Singapore-based fashion technology startup Zilingo's board of directors have suspended its Indian co-founder and CEO Ankiti Bose over allegations of financial discrepancies. The B2B online fashion company said its shareholders and board members received the information of discrepancies last month that needed investigation, after which major investors were authorised to suspend Bose.
Zilingo suspended Bose after an effort to raise new funding led to questions about the company’s accounting, news agency Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.
The startup’s investors, which include Temasek Holdings Pte and Sequoia Capital India, have started an investigation into the financial practices, the people said. Zilingo’s auditor raised questions about its accounting, they said. The concerns center on the way that Zilingo, which regulators said had not filed annual financial statements since 2019, accounted for transactions and revenue across a platform spanning thousands of small merchants.
Bose has disputed allegations of wrongdoing and contends her suspension was due in part to her complaints about harassment, according to two people close to the situation. She has hired an attorney to represent her, Abraham Vergis of Providence Law Asia, and has called the investigation a “witch hunt,” according to correspondence reviewed by Bloomberg News.
Zilingo is a technology platform that powers the global supply chain with innovative trade solutions. It was founded by Bose and Dhruv Kapoor in 2015 with a vision to put responsible and efficient business within everyone’s reach.
Ankiti and Dhruv teamed up to solve a problem they believed could be addressed using technology - the retail SME landscape in Southeast Asia. This led to the birth of Zilingo, a fashion and lifestyle marketplace.
According to the founders, the initial idea was to bring different large and small businesses online. To begin with, the platform on boarded over 1,500 sellers in Thailand and Singapore who were primarily selling clothing, accessories, bags, shoes, and beauty products to consumers, according to a report by Your Story.