COO Aadi Vaidya resigns in new setback to Zilingo

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    Aadi Vaidya, chief operating officer of Zilingo, has resigned in a fresh setback to the startup that has seen its fortunes dive dramatically this year after coming close to raising a unicorn round.

    Vaidya confirmed his resignation to VCCircle.

    “I have resigned and decided to move on from Zilingo. It was a place that shaped me both personally and professionally and gave me great colleagues and friends. Zilingo will always stay close to my heart but I feel now is the time to move on and reset priorities for the future,” said Vaidya, who owns around 2% in Zilingo. Vaidya joined Zilingo in 2015 as vice president and head of expansion. He was promoted to COO in 2017. Prior to Zilingo, he worked with Citibank India.

    Vaidya’s resignation comes just weeks after Zilingo co-founder Ankiti Bose said in late June she had resigned from the company’s board citing “opacity of information” shared with her by other shareholders.

    Bose was fired by the Zilingo board on 20 May following an investigation into alleged financial irregularities by Kroll. Bose has denied the charges in several media reports.

    Meanwhile, on 19 June, the company’s other co-founder Dhruv Kapoor tabled a proposal to infuse additional funds into the company and restructure debt in a bid to avoid liquidation.

    Kapoor’s proposal was a “preliminary and non-binding offer” to pay off the $48 million outstanding debt owed to Varde Partners and Indies Capital in a deferred manner, and infuse $8 million in fresh equity into the company, with the help of an investor group backing this deal. The offer was supported by Bose.

    The matter to liquidate Zilingo was not put to vote last month as the company was evaluating other proposals too. Troubles for the startup began after a whistleblower alerted the company’s investors about irregularities earlier this year, after which Bose was first suspended and then asked to leave by the board.

    Before that, Zilingo was looking to raise between $150 million and $200 million with the help of Goldman Sachs Group Inc at a unicorn valuation. A unicorn is a privately held startup with a valuation of at least $1 billion.

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