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Zilingo founder fired; claims no chance to redress accusations

Singapore-based fashion startup Zilingo has fired its CEO Ankiti Bose after an independent investigation into “complaints of serious financial irregularities,” the company said in an emailed statement on Friday.

Bose, who was initially suspended by the company earlier this year, said she had been wrongfully dismissed.

She told Reuters in an emailed statement that Zilingo had instructed a company named Kroll to investigate an “anonymous whistle-blower complaint” against her.

“At the point of my purported termination, I have yet to be presented with the findings of both Kroll AND Deloitte and my reports being incomplete, the board has wrongfully terminated me today for ‘insubordination’ without giving me a chance to address fully the concerns that have been raised,” she said.

Bose founded Zilingo in 2015 with Dhruv Kapoor. The company has 600 employees spread across operations in Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, India and the US. 

Her suspension came as Zilingo aimed to raise US$150 – 200 million from investors with support from Goldman Sachs Group. Questions were raised about the company’s finances during the due diligence process. 

Last week, Zilingo’s debtholders decided to recall their entire loan, leading the Singapore-based company to appoint a financial adviser to assess options.

“Due to Zilingo’s failure to fulfil prior obligations under the loan agreement, the company’s lenders have made the decision to accelerate the repayment of the entire loan,” Zilingo’s board said in a statement to Reuters.

  • Reporting by Anshuman Daga in Singapore and Jaiveer Singh Shekhawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Blair, of Reuters; Tong Van of Inside Retail.
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