Zilingo co-founders make surprise buyout offer for start-up

Zilingo's co-founders made a last-ditch offer to buy the embattled fashion e-commerce platform as the board debates its future, according to people familiar with the matter.

Co-founder Dhruv Kapoor on Sunday proposed a management buyout to the Singapore-based company's board, according to the people, who asked not to be named as the matter is private.

He has secured commitments from a small group of new investors including a United States private equity firm, they said.

Under the preliminary proposal, the investor group will inject US$8 million (S$11.2 million) in new equity in a newly incorporated entity in tranches, while the remaining assets and the old corporate entity will be liquidated in due course, according to Mr Kapoor's e-mail sent to investors and seen by Bloomberg News.

All outstanding debt owed to creditor Zorro Assets will be frozen for three years, it said.

The move comes as Zilingo's board was scheduled to meet yesterday to discuss the future of the company, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Allegations of financial irregularities in March prompted an investigation into the company, valued at US$970 million in 2019, and led to the dismissal of co-founder Ankiti Bose as chief executive last month.

Her ouster plunged the once high-flying start-up into crisis and sent shock waves through Singapore's technology industry.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2022, with the headline Zilingo co-founders make surprise buyout offer for start-up. Subscribe