Board acted quickly &decisively: BharatPe co-founder Nakrani on unseating Grover

New Delhi: BharatPe co-founder Shashvat Nakrani has accused Ashneer Grover, with whom he had co-founded the payment startup, of creating a false narrative about the company, and said the board acted quickly and decisively in unseating him after receiving finds of a PwC report.

BharatPe, which allows shop owners to make digital payments through QR codes, last week stripped Grover of all titles and positions over his alleged "misdeeds" and may take further legal actions, including clawing back of some of his shareholding.

In a letter to employees, Nakrani said the Grover episode was an aberration and not the norm at BharatPe, and went on to defend the board who he said were celebrated names in the banking and financial services industry.

"Ashneer Grover, my co-founder, is no longer associated with BharatPe as an employee, a founder or a director of the company," he wrote. "Ashneer sent in his resignation late night on March 1, 2022 to the Board, minutes after receiving the agenda of the Board meeting on the findings of the PwC report."

While he did not dwell into the findings of the PwC report, the company had last week stated that, "the Grover family and their relatives engaged in extensive misappropriation of company funds, including, but not limited to, creating fake vendors through which they siphoned money away from the company's account and grossly abused company expense accounts in order to enrich themselves and fund their lavish lifestyles."

In the letter, Nakrani said Grover had "tried to create a false narrative about the company that we have built together with the right spirit."

"While the content of the enquiry report is confidential and as a board member, I am not at liberty to disclose its findings, I am proud of the fact that our board acted quickly and decisively to uphold good corporate governance," he said.

Grover currently owns a 9.5 per cent stake in BharatPe, while Nakrani owns 7.8 per cent. Investor Sequoia Capital India is the largest shareholder in BharatPe with a 19.6 per cent stake, followed by Coatue at 12.4 per cent and Ribbit Capital at 11 per cent.

Reacting to BharatPe's decision, Grover had last week stated he was appalled at the personal nature of the company's statement but not surprised.

"It comes from a position of personal hatred and low thinking," he had said. "I would want to learn who among Amarchand, PwC and A&M has started doing an audit on 'lavishness' of one's lifestyle?"

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