Zilingo, a Singapore-based high profile startup, has suspended its Indian-origin co-founder and CEO Ankiti Bose after alleged discrepancies in the company’s accounts.
In fresh funding rounds, the B2B online fashion company, which supplies technology to apparel merchants and factories, had been trying a raise $150 to $200 million that would have put its valuation at over $1 billion marking its entry to the unicorn club. However, the alleged claims of discrepancies have stalled the process putting Bose under the radar for mismanagement.
Zilingo was founded by Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor (Chief Technology and Product Officer) seven years ago to help small businesses across South and Southeast Asia sell their goods online. The celebrated start-up was founded by Bose when she was just 23.
In 2019 when Zilingo raised $226 million from investors including Sequoia and Temasek, Bose was considered a visionary who changed the entrepreneurial game for South East Asia as the company’s valuation went up to $970 million. She was only 27 then.
Ankiti Bose’s Study and Career
Bose started her career with a brief stint at McKinsey & Company in 2012 and joined Sequoia Capital as an investment analyst in 2014. She said her experience at Sequoia helped her build the startup.
She did her schooling from Mumbai and went to St Xavier’s College in the city where she studied economics.
Bose has been featured in Forbes Asia’s 30 under 30 list and Fortune’s 40 under 40. She also made it to Bloomberg 50 list in 2019.
A trip to Bangkok made her realise the market potential stemming the idea for Zilingo when she saw most retailers in market were not skilled enough to upgrade their businesses. She founded Zilingo in 2015 and moved to Singapore a year later.
With millions of users in a short while, Zilingo took over the market and now has operations spanning Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, India and the United States.
Ankiti Bose’s Problems
As the current controversy unveils, Bose has lawyered up and disputed allegations of wrongdoing and contends her suspension was due in part to her complaints about harassment, Bloomberg reported quoting people close to the case.