Ashneer Grover, BharatPe cofounder who took a voluntary leave amid several financial and non-financial corruption accusations, has now resigned from the company and its board.
That’s right, going forward, Grover will not be a part of the fintech unicorn, of which he was the MD and Director of the Board. This comes barely days after his wife Madhuri Jain Grover had been sacked as the head of controls of BharatPe on grounds of misappropriation of funds, and canceled all stock options vested with her. Unsurprisingly, Madhuri Jain had not taken the news well and had slammed BharatPe’s other cofounders and CEO Suhail Sameer.
Hopefully, this means that BharatPe can now have a period of relief, especially since the last two months have seen the fintech startup make the headlines time and again for all the wrong reasons. It started with an audio clip of Grover allegedly abusing a Kotak Mahindra Bank employee going viral, which Grover later denied.
He also locked horns with Sequoia Capital India, as an email exchange between him and Sequoia’s Harshjit Sethi showed. Soon after, he took a leave of absence till March and the preliminary investigation report linked Madhuri Jain with financial fraud after inconsistencies were found in dealings with vendors. He had also questioned the leaks to the media after parts of the audit report by Alvarez and Marsal had started circulating online.
He was also seeking to remove Sameer, BharatPe CEO, and his emergency plea against BharatPe’s governance review had been rejected by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).
In his resignation email, Grover said that he had been “forced” to leave the very company of which he was a founder. He added that he had been “embroiled in baseless and targeted attacks” since the beginning of the year.
“From being celebrated as the face of Indian entrepreneurship and an inspiration to the Indian youth to build their own businesses, I am now wasting myself fighting a long, lonely battle against my own investors and management. Unfortunately, in this battle, the management has lost of what is actually at stake – BharatPe,” the letter read, adding that he had been “vilified and treated in the most disgraceful manner” and that he had ceased to be a human for the board and “reduced to a button to be pressed when needed.”