London tech investor drops cofounder charged with sexual assault

A millionaire former leader of one of London’s most prominent technology investment firms has been removed from the company after a sexual assault charge.

Stefan Glänzer, a cofounder of Passion Capital, will appear at Westminster magistrates court on Thursday charged with one count of sexual assault by touching, according to the Metropolitan police.

One of the country’s leading tech investors, Passion’s venture capital investments include the app-based bank Monzo and the insurance startup Marshmallow, and has also secured taxpayer-backed funding through the British Business Bank.

Glänzer started Passion in 2011 alongside Eileen Burbidge and Robert Dighero, who now run the company. Glänzer departed in 2018 and did not have “an active role”, Passion said, but he remained a limited partner in some of its funds.

Glänzer had made millions founding and leading businesses including the German online auction site Ricardo and the music recommendation site

The Met said in a statement: “Stefan Glänzer, 60, of Kensington Park Gardens, W11, was arrested in September 2021 following an allegation made to police in June of the same year.

“On Monday, 7 March he was charged by postal requisition with one count of sexual assault by touching.”

In a statement, Passion Capital said it was “removing his involvement and membership in all Passion entities that he held from his previous role”, and would seek to limit his financial rewards.

The statement said: “Whilst we continue to consider our legal position and options for holding him to account for bringing the firm into disrepute and allegedly behaving in a manner wholly incompatible with our values, we offer our most heartfelt apologies to all of our portfolio company founders and teams, co-investors and fund investors impacted – and most importantly any victims.

“Our deep regret is that we did not act to sever all agreements and revoke Mr Glänzer’s rights sooner. To be very clear, we unequivocally condemn any forms 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 sever all ties as soon as we learned of the allegations last month.”

A British Business Bank spokeswoman said it was a limited partner in the funds operation by Passion and had no direct involvement in running them. “As a limited partner, the bank has supported Passion Capital in its actions to remove Stefan Glänzer from these funds.”

Glänzer did not respond to a request for comment.

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