Notwithstanding the support found by Shopclues’ co-founders Radhika Ghai Aggarwal and Sanjay Sethi from the e-commerce company’s board of directors, experts have suggested that potential investors of the firm may follow the recent development of the rift between the founders before instilling confidence at the time of a fund-raise. The Gurgaon-based company’s co-founder Sandeep Aggarwal, in a Facebook post last week, made several allegations against Radhika — also his wife — including stripping him of his voting rights and taking all the credit for Shopclues.
Shopclues was founded in 2011 by the Aggarwals and Sethi, and in 2013 Sandeep was arrested by the FBI in the US over insider trading allegations during his previous job in the US. He left the e-commerce company, and Sethi was appointed CEO of Shopclues.
“Traditionally, investors and VC firms look at chemistry between the founders of an entrepreneurial venture carefully as one of the important factors that would hold the start-up together, particularly considering many of them are running into financial headwinds. However, in the case of Shopclues, allegations have been levelled and it’s just wait-and-watch so far,” an analyst with a consultancy firm said on condition of anonymity. “If Shopclues was to go for a round for a fundraising right now, things would have been different,” she said.
Earlier this week, the Board of Directors of the e-commerce firm issued a statement backing Radhika and Sethi. “We are proud of the fantastic progress made by the ShopClues team under Radhika & Sanjay’s leadership. The company’s differentiated business model and capital efficient approach has enabled it to become a market leader and has grown 30 times under this management. It is very disappointing to see an ex-founder, who disassociated from the company for his criminal wrong-doings, is now engaged in a personal vendetta on a public forum. Our goal is to create value for all stakeholders and we remain focused on working closely with Radhika & Sanjay and the management team to continue to scale the company as it captures the massive opportunity which lies ahead of us,” the statement had said.
The company is counts Tiger Global Management, Nexus Venture Partners among its key investors. “The firm has no comment as it does not comment publicly about its investments,” a Tiger Global spokesperson said in an e-mail response to a query sent by The Indian Express. Nexus Venture Partners’ spokesperson also said that the investment firm “won’t be commenting”.