Blackrun Ventures has responded to claims by female-focused dating app Siren that the VC firm did not fulfil its obligations after the company invested in the Seattle startup.
The claims were made in a blog post on Siren’s official site that announced the dating app was closing its doors.
The founders of the app, Susie Lee & Katrina Hess, wrote a statement saying that after closing a $500,000 seed round led by Blackrun Ventures in March 2016, a year later the firm had “not completed their obligation”.
The founders said: “At the beginning of 2016, we closed our round with a lead investor whose mission was to support female-centric companies and who saw the potential in Siren’s clear differentiation in a saturated market.
“Yet, as of this writing, a full calendar year later, they have not completed their obligation. Instead, we received small, unpredictable amounts, with the other investors courageously stepping forward.
“Through the dedication of these committed individuals we were able to continue development, however we could never plan beyond a few months, hindering growth, milestones, and new funding opportunities.”
And Blackrun has now responded to these claims, saying it committed $225,000 as lead investor, 75% of which was “disbursed over the last 12 months”.
The VC firm said it was “committed” to providing the remainder of this investment to support the dating app’s expansion.
The full statement, which was sent to GDI, reads: “Blackrun Ventures joined a number of investors to participate in Siren’s $500,000 seed funding round. As the lead investor, we committed $225,000, of which 75% was disbursed over the last 12 months following the completion of due diligence.
“We were committed to providing the remainder of the investment to support Siren’s expansion, and sent our consultant to work with the team on their strategic direction.
“The dating app market is crowded and highly competitive, but our reasons for investing in Siren were strategic, and we were won over by the vision and passion of the company’s founders. Nevertheless, while we still see potential for the business, particularly internationally, we respect their decision.”
The funding was part of a new investment vehicle run by Blackrun called Half the World Holdings, that aimed to support “businesses for which women are the end consumers”.
The announcement of its launch came last March, alongside the news that it had signed two term sheets – maternal health tech company EmbraceHer and Siren.
Siren was a dating app that gave women control by letting them initiate contact with men, and connecting singles using its “question of the day” feature.
Read more about the closure of the app here.