The road ahead for BharatPe Co-founder and managing Director Ashneer Grover is full of thorns as top investors in the fintech platform are not budging an inch to give Rs 4,000 crore sought by him for selling his 8.5 per cent stake and quitting the company.
Reliable sources told IANS on Friday that Grover has wrongly valued Delhi-based merchant payments and financial services provider at nearly $6 billion while its actual valuation, after it raised $370 million in Series E round led by Tiger Global, was $2.85 billion in August last year. The company then became a unicorn (with valuation of $1 billion and above).
According to them, Grover’s valuation does not hold ground as the company is not valued at $6 billion as being projected.
At a $2.85 billion valuation and at the current dollar-rupee exchange rate, his stake would be around Rs 1,824 crore.
The company’s key investors are Sequoia Capital that has nearly 19.6 per cent stake, Coatue has 12.4 per cent stake, Ribbit Capital has 11 per cent, and Beenext 9.6 per cent stake, among others.
“The investors are not giving Rs 4,000 crore to Ashneer as he has demanded. They are not willing to buy his minority stake at this juncture when the governance review is on and the audit report, in all likelihood, is set to be submitted next week,” a source noted.
BharatPe was set for a fresh round of funding in January, that would have increased its valuation further, but the Ashneer-Madhuri Jain Grover saga hit it hard.
While the decision on Grover’s fate in the company is yet to be decided, the fintech platform BharatPe has sacked his wife Madhuri Jain Grover over alleged financial irregularities during her tenure as head of controls that runs into crores.
Alvarez and Marsal, a leading management consultant and risk advisory firm, is set to submit its report into financial irregularities at the firm during Grovers’ time some time next week.
Global audit firm PwC was also roped in auditing the functioning of the fintech platform during the Grovers’ tenure.
BharatPe currently has 8 million merchants on its platform.
Founded in 2018 by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani, BharatPe launched India’s first UPI interoperable QR code.
Merchants can sign up instantly and start accepting payments directly into their bank account and have the flexibility to earn upto 12 per cent interest on those payments and even take loans whenever they need.
The company has an annualised TPV (total payment value) of $ 7.5 billion and is present in more than 100 cities in the country.