Google Ventures says it won't invest in NC over HB2

Google Ventures, now known as GV, has added its voice to the list of tech and corporate heavyweights speaking out against North Carolina's House Bill 2.

GV's CEO has pledged not to invest any money in the state until the law, which opponents claim discriminates against transgender people, is repealed.

Recode reported Friday that GV CEO Bill Maris sent out a note to his firm's partners asking them to "please flag any investments in NC that come through as I am not comfortable deploying dollars into startups there until the voters there fix this."

Maris once lived in North Carolina and worked as a neuroscience researcher at Duke University.

"I have great faith in the people there and a lot of affinity for the state and its people," he wrote in an email to Recode. "I am hopeful this will be repealed quickly."

Responding late Thursday to questions whether NC Senate leader Phil Berger has an appetite for changes, Berger spokeswoman Shelly Carver said no because "an overwhelming majority of North Carolinians we've heard from support" the law.

GV, which has $2.4 billion under management, has not invested in a North Carolina startup to date, Recode said.

More than 100 corporate executives have added their names to a letter delivered to North Carolina's governor on Thursday calling for the repeal of the nation's first state law limiting bathroom options for transgender people.

The law signed by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory also prohibits local anti-discrimination measures, prevents workers from suing in state court alleging discrimination on the basis of race, sex and other factors; and prevents cities and counties from requiring businesses to provide minimum wages or paid sick leave.


Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina announced the growing list of corporate leaders after delivering the letter and meeting privately with McCrory. They declined to discuss his response.

The list now includes leaders of many sectors of the economy. Tourism is represented by Hilton, Marriott and Starwood hotels; AirBnB, Uber and Lyft; and American Airlines, which has a major hub in Charlotte, the state's largest city. Banking and finance executives include the leaders of Bank of America, Citibank, TD Bank, PayPal, and others; Restaurateurs and retailers include leaders of Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and Levi Strauss; and Technology leaders joined in force, including the leaders of IBM, Apple, Intel, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, eBay, Twitter, YouTube, and many others.

The new law "will make it far more challenging for businesses across the state to recruit and retain the nation's best and brightest workers and attract the most talented students from across the nation. It will also diminish the state's draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses, and economic activity," the letter said.

"They know this attack on lesbian, gay, bisexual and especially transgender North Carolinians isn't just morally wrong -- it also puts their employees, customers and North Carolina's economy at risk," HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement.

The advocates noted that McCrory said Monday that the law "doesn't take away any rights that currently existed in any city in North Carolina."

Thursday, McCrory's office issued the following statement on the governor's meeting about the bathroom privacy law:

"There's no doubt there is a well-coordinated, national campaign to smear our state's reputation after we passed a common-sense law to ensure no government can take away our basic expectations of privacy in bathrooms, locker rooms and showers," said Josh Ellis, Communications Director for Governor McCrory. "Governor McCrory appreciated the opportunity to sit down and deal with these complex issues through conversation and dialogue as opposed to political threats and economic retaliation."

Report a Typo
Copyright © 2022 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.