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Inside BharatPe’s post-Ashneer Grover redemption arc

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Nikhil Patwardhan

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Nikhil Patwardhan

25 reads

Two years on from the exit of its controversial co-founder and MD Ashneer Grover, fintech unicorn BharatPe appears to be back on track. In FY23, the first full fiscal year after Grover’s exit, its revenue rose 182%. This resurgence, though, hasn’t come easy

March 19, 2024

13 MINS READ

Key Takeaways

  • Following the ouster of its co-founder and then-MD Ashneer Grover in 2022, BharatPe appeared to be a company in crisis.
  • Two years on, it is still standing, and seemingly healthier than ever. In FY23, its revenues surged nearly 3X to cross Rs 900 crore
  • It managed this rebound by implementing checks and balances, such as distancing itself from Grover, enhancing compliance, and regaining employee and investor trust
  • However, growth appears to have stalled, with just 35% revenue growth expected in FY24

In December last year, BharatPe released its results for the year ended March 2023 (FY23). The fintech reported a nearly threefold increase in its revenue, raking in over Rs 900 crore during the fiscal year. For a company that had all but been written off just eighteen months prior, it marked a significant turnaround.

To say that little was expected of BharatPe going into FY23 would be an understatement. While the company had emerged as one of the country’s most promising fintech bets during the pandemic, with its valuation rising to $3 billion after raising some $450 million during the Covid-19 years, its tryst with the stratosphere was short-lived.

In early 2022, BharatPe’s ascent was derailed after an audio recording emerged of company co-founder and Managing Director (MD) Ashneer Grover berating an investment banker after failing to secure financing for shares in beauty startup Nykaa’s public listing. While that scandal forced Grover into a voluntary leave of absence, it paled compared to what followed. Grover and his wife Madhuri, who served as the company’s head of controls, were accused of financial impropriety and effectively pushed out of the company in a messy and public breakup.

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