Ashneer Grover

Ashneer Grover plans a new startup!

Business Startup

On the condition of anonymity, two persons with direct knowledge of the situation stated that former BharatPe chief executive and co-founder Ashneer Grover is in negotiations with US-based family offices and offshore private equity investors to finance $200-300 million for a new venture.

Grover is now in the United States. While it is unclear in which industry Grover will put his entrepreneurial abilities to the test next, Grover said on Twitter on Tuesday, while celebrating his 40th birthday, that he is ready to re-enter the business world with intentions to develop another “unicorn.”

Ashneer Grover hinted that the new company will “disrupt another industry.” Grover has been primarily out of India and keeping a quiet profile since his contentious ouster from BharatPe amid claims of financial irregularities. “Today, I turn 40. Some will say I’ve lived a full life and experienced more things than most. Created value for generations. For me, it’s still unfinished business,“ Grover tweeted.

Grover became the third co-founder of BharatPe, a merchant payments firm, in 2018. He was placed on vacation in January of this year after an audio tape of him becoming confrontational with a Kotak Mahindra Bank employee appeared online.

Grover and his wife, Madhuri Jain, were later accused of financial misdeeds, leading to their dismissal from the firm in March. Grover’s role as the face of BharatPe helped the company become a unicorn in August of last year. When a company’s valuation exceeds $1 billion, it is referred to as a unicorn. The excitement about his fundraising ambitions contrasts with one of his recent pronouncements, in which he stated that he will not seek investors for a planned business and that he “will (still) make the new enterprise successful.”

Grover owns 8.5 percent of the firm, although 3.5-4 percent of it is due to a holding held on behalf of Bhavik Koladiya, according to prior reports. Grover might end up holding 3.5-4 percent of the firm if this is combined to the 1.4 percent likely to be reclaimed back by BharatPe.

Grover entered with a track record and was immediately involved in the investing industry following his graduation. He worked for seven years at Kotak Mahindra’s investment banking business before going to American Express in 2013, where he headed startup investments for the card network in India. He graduated from IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad. On behalf of American Express, he led the Series B investment in MobiKwik.

He later became the CFO of Grofers, an online grocery firm started by Albinder Dhindsa, an IIT-Delhi classmate. However, he quit the company in 2017 after being upset that he did not receive the ESOPs that he had been promised. Grover then moved on to PC Jeweller Ltd, where he worked for over a year before deciding to start his own business.

In June 2018, he became the third co-founder of BharatPe, a merchant payments business formed by Bhavik Koladiya and Shashvat Nakrani.