Lightspeed cofounder Chris Schaepe is out over college admissions scandal, after being exposed by sports blogger

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Chris Schaepe is out at Lightspeed Venture Partners, after telling his partners about having hired Rick Singer, the Newport Beach, Ca., businessman in the middle of the college bribery scandal.
According to Axios, which broke the news of Schaepes departure, Schaepe insists he didnt knowingly participate in any bribery schemes, but that he had hired Singer to help with his sons college admissions process, paying a hefty $176,000 for his services.
Specifically, Schaepes son, whod been the manager for his high schools basketball and football teams, aspired to attend the University of Texas and to play basketball there. In an effort to guarantee a slot, Singer made an introduction to the schools mens tennis coach, Michael Center, who then helped secure a letter of intent for Schaepes son to attend the school.
The idea, suggests Axios, was to make it look like Schaepes son would manage the tennis team, though later, as a student, he managed the universitys college basketball team.
It isnt clear when Schaepe told Lightspeed. Were looking into this now. But seemingly, a sports blogger named Brooks Melchior either forced his hand or else Lightspeeds.
According to Axios, Schaepe hired a lawyer after reading about Rick Singers arrest, then informed his partners at Lightspeed about the situation and was asked to leave the firm. But the timing suggests a two-day-old post of Melchiors has much to do with the development.
As Melchior noted in that post on Monday, Center, the tennis coach, was heard on a FBI wiretap confirming to Singer that he had received nearly $100,000 in exchange for which [he] would designate a student as a recruit to the (UT) tennis team, thereby facilitating his admission to (UT).
Center has since been fired, but Melchior noted that the parent in the case involving Center was neither named nor indicted, so Melchior did some digging. What he found: a screenshot of Singers now-deleted website that happened to feature Schaepes son, front and center, alongside NBA star Kevin Durant and a testimonial, reading:
Hey Rick,
I wanted to thank you personally for all your help in getting me into the University of Texas in Austin, and for helping me secure a managers position with the UT basketball team. And, can you believe it, here is a picture of me with basketball star, Kevin Durrant at the UT Summer Basketball Camp.
Schaepes son, who began attending the school in 2015, is set to graduate next year, according to his LinkedIn profile. It further states that he is currently working at an automotive marketing company in Austin, where the school is based.
Asked for comment, Lightspeed sent us the following statement.
Lightspeed Partner Chris Schaepe recently made the firm aware of a personal matter. We determined to separate from Chris to ensure this matter does not interfere with firm operations. The matter does not involve the firm, its personnel or its portfolio companies.
Courtesy of Axios, Schaepes spokesperson has also released a statement, though some will presumably question it given the sum of money paid by Schaepe to Singer.
We are deeply disturbed that the person we had trusted to guide us through the college application process was engaged in inappropriate acts. Like countless other families, we believed that his services and his foundation were all above board, and we are shocked by his deception.
Schaepe, who cofounded Lightspeed 19 years ago, has already been removed from the firms website.
Hed spent the previous nine years as an investor with Weiss, Peck & Greer Venture Partners, leaving with colleagues Barry Eggers, Ravi Mhatre, and Peter Nieh to form Lightspeed.
Eggers and Mhatre talked about the firms earliest days during a small industry event hosted in 2017 by this editor. Schaepe has meanwhile long operated in the background, orchestrating major wins for Lighspeed and in the process, winning accolades, including from peer and sometimes rival Bill Gurley. As Gurley told Bloomberg in a 2017 story about Lightspeeds rise, Schaepe has been crushing it for yearswithout recognition.
Given the scope of Singers network, Schaepe may not be the last investor caught up in the admissions scandal. According to an earlier Bloomberg report, Singer ran an apparently legitimate college counseling firm, the Edge College & Career Network, before about 2011. Some of his other past clients include John Doerr and Ted Schlein of Kleiner Perkins.
As with Schaepe, investor Bill McGlashan also lost a plum role, one at the top of the investment firm TPG, after it was revealed two weeks ago that he participated in schemes orchestrated by Singer on behalf of his own son.
See also:
Leave a comment
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«     2019    »