According to a police affidavit filed on January 9, 2019, in Travis County, Texas, a woman has identified Brian Wong as the man who allegedly assaulted her three years ago. A warrant for Wong's arrest was issued and bail set at $30,000.
The affidavit states that the accuser told Rice University police on March 14, 2016, that she met up with Wong at a party in Austin the previous evening and felt impaired after drinking half a glass of wine. She alleged that she ended up in Wong's hotel room but did not remember getting there. Wong then pushed her down and removed her clothes, she alleged. The incident was first reported by the NBC affiliate website KXAN.com.
Wong's attorney, Sam Bassett, a partner with Austin-based Minton, Bassett, Flores and Carsey P.C., provided Inc. with the following statement:
"Brian Wong is innocent. He has fully cooperated with law enforcement and successfully passed a polygraph examination regarding the evening in question. The accuser and Mr. Wong had a prior relationship. She travelled to Austin to visit Mr. Wong and to stay at his hotel. They engaged in consensual sexual activity and spent the night together.
"This three-year-old accusation is baseless. We look forward to our day in court and Mr. Wong's vindication."
Wong, through Bassett, declined to comment.
Inc. editor-in-chief James Ledbetter issued the following statement regarding Wong's role as an online columnist: "Inc. is not in a position to judge accusations and denials. However, we feel it is appropriate at this time to suspend the column that Wong writes for Inc.com."
Kiip (pronounced "Keep") was founded in 2010 by Wong, Courtney Guertin, and Amadeus Demarzi. The San Francisco-based company is an in-app mobile advertising platform that works with clients to increase user engagement with product giveaways and gift cards. Its clients and partners include McDonald's, Coca-Cola, BMW, General Mills and Pepsi, according to the Kiip website.
Kiip has raised $32 million in eight funding rounds, according to Crunchbase. Its investors include Verizon Ventures, Relay Ventures, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, True Ventures and U.S. Cellular.
"We are now aware of the allegations made against [Wong]. We have a zero-tolerance policy, but cannot comment on these allegations. We do hold the leadership teams of our portfolio companies to a high standard of communication, and are calling upon the board of the company to ask Brian to step aside until this matter is resolved," said Jodi Echakowitz, a Relay Ventures spokeswoman.
Wong was pictured on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine's August 2014 issue for the article, "Young Millionaires: How These Entrepreneurs Under 30 Are Changing the World." He also was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for marketing and advertising in 2014. He is author of The Cheat Code: Going Off Script to Get More, Go Faster, and Shortcut Your Way to Success (Crown Business, 2016).
Wong is also notable for having received his bachelor's degree from the University of British Columbia at age 18. In 2010, UBC alumni magazine Viewpoints reported that Kiip's seed funding round, led by True Ventures, made Wong the youngest person at the time to ever receive funding from a venture capital firm.
Inc. reached out to Kiip and its other investors for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication.