BharatPe founder Bhavik Koladiya quits, months after Ashneer Grover’s exit


BharatPe’s founder Bhavik Koladiya has resigned from his position at the unicorn fintech .

The development comes a few months after another co-founder and managing director Ashneer Grover’s exit, following weeks of dispute between him and the management on alleged misappropriation of funds.

“His (Koladiya’s) contract tenure ended on July 31, 2022, and he expressed his desire to spend time on other assignments outside BharatPe,” said a spokesperson.

BharatPe said Koladiya had been associated with it as an “independent consultant”, guiding the firm’s product and technology teams.

“Bhavik has been one of our biggest advocates and an integral part of our journey in becoming one of India’s largest . While we wish him the very best, we are also sure that he will continue to guide us in the future as well, as and when we need.”

Koladiya founded with Shashvat Nakrani, who was then studying at IIT Delhi, in 2018, each owing 50 per cent in the firm.

The same year Grover joined as the third co-founder. Prior to that Grover headed the new business at PC Jeweller, was chief financial officer at online grocery platform Grofers, and worked as one of the top officials at American Express.

According to a media report, Koladiya’s departure is due to a disagreement between him and as well as the company’s Chief Executive Officer Suhail Sameer.

Bhavik Koladiya co-founded BharatPe in 2018

Bhavik Koladiya co-founded BharatPe in 2018

However, a employee said it was not true and they were “good friends”.

Another media report said Koladiya’s contract had not been renewed and he had been removed from BharatPe’s cap table after being convicted of credit card fraud in the US in 2015.

Koladiya still owns close to 5.75 per cent in the company, according to industry sources.

In March this year, Grover resigned from BharatPe as well as its board, alleging he had been “vilified” and treated in a “most disrespectful” manner.

Before that, BharatPe had sacked Grover’s wife, Madhuri Jain Grover, also over alleged “misappropriation of funds”.

In May this year, BharatPe said it had initiated action against Grover to “claw back his restricted shares as per the shareholders’ agreement” and would take steps to enforce its rights.

Based on the last funding round in August 2021, when BharatPe was valued at $2.8 billion, Grover had a stake of 9.5 per cent, which was worth Rs 1,915 crore.

As part of its corporate governance review of the after financial irregularities were unearthed, the company found many vendors involved in malpractices, such as making fake or inflated invoices.

In January, the board appointed Alvarez & Marsal (A&M), a global professional services firm, and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (SAM) to help it and the management with its governance review, and PwC to determine “wilful misconduct and gross negligence” by a former founder.

In April, BharatPe appointed former Reckitt executive Smriti Handa chief human resources officer.

Last month, BharatPe said it had closed one of the highest growth quarters (Q1 on FY23), having doubled up on the previous quarter by facilitating more than Rs 3,600 crore in loans. In the process it posted a growth rate of 112 per cent over the previous quarter.

BharatPe said it hit $18.5 billion in annualised total payment volume, a growth rate of 50 per cent over Q4FY22.

“The pandemic has provided the much-needed tailwind for growth in and lending in the country,” said Sameer.

The company facilitated disbursements to more than 120,000 merchants in Q1FY23, up from 66,000 merchants in the last quarter of FY22.


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