Ashneer Grover quits BharatPe; company to take action for conduct
BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover has resigned as the managing director of the fintech unicorn startup. Grover has alleged that he was targeted and vilified "in the most disgraceful manner" by a few individuals in BharatPe. On the other hand, the company said it reserves the right to take action against Grover based on the findings of a report on his conduct.
- BharatPe is a unicorn startup that was last valued at $3 billion last year after raising $370 million.
- The company has leveled grave allegations of misappropriation of funds against Grover, who has recently gained widespread recognition from his appearance on Shark Tank India.
- Grover's resignation comes mere days after his wife Madhuri Jain Grover was sacked from BharatPe over similar allegations.
In his resignation letter—accessed by BusinessToday—Grover wrote, "I write this with a heavy heart as today I am being forced to bid adieu to a company of which I am a founder." He said he and his family are being baselessly targeted by a few individuals in the company since earlier this year. These individuals are also ready to harm BharatPe's reputation, he said.
"I am now wasting myself fighting a long, lonely battle against my own investors and management," Grover wrote. "Unfortunately, in this battle, the management has lost sight of what is actually at stake — BharatPe." He said BharatPe's Board has chosen to believe "gossip and rumors" and are "so far removed from reality" that they have forgotten how real businesses look.
Meanwhile, BharatPe told BusinessToday that Grover resigned shortly after receiving an agenda from an upcoming Board meeting. The meeting was regarding the submission of the PwC report regarding his conduct and relevant actions to be considered, it said. The company has reportedly involved risk advisory firm Alvarez and Marsal, consulting firm PwC, and law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Co. for the probe.
Last week, BharatPe had sacked Madhuri Jain as the head of controls. She was accused of siphoning money from the company and funds misappropriation. Earlier, BharatPe had reportedly decided to remove Grover over allegations of GST evasion and other financial irregularities. The company had faced raids by the Directorate General of GST Intelligence and had to pay Rs. 11 crore due to this misconduct.