BharatPe: What's next?
The BharatPe Co-founder denied media reports about his consent to remove Suhail Sameer as CEO of the fintech venture.
Fintech unicornCEO Suhail Sameer was appointed to the job when Co-founder and Managing Director Ashneer Grover went on a leave of absence on January 19, 2022 until the end of March. The sabbatical came after a leaked audio clip surfaced on Twitter where Ashneer and his wife Madhuri Grover were heard allegedly abusing and threatening a Kotak Mahindra Group employee.
However, the question of Suhail's tenure still looms large.
Yesterday, BharatPe Co-founder Shashvat Nakrani said that he has neither given his consent for, nor sought the removal of Suhail Sameer from the Board of fintech firm BharatPe.
In his first public statement since the public battle between Ashneer and the fintech unicorn, Suhail said,
"I can confirm that I was one of the two joint nominees in the appointment resolution of Suhail Sameer as the CEO and Board member of BharatPe, and he continues to enjoy my support."
Currently, Sequoia leads the startup’s cap table with a 19.6 percent stake, followed by Coatue's 12.4 percent stake. Founders Ashneer and Shashvat Nakrani have 9.5 percent and 7.8 stake of Resilient Innovations, which runs BharatPe. However, corporate lawyers in India's startup ecosystem see innumerable kinds of "founder-issues" before the Series C stage of a venture's fund-raising.
"Even if investors sense a problem, they don't have the time to keep a close eye on operations, where they can impose ethical conduct," says a corporate lawyer on the condition of anonymity.
Recently, Ashneer demanded that he be allowed to continue as Managing Director and run the company, or have his stake acquired for Rs 4,000 crore.
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“Fintech opportunity is huge in India as it is the only tech segment in India that has created over $75 billion in value and $8 billion in M&As.”