PhonePe has filed a formal complaint against Ventureast Proactive Fund-II (VPF), an AIF operating out of India, with SEBI, according to the Walmart-owned digital payments major.
According to PhonePe, the complaint relates to violations of SEBI’s code of conduct in relation to VPF’s recent side dealings with Affle which are a deliberate bad faith attempt to scuttle the OSLabs’ majority acquisition by PhonePe.
OSlabs Pte Ltd is a Singapore-based holding company of Indus OS.
To recall, PhonePe was in the final stage to acquire a majority stake in Indus OS. However, Indus OS’ minority stakeholders Affle Global and Ventureast had sought an injunction over the deal in the Singapore High Court against the mobile platform.
PhonePe had also filed a lawsuit against Ventureast and Affle in the Singapore High court.
PhonePe in its complaint with SEBI has highlighted serious misrepresentations, including a series of unethical and bad faith actions, as well as potentially illegal actions, that have been and are being continually undertaken by the Managing Partner, General Partner and Principal of VPF involved with this transaction.
“.. By deliberately derailing PhonePe’s acquisition of IndusOS, a deal which all three OSLabs founders continue to also believe is in their company’s best long-term interests, VPF has also hurt OSLabs’ long term interests. We believe it’s important to expose such unethical conduct by VPF 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,” Sameer Nigam, CEO and founder of PhonePe in a press statement.
According to Entrackr’s sources, PhonePe would pay around $60 million to acquire a majority stake in the Rakesh Deshmukh-led company.
Entrackr has reached out to Ventureast regarding the SEBI complaint filed by PhonePe. We’ll update the post as and when they respond.