness might have cost everyone:
Who is Arif Janmohamed?
Arif Janmohamed is a Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. He has been a part of the VC firm since 2008.
There, Arif focuses on enterprise investments in Cloud, Data and AI.
Currently, he is working with the teams at Cycognito, Netskope, Appzen, Alif Semiconductor, RedPanda, Split Software, Thoughtspot, PredictHQ, TripActions and Celona.
Furthermore, he has been a part of several Lightspeed investments with successful exits. These include:
- IO Turbine
- Memoir Systems
- Pertino Networks
- Avi Networks
- Mist Systems
Before he started working with Lightspeed Venture Partners, he was in the Corporate Business Development Group (Mergers & Acquisitions) at Cisco Systems.
Moreover, he used to work at Novitas Capital before working at Cisco.
Arif Janmohamed has also worked in product management and technical development Sun Microsystems, WebTV and Andes Networks.
Also, he is a Board Member and a Founding Charter Member for the C100. C100 is a non-profit organization facilitating Canadian technology entrepreneurship through partnership, mentorship and investment.
Arif Janmohamed is the founder of WVP ventures as well.
In terms of qualifications, Arif has an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BSc in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada.
Sexual Harassment at Lightspeed Ventures and Arif Janmohamed’s Silence:
In 2017, half a dozen women founders came forward, making allegations against Justin Caldbeck of Lightspeed Venture Partners.
They alleged that Justin made unwanted and inappropriate advances towards them.
Apart from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Justin was the managing partner and co-founder of Binary Capital.
These women included Susan Ho and Leiti Hsu of Journy and Niniane Wang, co-creator of Google Desktop.
As soon as the story broke, many people took to Twitter and other social media platforms, showing solidarity with the victims.
After media outlets started reporting on this story, Caldbeck announced he will take an indefinite leave of absence and issued an apology as well.
Leiti Hsu said she was happy that he apologized and was glad to see the support numerous people showed the victims.
Several other victims shared their experiences but didn’t want to disclose their identities. They were afraid that they might suffer a backlash from the men who didn’t see inappropriate advances as an issue.
Some of the victims alleged that Caldbeck sent explicit text messages to them. Sometimes, he sent them messages in the middle of the night suggesting they meet up.
Also, he suggested a victim go to a hotel bedroom with him during a meeting. On another instance, the partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners asked a victim if she wanted to be in an open relationship with him.
Moreover, a victim pointed out that he grabbed her thigh under the table of a bar during a meeting.
All of the victims were in contact with him in a professional capacity. Some of them hoped to secure funding from his firm. However, many of them found his advances so awkward they stopped dealing with him.
What was Arif Janmohamed’s Reactions to These Allegations?
Note that Arif Janmohamed was a part of Lightspeed Venture Partners at the time. Additionally, his position wasn’t insignificant.
Yet, the tech VC didn’t say anything on the matter.
The company, Lightspeed Venture Partners came forward to admit their mistake later on. They pointed out that they had received a complaint about Caldbeck’s misdemeanor when he used to work under them.
Yet, the company failed to take any action.
Arif Janmohamed was part of Lightspeed Venture Partners at the time as well. However, he didn’t do anything about the problem himself.
Instead, he remained silent.
Due to his inaction and silence, Caldbeck went to harass more female founders over the coming years.
If Arif Janmohamed had taken any action against Caldbeck, he probably would have stopped right then and there.
Moreover, many women might have been saved from receiving dirty text messages and unwanted advances from him.
While people have been right to point out Caldbeck’s errors, nothing has happened to call out Arif Janmohamed’s poor leadership. Shouldn’t he take any responsibility for the misdemeanor of a subordinate?
Below is additional proof on how insensitive Arif Janmohamed’s leadership truly is:
Lightspeed Venture Partners Faced Lawsuit for Wrongful Termination in 2021:
SnapRoute is one of the many companies Lightspeed Ventures has invested in. It’s an open source network stack for enterprise applications.
Last year, the company’s ex-CEO filed a lawsuit against the company. He alleged that Lightspeed Venture Partners replaced him wrongfully.
Jason Forrester, the plaintiff filed the lawsuit in Santa Clara County Superior Courts, Downtown Superior Court. The case is still pending in court.
Other defendants in the lawsuit include Joe Sexton, Norwest Venture Partners and Snaproute Inc.
Certainly, something is very wrong at Lightspeed and the cause might be Arif Janmohamed.
Research Shows Lightspeed Venture Partners Doesn’t Perform Human Rights Diligence:
Amnesty reviewed the human rights responsibilities of venture capitalists in 2020. They surveyed the 50 largest VCs and generated some interesting insights.
The research revealed that none of the 10 largest VC firms had any decent human rights due diligence policies in place. Lightspeed Venture Partners is one of them.
Michael Kleinman, Silicon Valley director of Amnesty Tech, said their research revealed that the globe’s most powerful venture capitalist firms function with little to no consideration of the human rights impact of their decisions.
In Lightspeed’s case, they found that the company didn’t check if their investment had any links to human rights abuses.
Furthermore, the research even found evidence that at least one of Lightspeed Venture Partners’ investment was implicated in human rights abuses.
Clearly, Arif Janmohamed needs to answer some questions related to this topic.
Arif Janmohamed is a Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. He has had a senior role at the firm for over a decade now.
Furthermore, he has helped the company make a lot of commercial progression. But that’s it.
It seems like he has no regard for others.
He fails to take any responsibility for the numerous acts the VC firm has been performing even though he is a part of the upper management.
Certainly, someone needs to hold him accountable.
Arif Janmohamed has failed to call out the numerous times one of his subordinates have abused their power on others. Furthermore, he stays silent on several sensitive issues including human rights abuse. Lightspeed Venture Partners shouldn’t have a free pass to do anything it pleases.
- Tech expert
- Utter disregard for people
- Avoids taking responsibility
- Unaware or unbothered by human rights abuse done by one of his companies