In November 2018, Callisto launched a private beta of a new product, "Callisto Expansion," to support startup founders who have experienced sexual assault or professional sexual coercion. This product was discontinued in July 2019.
The launch of this new product was philanthropically supported by a number of leading venture capital firms: Obvious Ventures, Uncork Capital, Greylock Partners, First Round Capital, Foundry Group, Data Collective (DCVC), Abstract Ventures, Capricorn's Technology Impact Fund, and Structure X Capital.
Callisto Expansion's private beta was an invite-only pilot of the new technology. Approximately 2,000 startup founders were invited to create an account. Founders with an account could then enter into Callisto's repeat offender detection system, where they could "match" with other victims of the same perpetrator. If more than one founder named the same perpetrator, they would be connected with an attorney who could advise them on their options and facilitate coordination with other victims of the same perpetrator.
The technology was built to optimize for user security and privacy, and employed cutting-edge methods of data encryption. Unfortunately, these methods came at the cost of usability, and it was difficult for invited founders to complete the sign up process and enter their perpetrator into the system. In July 2019, the Callisto team decided to discontinue the Callisto Expansion founders pilot, and instead focus on merging the best of the ideas from Callisto Expansion with the best ideas from Callisto Campus to simply create "Callisto" (launching in 2020). To ensure the protection of survivors who created accounts in Callisto Expansion, their account data and all backups were permanently deleted.
We are grateful to the founders who trusted us with their information and to the funders who enabled us to pilot this new approach, and we look forward to eventually returning to support survivors in the startup ecosystem with a new and improved product offering.