BharatPe which is a fintech company that accepts payment from all payment apps has filed for arbitration in Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) to recover the right to use the founder title and unrestricted shareholding of the company from co-founder Ashneer Grover, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The sources said that the firm also advised that SIAC award the unvested shares of Grover to Shashvat Nakrani who is a board member and co-founder of BharatPe for a cash review of Rs 33 lakh.
Ashneer Grover holds about 8.5 % stake in BharatPe but 1.4% of the stake was unvested and soon after his resignation, an unvested stake was released. Last year in August when it was the last round for funding, BharatPe was valued around at $2.7 billion (approx. Rs 23,000 crore at current exchange rates).
The 1.4 % stake in Grover’s unvested shares in amount would be worth around Rs 320 crore at that valuation.
The company had sent a legal notice because earlier Grover refused to obey the shareholder’s agreement for clawback and initiate arbitration proceedings.
Including this legal action, it will be the third action by BharatPe against Grover, observing a civil case in the Delhi High Court and a criminal complaint with the Economic Offences Wing.
On Thursday, the arbitration was filed under Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) rules, said two sources with direct knowledge.
If relief is bestowed, Grover may lose his unvested stakes and liberty to use the founder designation.
In February, Grover’s appeal at SIAC on the inquiry against him was rejected on all five grounds.
The story so far:
Ashneer Grover and his wife were summoned by the Delhi High Court after fintech company BharatPe filed a suit against the two personalities over running a “vicious and vitriolic campaign”.
The Court heard the petition on Thursday and gave them two weeks of time to reply with their part of the story.
The case includes other family members – Ashneer Grover, his wife Madhuri Jain Grover’s brother-in-law, her father, and her brother.
The company claimed compensation of about Rs 88.67 crores. The company claimed that Grover and his family issued fake bills, overcharged firms for recruitment, and rendered fictitious services to vendors.
The company’s spokesperson said, “BharatPe has initiated civil and criminal action against erstwhile Co-founder and Managing Director Ashneer Grover, former Head of Controls Madhuri Jain Grover, and other connected parties of their family for various claims, including misappropriation of company funds.”