Zilingo Founder Ankiti Bose Files FIR Against Former Executives: Allegations of Fraud and Harassment Rock Startup World

Zilingo Founder Ankiti Bose Files FIR Against Former Executives: Allegations of Fraud and Harassment Rock Startup World


Zilingo founder Ankiti Bose files FIR against former executives Dhruv Kapoor and Aadi Vaidya, alleging fraud, misconduct, and sexual harassment. The complaint unveils a turbulent period for the startup, raising questions about corporate governance and workplace culture in the entrepreneurial landscape. Legal proceedings are set to unravel the truth behind the allegations.

Zilingo Founder Ankiti Bose Files FIR Against Former Executives: Allegations of Fraud and Harassment Rock Startup World

Mumbai, India — Ankiti Bose, the co-founder of Zilingo, has filed a First Information Report (FIR) with the Mumbai police, leveling serious accusations against two of the company’s former top executives, co-founder Dhruv Kapoor and former Chief Operating Officer (COO) Aadi Vaidya. The FIR alleges cheating, fraud, criminal intimidation, as well as disturbing allegations of sexual and mental harassment, casting a shadow over one of Singapore’s highest-profile startups.

Claims of Deception and Intimidation

In her six-page complaint, Bose accuses Kapoor and Vaidya of engaging in deceptive activities, misleading both her and the company’s investors in an attempt to gain financial advantages. She alleges that they coerced her into relinquishing her shares and business under false pretenses, with Vaidya allegedly engaging in misconduct by attributing loss-making deals to Bose and extending trade credit in her name, leading to threats and false implications to investors.

Allegations of Misconduct and Harassment

Bose further accuses Kapoor and Vaidya of concealing critical company-related data and information, hindering informed decision-making and effective collaboration. Additionally, she claims to have received lewd and sexually explicit messages, along with threats of online harassment and psychological manipulation, allegedly orchestrated by the duo. The complaint also includes an accusation of sexual harassment against Kapoor during a private meeting.

Legal Confirmation and Boardroom Drama

Pradeep Kumar Jain, Managing Partner at Singhania & Co. LLP, confirmed Bose’s criminal complaint through an FIR against her former colleagues. This development follows a tumultuous period for Zilingo, which culminated in liquidation last year after Bose was ousted as CEO. The startup, once on the cusp of a unicorn valuation, faced internal strife and financial woes before its demise.

Previous Collaborative Efforts

Interestingly, despite the acrimonious fallout, Bose and Kapoor had attempted a management buyout offer for Zilingo in June 2022, amidst the company’s impending liquidation. This collaboration adds a layer of complexity to the ongoing legal battle and underscores the volatility of startup environments.

Impact and Repercussions

The FIR against Zilingo’s former executives sends shockwaves through the startup ecosystem, highlighting the importance of ethical conduct and workplace culture in high-growth environments. As the legal proceedings unfold, the allegations of fraud and harassment serve as a sobering reminder of the challenges faced by founders and employees in navigating the complexities of corporate governance and interpersonal dynamics.

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Seeking Justice and Resolution

Bose’s decision to escalate the matter to law enforcement reflects her determination to seek justice and accountability for the alleged wrongdoing. With the FIR marking the beginning of a legal process, the outcome will be closely watched by industry stakeholders and observers, as it could set precedents for addressing similar issues in the future.

As Zilingo’s founder takes a stand against alleged misconduct, the case underscores the imperative of fostering a culture of transparency, integrity, and respect in the startup ecosystem, safeguarding the rights and well-being of all stakeholders involved.

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