Three weeks after Zilingo fired co-founder and CEO Ankiti Bose, the board approved repayment of a loan to creditors.
This reimbursement amounts to 40 million US dollars (55 million Singapore dollars) and has been authorized by its co-founder Dhruv Kapoor – who is also the company’s chief technology officer – with immediate effect.
In recent weeks, Zilingo’s senior management has debated whether the startup could continue to operate without Bose, with investors such as Sequoia Capital India and Koru offering to liquidate the company.
Kapoor fought to save the company and, in an email to Zilingo shareholders, he said he did not believe the liquidation was necessary or meaningful for the company, its customers, ticket holders and lenders.
Kapoor also asked for their support and said the company only needed US$6-8 million for next year. He also revealed that Zilingo had been approached by companies interested in merging or acquiring Zilingo.
Is there still hope for Zilingo?
However, many Zilingo employees have left the company, including its chief financial officer and its director for Thailand.
Zilingo also halted some operations in Indonesia, which was its biggest market.
The company provides e-commerce integrations for small fashion sellers across Southeast Asia and was one of Singapore’s hottest startups. Its investors included Temasek Holdings and Sequoia Capital India, among others.
In January, the company was negotiating a new funding round with Goldman Sachs at a valuation that would have made it a unicorn. However, a due diligence investigation into Zilingo revealed several financial irregularities, including the way the company records transactions with merchants and the fact that the company has not submitted an annual financial report since 2019.
Then-CEO Ankiti Bose was suspended in April, and she called the suspension a “witch hunt” sparked by her harassment complaints against an anonymous investor.
She was eventually fired in May for, among other things, insubordination, while the company reserved the right to take legal action.
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