Eric Schmidt’s $100 Million Investment in Steel Perlot Raises Questions Amid Relationship Rumors


Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google and a prominent figure in the tech industry, has invested $100 million in Steel Perlot, a startup incubator led by 29-year-old CEO Michelle Ritter. This investment has raised eyebrows due to rumors of a romantic relationship between Schmidt and Ritter. Despite being married for over 40 years, Schmidt has been linked to Ritter, but both have remained tight-lipped about their personal relationship.

Steel Perlot is a company involved in launching and investing in new ventures, with a portfolio covering AI, crypto, and payment processing startups. It manages $450 million, but the identity of its other investors remains undisclosed. The startup faced financial challenges, as revealed in a January 2023 email requesting funds from Schmidt’s family office to cover payroll and credit card debts.

Eric Schmidt’s involvement in Steel Perlot is unusual because it marks the first time he has publicly entered into a major business relationship with someone he is reportedly dating. Schmidt is typically discreet about his personal life, and his investments have sparked controversy. His involvement with Steel Perlot, where he serves as executive chairman, has raised questions about his role and financial contributions to the company.

Steel Perlot’s CEO, Michelle Ritter, met Schmidt through a connection at Columbia Law School. Despite their romantic relationship, Ritter maintains that Steel Perlot has multiple backers beyond Schmidt, managing $450 million in capital. However, Forbes’ investigation couldn’t verify the presence of significant funds from other investors. Ritter’s claims about involvement from tech elites like Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg were also questioned.

Steel Perlot has invested at least $20 million in various startups, spanning AI, crypto, and payment processing sectors. However, lines between Steel Perlot and other entities controlled by Schmidt sometimes blurred. Ritter has implied that other initiatives like the AI project “Future House” were spun out of Steel Perlot and funded through philanthropic channels, while sources claim they received funds from Schmidt’s controlled entities.

Schmidt’s influence in Steel Perlot is notable, as he is described as a very active chairman. The future of Steel Perlot remains uncertain, with plans for new investments and cash infusions in the pipeline. The ongoing relationship between Schmidt and Ritter is also shrouded in secrecy, and they are reportedly spending less time together.

Eric Schmidt’s investment in Steel Perlot adds a layer of complexity to the startup’s operations, raising questions about financial commitments, the scope of Schmidt’s involvement, and the impact of their personal relationship on the business.

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