In the past, Fortune has been vocal about Gurbaksh Chahal, the startup executive who pled guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence and battery charges several years ago. He was removed from his role of CEO of the company he started (because the board failed to cover up the incident), but later resurfaced as CEO of a new company, adtech startup Gravity4. He was sued for gender discrimination and accused of domestic violence for a second time. In August, a judge deemed the second domestic violence accusation in violation of his probation, and he was sentenced to one year in jail. Chahal is appealing the sentence and returned to his role as CEO of Gravity4 in September.
This week, Nin Ventures, a Chicago-based early stage venture capital firm, announced Chahal has signed on as an advisor. I’ve reached out to the firm for comment on their relationship, but heard no response. Notably, Nin Ventures is run by a woman: Nin Desai.
It is impossible to imagine that any firm that has signed on to work with Chahal is not aware of his record of abuse. Which means doing business with him is an implicit signal that your company is simply willing to overlook such actions. There are so many qualified advisors out there. Whatever business benefits that may come from working with, and implicitly approving of, someone who has, on multiple occasions, physically attacked women, can’t be worth it.