Can Trell survive the fallout of financial probe, layoffs?

Can Trell survive the fallout of financial probe, layoffs?

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Aditi Shrivastava

104 reads
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Aditi Shrivastava

104 reads

Just two months ago, the video-commerce platform was cruising ahead with its growth-at-any-cost strategy and planning a funding round at a unicorn valuation. Today, it is reeling from a financial audit that has alleged serious irregularities. How did things unravel so fast?

April 04, 2022

11 Min Read

In the first week of February, Denmark’s Bestseller Group, which owns fashion brands like Vero Moda and Jack & Jones, announced a partnership with video-commerce platform Trell to vend its products. Parallelly, it considered leading a funding round in Trell at a likely valuation of $700-800 million and sent a term sheet.

The Bengaluru-based startup was courting several other investors then, including online retail giant Amazon and marquee late-stage backers SoftBank and General Atlantic, to achieve unicorn status.

Just seven months earlier, it had bagged $45 million from fashion retailer H&M, South Korea’s Mirae Asset and existing investors such as Fosun and Sequoia’s Surge. Clearly, Trell, which shot to prominence after TikTok’s exit from India in 2020, was on the radar of big-name funders.

The talks for fresh cash, however, ended abruptly after an audit firm’s forensic review last month alleged serious financial irregularities at the company. The controversy deepened after it emerged that CEO Pulkit Agrawal had been unreachable for a few days in February-end. Agrawal co-founded Trell with Prashant Sachan and two others in 2016.

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