Fashion tech Zilingo CEO Ankiti Bose sacked by firm after forensic audit

An independent forensic audit into charges of major financial irregularities led Singapore-based fashion technology business Zilingo to fire Indian-origin co-founder and CEO Ankiti Bose.

An independent forensic audit into charges of major financial irregularities led Singapore-based fashion technology business Zilingo to fire Indian-origin co-founder and CEO Ankiti Bose on Friday.

On March 31, Bose was placed under suspension following complaints of alleged discrepancies in the company accounts.

“Following an investigation led by an independent forensics firm that was commissioned to look into complaints of serious financial irregularities, the company has decided to terminate Ankiti Bose’s employment with cause, and reserves the right to pursue appropriate legal action,” Zilingo said in a statement.

However, the corporation did not go into detail about the claims against Bose or the audit findings.

Allegations of Harassment

According to the report, Bose only made certain harassment-related complaints. Thus, after she was suspended on March 31, and an inquiry determined that the company acted appropriately.

“On April 11th, after her suspension on March 31. Ankiti Bose brought to the board’s attention, for the first time, certain harassment-related issues pertaining to past time periods. Which did not include any harassment complaints against investors or their nominees”. It said.

According to the firm, a prominent consultancy firm has been hired to investigate the harassment allegations. “The investigation has concluded that the company took appropriate action and followed due process. To address these complaints that were brought to their notice, contrary to media reports that have suggested that the suspension and investigation into Ankiti Bose were aimed at suppressing the said harassment claims,” the statement said.

Zilingo disappointed

Ankiti Bose and chief technology officer Dhruv Kapoor created Zilingo. Which is an online fashion startup that delivers technology to apparel merchants and factories, in 2015.

The company, which counts Temasek, the Singaporean state holding company, and Sequoia Capital among its investors. Previously stated that its shareholders and board members were informed of anomalies. That needed to be investigated, and that important investors were then authorized to suspend Bose.

“The company is deeply pained and disappointed to see the manner. In which the board, investors and employees have been constantly attacked through ostensibly leaked and fake information. Along with what unfortunately appears to be paid and defamatory social media campaigns throughout the investigation period. This has caused irreparable damage to the Company, the board, employees and investors”. Zilingo said.

Following the recall of loans by debtholders, the company hired an outside financial advisor to analyse its options. It noted that more information would be forthcoming.
The company, which employs over 600 people across eight countries. Moreover, raised USD 226 million in its most recent round of funding in early 2019. The company was valued at around USD 1 billion during the funding.
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