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Zilingo appoints Deloitte to probe harassment complaints


Bengaluru: Singapore’s Zilingo has employed skilled companies agency Deloitte to probe harassment fees raised by cofounder and chief government Ankiti Bose, folks conscious of the event informed ET.

Deloitte has sought a gathering with Bose on Friday and requested her to ship throughout any related paperwork she could also be having. ET has seen a replica of the e-mail despatched by Deloitte to Bose.

On Wednesday, the business-to-business style ecommerce agency’s cofounder,
Dhruv Kapoor, wrote to the company’s employees, addressing allegations of harassment and poisonous work tradition surrounding the startup, because the tussle between Bose and the corporate board intensifies.

An electronic mail despatched by ET to Zilingo didn’t instantly elicit a response.

“You’ll have heard that there’s an allegation made that sure people at Zilingo ‘suppressed’ complaints of harassment. We have all the time had a tradition that doesn’t tolerate sexual harassment, office harassment, bullying or intimidation … In uncommon circumstances when office points had been reported, we have all the time adopted due course of and brought strict motion,” Kapoor stated in an inside memo that ET has seen.

The
company suspended Bose after discrepancies had been allegedly found in its accounting throughout a due-diligence course of for a brand new funding spherical, ET had reported on April 12. Bose labored with Sequoia Capital India earlier than beginning Zilingo.

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She had disputed these allegations and contested her suspension, calling the corporate’s motion a “witch hunt” that she hinted was triggered by harassment complaints she had raised in opposition to an investor within the firm. Her suspension is legitimate until Might 5.

“Sadly, over the previous couple of days, there have been some issues stated within the media that do not replicate both the sort of firm that we have needed to construct, nor the sort of tradition that I’ve seen round me in my time right here … We’re troubled to see some folks within the workforce act in opposition to the pursuits of the corporate, typically in a approach that hurts Zilingo’s popularity or the popularity of varied folks within the organisation,” Kapoor, who can also be the chief expertise and product officer of Zilingo, wrote in his word.

In a public assertion, Zilingo’s board on Might 2 stated Bose introduced forth harassment-related allegations solely submit her suspension. The choice to droop her was a collective one, it stated.

“After receiving sure complaints of a severe nature, the board positioned the CEO, Ankiti Bose, on suspension pending a full investigation. Opposite to claims which have been circulating within the media, this choice was taken collectively by the board and the related shareholders,” the board assertion stated.

“We want to reiterate that following her suspension on March 31, Ankiti Bose delivered to the board’s consideration, for the primary time, sure harassment-related allegations,” the assertion from Zilingo’s board learn.

A few of the different Sequoia-backed firms have additionally been within the information for points associated to company governance and monetary audits. These embrace fintech agency BharatPe and social commerce platform Trell.

In April, newswire Bloomberg reported that Sequoia Capital India managing director Shailendra Singh had left Zilingo’s board.

Zilingo raised $226 million as a part of its final funding spherical in 2019, led by current traders Sequoia Capital Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek and others, after which it was valued at $970 million.

It additionally raised a bridge spherical of $35 million from current shareholders final 12 months.

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