Bhavik Koladiya Takes Ashneer Grover To Court Over Share Dispute Of BharatPe

Bhavik Koladiya Takes Ashneer Grover To Court Over Share Dispute Of BharatPe

Bhavik Koladiya, the founder of BharatPe, has filed a lawsuit against Ashneer Grover in the Delhi High Court. Koladiya is seeking to regain his shares from Grover, who is a co-founder and former managing director of the company. The matter will be heard by Justice Prateek Jalan in the Delhi High Court, reported Mint.

Koladiya and Grover’s dispute over shares was first reported last year. Koladiya and Shashvat Nakrani established BharatPe in July 2017 and incorporated it in March 2018. Koladiya was the company’s main spokesperson and was in charge of seeking funds for the company. Three months later, Grover joined as the third co-founder.

When Grover joined, he received 32% equity, Nakrani held 25.5%, and Koladiya remained the largest shareholder in the company with a 42.5% stake, according to Registrar of Companies filings, reported Mint.

However, six months later in December 2018, just before Sequoia came on board as an investor, Koladiya’s name was removed from the founders’ list due to discomfort on the part of large institutional investors to have a person with a jail term in the US.

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Koladiya went to the US in 2007 and was running a grocery store where he started accepting payments digitally without a licence, which violated identity theft and mail fraud laws in the US. He was arrested and jailed. After judicial proceedings that went on for 22 months, he was let go with a fine of $100 and deported back to India in 2015.

Since then, Grover became the face of the company, while Koladiya continued to be the company’s tech backbone, but as a “consultant”. However, the founders and other stakeholders reached an understanding to minimize Koladiya’s public involvement with the firm. The arrangement involved him transferring his stake to Grover, Nakrani, Nakrani’s father, and some angel investors.

At present, Koladiya has filed a lawsuit to get his shares back from Grover in the Delhi High Court. As of today, Grover holds shares worth over Rs 1000 crore for Koladiya. The defendants, in this case, include BharatPe as well. BharatPe had its last funding round in 2021 at a valuation of $2.85 billion.

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