Ashneer Grover is an Indian businessman who was the former Founder and Managing Director of BharatPe. He made a public appearance on a reality show, Shark Tank India.
Ashneer Grover was born in Delhi. He completed BTech in civil engineering from IIT Delhi and graduated from IIM Ahmedabad. Before BharatPe, he worked in many companies like Grofers (now known as Blinkit), PC Jewelers, American Express, and Kotak Investment Banking.
Ashneer Grover’s wife’s name is Madhuri Jain Grover. She was the head of control, admin department, and procurement department at BharatPe.
He was selected as an exchange student for Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon, in France. The French Embassy rewarded him with a scholarship of €6000.
The net worth of Ashneer Grover is US$ 75 million. His father was a Chartered Accountant, and his mother was a teacher.
Ashneer Grover Controversies
Kotak Mahindra Bank employee’s controversy
The valuation of BharatPe is approximately US$ 2.85 billion within four years of its incorporation. It offers QR codes for UPI payments. Ashneer Grover was the founder and MD of BharatPe with 9.5% stake in the fintech startup.
He resigned from BharatPe after the controversies about him abusing and threatening a Kotak Mahindra Bank employee over IPO financing of Nykaa that did not come through. However, Grover alleged that the audiotape was misleading, and some scamster was trying to extort US$ 240,000 in bitcoin. Later, the clip was taken off from Twitter and SoundCloud, after which Ashneer Grover deleted the tweet.
Then, Kotak Mahindra Bank sent a legal notice to Ashneer and his wife Madhuri for failing to provide financing for Nykaa IPO. Also, they will take legal action against the clip. Further, an email exchange between Sequoia’s employee and Ashneer Grover was out where Ashneer Grover used expletives over the conversation.
Financial irregularities controversy
Ashneer went on voluntary leave for a few days after all the controversies about him. Later, he expected to have a friendly resolution with the board over the matter after the mounting pressure to leave the company permanently. Now, A&M (Alvarez & Marshal), a consulting company, was hired to have an independent probe into the governance of the fintech company. Later, reports were found regarding fraudulent transactions in payments and the recruitment of non-existent workers. Also, the reports revealed that Ashneer Grover and his family were involved in the fraudulent activities. Moreover, Ashneer Grover wrote to the board to remove CEO Suhail Sameer from the board. To this Sameer wrote that the company is under scrutiny and whatever was mentioned was just rumored. He also told his employees to trust the company’s board for future actions.
Madhuri questioned A&M about the recent media leaks. She also questions how the probe was conducted. In the letter, she mentioned about that how the content of the probe was ‘leaked’. After all this, Ashneer Grover sought protection from any future actions against him. He filed an arbitration plea in Singapore to protect his 9.5% stake.
He also attacked chairman Rajnish Kumar in a letter. Later, BharatPe sacked Madhuri for misappropriation of funds. Meanwhile, Kumar said that Ashneer Grover’s allegations will have no impact on the reputation of the company.
Then, Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) rejected Ashneer Grover’s plea to stop the governance review. Lastly, on March 1 2022, Ashneer Grover resigned from BharatPe and its board.
Ashneer Grover in Shark Tank India
Ashneer Grover invested ₹5.23 crores in 21 companies. Let’s have a brief about the startups he invested in:
EV and EdTech Startups
- Booz Scooters is an electric bicycle company that provides its product for a ride at the nearest public park or vacation destination.
- Raising Superstars is a child development app for kids between the age of 0-3 years. It helps to awaken a child’s talent and potential with 5 minutes of screen time daily.
- Motion Breeze is an adaptive posture electric motorcycle which provides enough range to cover large distances on one charge.
- Then, EventBeep is a community app for students to connect and have post-college life experiences.
- Aas Vidyalaya is an EdTech App that brings school learning experiences digitally.
- Otua is a company that manufactures electric autos for smooth rides, with independent suspension systems, transportation, etc.
- Blue Pine Industries is a sustainable food startup that offers frozen momos and dumplings to its customers. The authentic cuisines are based on traditional recipes.
- Tagz Foods is a healthy potato chips startup.
- Skippi Pops is a startup that offers ice popsicles. It was an ‘All Shark Deal’.
- Further, Beyond Snack is a food startup that offers healthy and quality banana chips.
- Get a Whey is a startup offering sugar-free and healthy ice cream options.
- IN A CAN is another ‘All Shark Deal’ that offers cocktails in a can.
- Nomad Food Project is a food startup offering bacon-based thechas and jams.
- Jain Shikanji is a startup that offers instant Jain Shikanji masala to its customers.
- The Yarn Bazaar is a yarn exchange marketplace where the lowest priced yarns are available with flexible financing options.
- Bamboo India is a startup that offers products made out of bamboo such as toothbrushes, speakers, mobile organizers, etc.
- Find Your Knicks India is a platform that facilitates sneaker resale. It was an ‘All Shark Deal’.
- WeSTOCK is an AI-based technology monitoring the health of livestock.
- Hair Originals offers world-class hair extensions.
- Further, Tweek Labs is a company producing sportswear that provides detailed information about one’s body movements.
- Proxgy provides virtual teleportation and remote collaboration using IoT and SaaS platforms.
Other Contributions of Ashneer Grover
- He was the Head of PC Jewelers, the second-largest jewellery retailer in India. He handled the digital transformation and strategies part of the company by enabling Paytm, Pine Labs, Magic Pin, PhonePe, and QwikCilver. Moreover, he also consolidated the e-commerce operations of the company, set up the next level of consumer experience and helped in diversification.
- Further, he was the Chief Financial Officer at Grofers, now known as Blinkit. It is one of the largest online platforms to order and deliver groceries. Ashneer Grover led the finance and legal department of the company. He helped in raising US$ 170 million from Softbank, Tiger, Sequoia, and Yuri Milner.
- Further, he was the Director of Corporate Development at American Express, a payment card service company. He led the series B sound in MobiKwik was the first non-bank Indian company to launch American Express prepaid cards in India. He also looked after payment and FinTech coverage of American Express in India.
- Lastly, Ashneer Grover was the Vice President of Kotak Mahindra Bank. He looked after Mergers & Acquisitions, Restructuring, PE, and IPO. The sectors he focused on were retail, oil & gas, media, telecom, manufacturing, and real estate. Moreover, he locked ten deals worth US$ 3 billion in transaction value.