Ankiti Bose suspension: Zilingo board claims legal processes being followed, independent investigation underway

Amid claims of harassment around Ankiti Bose's suspension, the Zilingo board released a statement saying due processes and legal recourse is being followed.
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On Tuesday, several media outlets reported that Ankiti Bose, Co-founder and CEO of Zilingo , has been suspended amid investigations of alleged accounting discrepancies at the Southeast Asian B2B fashion ecommerce major. 

However, three senior company officials on the condition of anonymity confirmed to YourStory that Ankiti’s suspension has more to do with "silencing her complaints of harassment against colleagues and not just accounting issues".

While major investors and the company declined to comment, in a statement to YourStory, the Zilingo board said that an independent firm is currently investigating the matter.

The entire statement from the board is as follows:

"In March 2022, shareholders of Zilingo and members of the board received information which required investigation.

The major investors of the company authorised the board to put the CEO, Ankiti Bose, on suspension pending an investigation of the matters raised. The major investors hired an independent firm to investigate the matter, and the company is working closely with the major investors and the independent firm for the investigation.

Proper due process has been and will be followed. The board is committed to protecting the interest of all stakeholders in a just manner while fulfilling its fiduciary obligations.

Apart from the above, the specific details of these investigations – and the affairs of the Company – are strictly confidential. We ask that the confidentiality of these matters be respected.

- On behalf of the Board of Zilingo"

Ankiti Bose, Co-founder, Zilingo

Zilingo, which is currently valued at over $1 billion according to the company, has been looking to raise funding since late last year. The reports also suggest that the startup's investors were instrumental in launching the financial investigations that resulted in Ankiti's suspension.

However, sources within Zilingo and outside on the condition of anonymity told YourStory that Ankiti’s suspension is a case of retribution for filing complaints against the senior team and management on several harassment-related issues

Founded in 2015 by Ankiti, who was working for Sequoia Capital at the time, and IIT Guwahati alumnus Dhruv Kapoor, Zilingo has raised $302 million in funding so far.

Initially, the Singapore-based startup wanted to bring different large and small businesses online. The platform had onboarded over 1,500 sellers in Thailand and Singapore who were primarily selling clothing, accessories, bags, shoes, and beauty products to consumers. 

Today, Zilingo is more than a marketplace. It is a B2B platform that helps digitise every aspect of a seller’s workflow and supply chain. It provides a trading platform and software services to brands, factories, and SMEs. 

It touched the $100-million transaction milestone in January 2020.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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