BharatPe to return founder shares and lay off ‘several’ employees

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BharatPe says it will return limited shares of co-founder Ashnir Grover and stop providing services to several employees who interacted with sketchy vendors as the Tiger Global-backed fintech startup looks to recover from a strange and troubling episode earlier this year.

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Startup headquartered in Noida, latest valued at $2.85 billion and which helps merchants accept money online as well as provide them with working capital, launched an investigation into its co-founder Grover earlier this year following complaints. He concluded that Grover and those close to him “pumped [off] Moneyand engaged in “large scale misappropriation of company funds”.

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On Tuesday, BharatPe said that based on a report by Alvarez & Marsal, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and PwC, the startup’s board had recommended a number of measures, including divesting limited shares of Grover. The firm did not say how many limited shares of Grover it plans to take away, but a source familiar with the matter said shares of Grover, who starred in the Indian version of Shark Tank as a “shark”, would be diluted to 7.1. %, from 8.5%.

The firm has also put in place a new code of conduct, applicable to both senior management and employees, that addresses conflicts of interest and other issues, BharatPe said. He also introduced a new supplier procurement policy to monitor and vet the suppliers the startup works with, and hired a full-time CHRO and an interim CFO.

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Earlier this year, an alleged audio clip surfaced on Twitter of a man — believed to be Ashnir — making abusive and life-threatening statements during a phone call to a Kotak Bank representative about not receiving funding to buy stock in fashion e-commerce IPO Nykaa. . The clip, which went viral on social media, set off a chain of events that prompted the board to investigate.

Grover denied any wrongdoing and, in an early TV interview, threatened to release “compromising evidence” on investors and board members if the startup continued to damage his reputation. He said his investors are “out of touch with reality” and treat the founders like “slaves”. Bharatpe called his accusations “baseless lies”. Grover resigned from the firm earlier this year.

The startup said it was also removing “multiple employees” services in departments that were directly associated with blocked vendors. “If necessary, the company will initiate criminal proceedings against some of these employees for misconduct and acts of fraud committed by them against the company,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Grover is working on a new startup, he said at a recent conference. One thing he’s very clear about the new startup, he says, is that it won’t be raising money from venture capitalists.


Credit: techcrunch.com /

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