Passion Capital drops co-founder after sexual assault allegation

The millionaire co-founder of Passion Capital, one of London’s biggest tech investment firms, has been fired from the firm after being accused of sexual assault.

The Metropolitan Police said Stefan Glänzer will appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. He was arrested in September last year following an allegation made in June.

In a statement, the Met said: “On Monday, March 7, he was charged by mail requisition with one count of sexual assault by touching.”

Glänzer co-founded Passion Capital in 2011 with Eileen Burbidge and Robert Dighero.

The venture capital firm has invested in many top UK tech startups, including challenger bank Monzo and insurtech unicorn Marshmallow.

Although Passion said Glänzer had not played an “active role” in the company since 2018, he remained a limited partner.

Passion Capital said in a statement that it was “retiring its involvement and ownership of all Passion entities it held from its previous role.”

The statement goes on to say, “As we continue to review our legal position and options to hold him accountable for bringing the company into disrepute and allegedly behaving in a manner completely inconsistent with our values, we apologize. sincere greetings to all the founders and teams of our portfolio companies, the co-investors and investors of affected funds – and above all all the victims.

“To be very clear, we unequivocally condemn any form of assault or harassment in any situation and there are no words to describe the shame we feel for not speaking up and doing more to break up all links as soon as we learned of the allegations last month.”

Passion Capital’s ESG document describes its approach to sexual harassment in its portfolio companies, stating that it encourages them to “take seriously the possibility of sexual harassment and other types of harassment”.

The document adds: “We will produce a model code of conduct for sexual harassment in the workplace (reflecting our own policy) which we will share with our founders and encourage them to adopt or incorporate into their employee handbooks or other policies.

A spokesperson for British Bank, the UK government-owned development bank which invested £17.5 million in Passion Capital in 2015, said: “As a limited partner, the bank has supported Passion Capital in its actions to remove Stefan Glänzer from these funds.

Last year, Passion Capital launched its third fund, a £45m investment pot to support UK tech start-ups.

Glänzer did not respond UKTN for further comments.