Many of you have asked about our affiliation with one of our investors from 2015, RSE Ventures, a venture fund of which Stephen Ross is co-founder and chairman, and why we haven’t removed Mr. Ross as an investor in light of his affiliations with Donald Trump, which were made public in 2019.
But first, some context: RSE Ventures was one of 34 investors that supported our initial launch in 2015. RSE Ventures is a minority-stake investor that has no influence or involvement in our day-to-day operations or business decisions. We, as founders and as a brand, do not support or have any affiliation with Stephen Ross’s political activity and contributions. As a company, LOLA does not contribute to or support any political campaigns and we have no affiliation with Donald Trump whatsoever.
In the spirit of transparency, we want to be open around the realities at play when it comes to our investors and hopefully clarify our role as founders in the process of a buyout. The truth is, we legally cannot just “remove an investor.” Legally, it is the choice of the investor as to whether they want to sell their stake and, since we are not a publicly traded company, that depends on a lot of factors like whether there is a buyer for their stock, and what that buyer would pay for it. In the future, we hope to be able to offer our early investors a chance to cash out, but there’s no guarantee that early stage investors will want to sell and we cannot force them to do so.
In the meantime, we are focused on investing our money and time in making reproductive health better and more equitable for everyone.
-Alex and Jordana, LOLA Co-founders