Once upon a time in BharatPe
The evolution of four-year-old fintech venture BharatPe, and how the corporate boardroom saga has unfolded in the past six months.
is a fintech venture embroiled in a boardroom battle with Co-founder and Managing Director Ashneer Grover. Here’s a timeline of how the company has evolved.
March 19, 2018
Bhavik Koladiya and Shashvat Mansukhbhai Nakrani create Resilient Innovations, which runs BharatPe.
Ashneer Grover joins BharatPe as Co-founder and CEO.
Beenext and Sequoia India invest $20 million in seed round of BharatPe.
Madhuri Jain joins BharatPe as Head of Controls.
The largest stakeholder, Bhavik, transfers his shares to Shashvat, Shashvat’s father, Ashneer, and a clutch of angel investors, because of his former conviction in the US in a stolen-identity case.
Raises $15.5 million in a Series A round led by Sequoia Capital India, Insight Partners, Beenext.
Raises $50 million in a Series B round led by Sequoia Capital India, Ribbit Capital, and Steadview Capital.
Raises $75 million in a Series C round led by US-based Ribbit Capital, Amplo, and hedge fund Coatue Management.
BharatPe applies for NBFC licence.
BharatPe joins hands with ICICI Lombard to launch Coronavirus insurance-cover for shopkeepers.
The fintech startup launches two voice-based applications to avoid touching handsets for checking transactions.
BharatPe launches scheme to allow employees to sell back their shares from first vesting.
- Suhail Sameer joins BharatPe as Group President.
- The Reserve Bank of India rejects BharatPe’s NBFC application.
- BharatPe reports a base of 5 million merchants in 65 cities, processing six crore UPI transactions a month.
- Dhruv Dhanraj Bahl gets elevated to Chief Operating Officer. He heads operations across customer support, deployments - QR, Swipe & Cards, KYC, loan disbursals and lead generation.
BharatPe appoints Kewal Handa as independent director. Kewal was previously associated with the Union Bank of India and Pfizer India.
- BharatPe raises $8.18 million in debt financing from Innoven Capital.
- Sumeet Singh is appointed as General Counsel and Head - Corporate Strategy.
- Raises $108 million in a Series D round led by Coatue Management, Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Steadview Capital, Beenext, Amplo, Sequoia Capital.
- BharatPe forms a consortium with non-bank lender Centrum Group to acquire Punjab Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank.
- Gives 18 of its angel investors an exit with up to 80X returns.
- BharatPe loan-book crosses Rs 1,000 crore.
- Raises $25.88 million in debt financing from Trifecta Capital, Alteria Capital, and ICICI Bank.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issues an in-principle approval to Centrum Financial Services to establish a small finance bank, in which Resilient Innovations (BharatPe) has a 49 percent stake.
- BharatPe acquires loyalty platform PAYBACK India.
- Valued at $2.8 billion, BharatPe raises $370 million in a Series E round led by Tiger Global, Dragoneer Investment Group, and Steadfast Capital. Becomes a Unicorn.
- Suhail Sameer elevated as CEO of BharatPe, and Executive Director on the board of the holding company - Resilient Innovations Private Limited.
- BharatPe raises $26.8 million in debt funding from IIFL Wealth and Asset Management and Northern Arc Capital.
- The Board of Resilient Innovations appoints former SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar as Chairman.
- BharatPe raises $14 million in debt financing from MAS Financial Services Private Limited (MAS Financial), a non-banking financial company.
BharatPe begins operations of Unity Small Finance Bank (SFB) in partnership with Centrum India to revive scam-hit cooperative bank PMC Bank.
January 19, 2022
Ashneer Grover goes on temporary leave of absence till March-end.
January 30, 2022
BharatPe Board initiates internal audit and governance review.
February 2, 2022
- John Weinstein, Principal, Deputy General Counsel at Insight Partners, appointed to the board of BharatPe.
February 4, 2022
- Mint reports that a preliminary internal investigation has revealed instances of financial fraud.
- In an interview with Moneycontrol.com, Ashneer Grover says that the Board must either let him run the company or buy out his stake in the company for Rs 4,000 crore.
February 5, 2022
- Ashneer Grover seeks removal of BharatPe CEO Suhail Sameer.
- Shashvat Nakrani, Co-founder and director, backs Suhail to continue on the BharatPe board.
February 20, 2022
The first hearing takes place after Ashneer Grover files an arbitration plea with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), claiming that despite multiple representations and objections, BharatPe has kept the review assessment process against him opaque.
February 21, 2022
Ashneer Grover makes an appearance on Rohan Joshi's YouTube channel, where he expresses his desire to get into politics, linking it to his experience as a founder in the Indian economy.
February 23, 2022
- BharatPe terminates Madhuri Jain's services as Head of Controls in the company.
- Ashneer Grover accuses Rajnish Kumar, chairman of the board, and Bhavik Koladiya, co-founder of the company, of improper conduct, citing a phone call where Koladiya became abusive and used foul language.
- Madhuri Jain Grover retaliates against BharatPe with a series of videos on Twitter, accusing the BharatPe board and senior members of the company of inappropriate behaviour.
March 1, 2022
- Ashneer Grover resigns as the MD and a board member at BharatPe, continues to remain the single largest individual shareholder of the company.
March 2, 2022
- BharatPe says Ashneer Grover’s family misappropriated funds, created fake vendors.
- Ashneer Grover hits back, says sold $12 million in BharatPe shares to investors.
March 14, 2022
BharatPe launches gold loans for merchant partners, targets disbursal of Rs 500 crore.
April 1, 2022
BharatPe appoints executive from Alvarez & Marsal as interim CFO, search for permanent CFO in "advanced stages".
April 19, 2022
BharatPe has announced the appointment of Smiriti Handa to the post of Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) as the company deals with complaints of non-payment of salaries for the month of March and non-payment of dues to retrenched employees.
May 10, 2022
BharatPe moves to a new governance framework and has "initiated necessary action against the former Founder to claw back his restricted shares as per the shareholders’ agreement."
Edited by Kunal Talgeri and Megha Reddy