BharatPe fires Madhuri Jain over charges of ‘misappropriation of funds’: Report

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BharatPe has sacked Madhuri Jain, the company’s controller, on charges of ‘misappropriation of funds’, a media report stated on Wednesday.

Hindustan Times could not independently confirm the report, nor did BharatPe officially comment on Madhuri’s exit.

An article by The Economic Times stated that Jain had been under the scanner ever since a preliminary investigation was launched by Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) over some financial irregularities. Madhuri Jain, who is also the wife of BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover, has been in charge of the company’s finances since 2018.

According to the report, Jain was sent a letter of termination on February 22.

The couple has been on leave from the company since January, even as Madhuri was caught in an independent audit of the company’s internal processes and systems. Co-founder and Managing Director Ashneer Grover had said he was taking a voluntary leave till March.

BharatPe had in a statement said that the board was committed to the highest standard of corporate governance at the company and “is doing an independent audit of the company’s internal processes and systems”.

“The Board strongly believes in protecting the interests of all stakeholders, including customers, employees and partners,” the statement read.

Earlier this month, an audio clip surfaced on social media with claims of Grover abusing and threatening a Kotak Mahindra Bank employee for missing out on share allotment during the initial public offering (IPO) of FSN E-Commerce Ventures, which operates online fashion and wellness company Nykaa.

Grover had denied the allegations, calling the audio clip “fake” and put out by a “scamster”. It later emerged that he and Madhuri had in October last year sent a legal notice to Kotak for failure to provide financing for the Nykaa IPO.

On January 9, the Mumbai-based lender had responded saying it will take legal action against Grover. Kotak Mahindra Bank had acknowledged the legal notice.

Valued at USD 2.8 billion, BharatPe serves over 75 lakh merchants across 150 cities. The company has already facilitated the disbursement of loans totalling over 3,000 crore to its merchants since its launch. BharatPe has raised over USD 650 million in equity and debt to date. Its investors include Tiger Global, Dragoneer Investment Group, Steadfast Capital, Coatue Management, Ribbit Capital and others.

With Agency inputs


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