Grofers, BharatPe to Now Third Unicorn: Tracing Ashneer Grover's Startup Journey
At the start of this year an audio clip of Grover verbally abusing a Kotak Mahindra Bank employee surfaced.
The Quint DAILY
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Known for his outspoken nature and his abrasive remarks as a judge on the hit reality show, Shark Tank India, Grover was embroiled in controversy at the start of this year after an audio clip of Grover verbally abusing a Kotak Mahindra Bank employee surfaced.
Incidentally, Kotak was where he started his career. Here's a look at his journey.
Kotak Investment Banking, 2006
Fresh out of college, after having done his BTech from IIT Delhi and MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, Grover got a job at Kotak Investment Banking, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He worked there for seven years, until he left the company in 2013 in the role of Vice President. At Kotak, Grover claims to have worked on 10 deals of $3 billion transaction value, and to have worked in retail, oil and gas, telecom, media, manufacturing, and real estate sectors.
American Express, 2013
After Kotak, Grover immediately moved on to a role at the credit card company, American Express, where he was Director-Corporate Development.
He spent almost two years in the role, where he claimed to have led the Series B investment in MobiKwik, a popular digital wallet in India. His experience with Mobikwik would prove useful in the founding of BharatPe later on, as this was his first foray into the Fintech field.
Grofers (Now Blinkit), 2015
This was Grover’s first unicorn. He joined Grofers at its infancy in 2015 as Chief Financial Officer, where he worked side-by-side with the founders, Albinder Dhindsa and Saurabh Kumar.
His LinkedIn profile further states that he led the Finance, Legal, and Business to Government operations in the company. At Grofers, Grover claims to have raised $170 million from investors SoftBank, Tiger, Sequoia Capital, and Yuri Milner.
PC Jeweller, 2017
Grover joined PC Jeweller in 2017, where he was the Head of New Business for a year. Grover led digital transformation and strategy here, and has said that he enabled PayTM, PhonePe, Pine Labs, Magic Pin and Qwikcilver at the company.
This helped further digitise the company’s business, and gave Grover a deeper look into the market of digital payment apps. Grover, in his role, claims to have consolidated e-commerce operations under the brand of PCJ, and prepared the company for the “next phase of consumer experience driven growth and diversification into adjacent businesses.”
In 2018, Grover co-founded BharatPe, a platform that allows business owners to be able to easily accept payments from customers from any payment app, simplifying the digital payment process for them.
Grover was the Co-founder and CEO of the company till 2021, after which he was the Managing Director.
His success with BharatPe is also what made him a pick to judge the reality show Shark Tank, where contestants present their startup ideas to judges, who are prospective investors.
Towards early 2022, however, Grover was mired in controversy as allegations of inappropriate behaviour and financial misappropriation came up against him. These allegations culminated in his wife, the Head of Controls, being sacked, and Grover’s resignation in early 2022.
Third Unicorn, 2022
As hinted by a tweet and confirmed by reports, Ashneer Grover and his wife have set up a new company called Third Unicorn, also in the tech field. With seemingly big plans, Grover has said in his tweet, “Time to disrupt another sector. It’s time for the Third Unicorn !!”
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