June 12, 2021 07:11 PM
PhonePe files complaint with Sebi against Ventureast fund over Indus OS: Walmart-owned PhonePe’s attempt to acquire mobile operating system startup Indus OS took a new turn, with the payments firm filing a complaint with markets regulator Sebi against Ventureast Proactive Fund-II (VPF), a fund operating out of India.
PhonePe said in a statement that the complaint relates to multiple violations of Sebi’s code of conduct in relation to VPF’s recent side dealings with Affle, which it claims are a deliberate bad faith attempt to scuttle PhonePe’s acquisition of OSLabs, which is the Singapore-based holding company of Indus OS.
The Sebi complaint in India is in addition to a lawsuit that PhonePe has already filed against Ventureast and Affle in the Singapore High court. The lawsuit claims that VPF deceived PhonePe, by continuing to engage PhonePe and OSLabs on the sale of its shares in OSLabs in favour of PhonePe even though it had sold those same shares to Affle in a side deal without OSLabs and PhonePe’s knowledge on a prior date during a legally binding no-shop period.
“As founders, we are always held to the highest standards of legal and ethical integrity by our investors. But these standards should apply to investors in startups too,” Sameer Nigam, CEO and Founder PhonePe said.
PhonePe files complaint with Sebi against Ventureast fund over Indus OS “I believe in this case, VPF has not only broken Sebi’s code of conduct, but it has also acted in complete negligence of its fiduciary duties as a large shareholder of Indus OS.”
Nigam said that the move to file a complaint is important for the sake of the larger startup ecosystem. “We have a very strong case and are confident that we will prevail on both fronts, and hopefully in the process also create a strong deterrent against bad actors trying to bully young startups.”