Accusations of gender bias and sexual harassment at Uber are "a huge deal" and may undermine the start-up's success at a crucial time, a venture capitalist told CNBC.
The ride-hailing company has launched an "urgent" investigation this week after former employee and engineer Susan Fowler published a blog post with multiple allegations, including that human resources and executives failed to act when she was propositioned for sex by a superior.
"That's really starting to affect how we perceive the company and its public persona," Kate Mitchell, co-founder and partner at Scale Venture Partners, told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Wednesday. "I think it's a challenge for them going forward toward an IPO. I think in many ways it's a gift to the rest of Silicon Valley to remind us that we all still need to focus on this issue and do the right thing."
The start-up, valued at $68 billion according to CB Insights, has long delayed an exit in the public market. But its long-term prospects for success might be hurt if in-fighting scares away top talent, Mitchell said.