Zilingo instructs Deloitte to investigate allegations of harassment

Bangalore: of Singapore Zilingo hired a professional services firm Deloitte to investigate allegations of harassment raised by the co-founder and CEO Ankiti Bosepeople aware of the development told ET.

Deloitte sought a meeting with Bose on Friday and asked her to send in any relevant documents she might have. ET saw a copy of the email Deloitte sent to Bose.

On Wednesday, the co-founder of the business-to-business fashion e-commerce company,
Dhruv Kapoor wrote to the employees of the companyaddressing allegations of harassment and toxic work culture surrounding the startup, as the brawl between Bose and the company’s board escalates.

An email sent by ET to Zilingo did not immediately elicit a response.

“You may have heard that an allegation has been made that some people in Zilingo have ‘suppressed’ reports of harassment. We have always had a culture that does not tolerate sexual harassment, workplace harassment, bullying or intimidation … In rare cases, when workplace problems have been reported, we have always followed due process and adopted strict measures, “Kapoor said in an internal memo that ET saw.

suspended company Bose after discrepancies in its accounting were discovered during a due diligence process for a new funding round, ET reported on April 12. Bose worked with Capital Sequoia India before starting Zilingo.

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She had challenged these allegations and challenged her suspension, calling the company’s action a “witch hunt” which, she said, was triggered by harassment complaints she had raised against an investor in the company. Her suspension is valid until May 5th.

“Unfortunately, in the last few days, there have been some things said in the media that reflect neither the type of company we wanted to build, nor the type of culture that I have seen around me in my time here … We are concerned to see some people on the team act against the interests of the company, sometimes in a way that damages Zilingo’s reputation or the reputation of various people in the organization, “Kapoor, who is also the head of technology and product officer of Zilingo, has written in his note.

In a public statement, Zilingo’s board on May 2 said that Bose filed allegations related to the harassment only after its suspension. The decision to suspend it was collective, it says.

“After receiving some serious complaints, the board suspended the chief executive officer, Ankiti Bose, pending a full investigation. Contrary to claims that have circulated in the media, this decision was made jointly by the board and the shareholders. interested “, reads the statement of the board.

“We want to reiterate that after its suspension on March 31, Ankiti Bose brought to the attention of the council, for the first time, some allegations related to harassment,” reads the Zilingo board statement.

Some of the other companies backed by Sequoia have also been in the news for corporate governance and financial audit issues. These include the fintech company BharatPe and the social commerce platform Trell.

In April, Bloomberg News reported that Sequoia Capital India chief executive Shailendra Singh had left the board of Zilingo.

Zilingo raised $ 226 million as part of its latest funding round in 2019, led by existing investors, the sovereign Temasek and others of Sequoia Capital Singapore, after which it was valued at $ 970 million.

It also raised a $ 35 million bridging round from existing shareholders last year.

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