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He said he’d invest $100K and then asked me to have sex with him

Raising capital is hard for everyone and much has been written about the unique challenges faced by female entrepreneurs. I started my first tech company, in 2012 and I pitched it hundreds of times before I closed a round of funding. I remember hearing vague complaints in the news about women who’d been propositioned for sex while raising investment and I couldn’t imagine it happening to me. Every investor I’d met with had been polite and respectful.

Then it happened. It was two years into my journey as a founder and I was raising a small round to help facilitate our merger with Beat the Q. I met Mike in New York at a tech event and he visited Sydney some time later.  This extract from my book is the complete story of our exchange on the night he agreed to invest noting that I’ve changed the name and identifying features for legal reasons. 

To any woman has had a similar experience, I apologise for not writing about this earlier. At the time, I wrote a high-profile column and I should have shared my experience. I kept quiet because I felt ashamed. I wondered if, by going to a restaurant at night and engaging in friendly conversation, that I’d led him on. I hadn’t.

I now feel embarrassed at my polite response. I wish I’d reacted with outrage but I felt shocked, horrified and I didn’t know what to say.  

We must call out obnoxious behaviour, even when it isn’t criminal. We must share our stories and arm each other with the knowledge and insight to respond powerfully in the moment.

The below extract is from Rebekah’s book 138 Dates, out now through Allen & Unwin and available at Booktopia and all good bookstores.  The book is the true story of Rebekah’s search for love and

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This story was published at Business and provided for your interest.


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