Ashneer Grover, co-founder and managing director of BharatPe, has resigned, business publication Mint reported Wednesday morning. The report said Grover – embroiled in controversy over the past two months after he allegedly abused a Kotak Mahindra Bank employee – sent an email to his company’s board late last night, in which he wrote: “I hereby resign as the managing director of BharatPe, effective immediately. I also resign as a director of the Board. I will continue as the single largest individual shareholder of the company.”
“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. I say with my head held high that today this company stands as a leader in the fintech world. Since the beginning of 2022, unfortunately, I’ve been embroiled in baseless and targeted attacks on me and my family by a few individuals who are ready not only to harm me and my reputation but also harm the reputation of the company, which they are ostensibly trying to protect,” Grover wrote in his email, according to the Economic Times.
Grover’s resignation comes days after his wife, Madhuri Jain, was sacked by the company’s controller on charges of ‘misappropriation of funds’.
Both Grover and Jain went on leave from January.
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.