Ankiti Bose, co-founder of Singapore-based fashion tech startup Jilingo, has filed a Rs 820-crore defamation suit against angel investor Mahesh Murthy, pointing to rising frauds in the Indian startup ecosystem. Murthy was a partner at early-stage venture capital firm Seedfund as a manager, which has backed the likes of redBus, Chumbak and others. According to the Bombay High Court website, Bose filed a suit on April 20, 2023, through law firm Singhania & Co. LLP.
According to the filing made in Bombay High Court, Bose is asking for permanent injunction to be passed. Restraining Murthy from publishing any details (on social media or otherwise) which are defamatory against him. When contacted, Pradeep Jain, partner at law firm Singhania & Co. LLP, confirmed this, but refused to divulge any details as the matter is sub judice.
Murthy had alleged that Bose had asked his firm to pay Rs 70 crore as fees to his lawyer and it is rumored that a major part of that amount was directly returned to himself as a cut. found it. At the same time, Bose said that Murthy did not even respond to the legal notices sent to him through various channels to apologize and remove the details, due to which he had to file a legal case.
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Murthy took the name of these startups
In his editorial, Murthy also names startups including Jilingo, Trell, BharatPe and GoMechanic, which have been in the news for fraud since last year, and how the founders have struck a chord with Indian venture capitalists. While Murthy did not specifically name Bose in the article, he did talk about “a woman” who runs a popular fashion portal and takes money from Sequoia.
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Zilingo sold technology assets
The fashion-tech startup suspended former chief executive Bose, and terminated his services in May last year after he did not give an interview to respond to any allegations made against him. In June 2022, Bose resigned as director of the holding company Zilingo Pte Ltd as well as its subsidiaries. Jilingo has sold its technology assets and purchased Ncinga Innovations to Zurich-based ecommerce management software provider Biogo AG.