Ankiti Bose - Story of Founder and CEO of Zilingo

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
May 21, 2022 5 min read
Ankiti Bose - Story of Founder and CEO of Zilingo

Through social networking applications, retail stores, and augmented realities, technology is transforming the way customers purchase. To market their brands in front of their customers, brands are adjusting to changes such as adopting more and more technology to make it more convenient for customers to shop.

In an overly catered fashion industry, creating a novel and unique experience may set a business apart from the competition. Zilingo is such a fashion technology and e-commerce platform that worked with the idea of utilising technology to put up appropriate and efficient business within everyone’s reach.

Ankiti Bose cofounded Zilingo and is also the ex-CEO of this e-commerce startup. She received various awards and recognition and even made to Forbes Asia's 30 Under 30 list, as well as Fortune's 40 Under 40 2019. She was terminated from her role as the CEO in April 2022 after a trial to pursue money-related suspicions regarding Zilingo's accountancy operations. Bose was then ousted from Zilingo in May 2022, .which eventually resulted in her quitting from the Zilingo board too on June 30, 2022.

Ankiti Bose - Biography

Name Ankiti Bose
YOB 1992
Nationality Indian
Occupation Co-founder and former CEO of Zilingo
Previous Jobs Venture Capital and Management Consulting at Sequoia Capital and McKinsey & Company
Net Worth $5 million

Ankiti Bose - Early Life, and Education
Ankiti Bose - Family
Ankiti Bose - Career
Ankiti Bose - Zilingo
Ankiti Bose - Early Challenges
Ankiti Bose - Controversies Related To Zilingo
Ankiti Bose - Awards

Ankiti Bose - Early Life, and Education

Ankiti Bose is an Indian entrepreneur, who is known for her keen determination and fashion sense. Zilingo, an eCommerce and fashion-technology startup, was co-founded by her, along with Dhruv Kapoor, a software engineer and an IIT graduate. But after an attempt to raise cash prompted doubts about Zilingo's accounting systems, she was terminated by the board from her role and responsibilities in April 2022.

Ankiti Bose with her Husband, Dhruv Kapoor
Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor

She attended Poddar School and Cambridge School in Mumbai, which forms the base of her education. She attended St. Xavier's College in Mumbai to study economics and mathematics. She made Forbes Asia's 30 Under 30 list in 2018, and Fortune's 40 Under 40 and Bloomberg 50 lists in 2019.

Ankiti Bose - Family

Ankiti's father, whose name is unknown, worked for a state-owned oil business as an engineer. Because of his job, Ankiti's family had to relocate frequently as she grew up. Ankiti's mother was a university professor, and her name is also unknown. She resigned from her job to take care of her family and her single child, Ankiti.

Ankiti Bose - Career

Bose gave a head start to her career in Bangalore with her first job in McKinsey & Company and Sequoia Capital. Bose realised that fashion marketplaces in Southeast Asia had a lot of space for penetration and expansion after visiting the Chatuchak Weekend Market.

Over 11,000 individual retailers do not have an internet name in the market. While there was an investment in boosting internet connection, Bose observed that shops were unprepared to cope with major global firms due to a lack of training in finance, scalability, web designing, and sourcing.

Bose resigned from her job as a financial analyst at Sequoia Capital in 2015 to start her own business, Zilingo. Bose created Zilingo while she was just twenty-three years old. In 2016, she relocated to Singapore to work on technology and distribution network solutions.

In 2019, Zilingo secured $226 million in Series D funding, valuing the company at $970 million. It has over seven million active users on the global network as of 2019. Because of the trade conflict between the United States and China, American retailers left China, allowing Zilingo to grow in the United States. She has sought to get Indian textiles for Californian firms and has opened offices on both the West and East coasts.

Bose developed a programme at Zilingo to teach Indonesian women how to make garments, recognising that about 40% of Indonesian women leave the industry after getting married. To help executives throughout the firm, Zilingo established a coaching programme. Bose participates in services that help and train female entrepreneurs.

Ankiti Bose - Zilingo

Co-founder and CEO of Zilingo - Ankiti Bose
Co-founder and CEO of Zilingo - Ankiti Bose

Zilingo is an online fashion marketplace service and e-commerce website launched in 2015 by Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor, who each invested $44,000 in the venture. Sequoia India provided initial money, and in September 2016, the firm secured an additional $8 million in a Series A funding round. In 2017, it secured an additional $18 million in a Series B round, and in 2018, it raised $54 million in Series C financing. Β 

Zilingo was exporting to eight countries by September 2017 and had seller hubs in Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Thailand, with 5,000 new merchants added in the preceding year.

In February 2019, Zilingo raised $226 million in a new round of funding from Sequoia India, Burda, Singapore sovereign fund Temasek, and Sofina. The partners have secured $28 million with the full backing of heavyweight investors like Silicon Valley billionaire Tim Draper, and presently have 8,000 merchants and over two million consumers.

Ankiti Bose - Early Challenges

Ankiti signed up as a retailer to obtain the customer experience to truly comprehend the market and make Zilingo as welcoming as possible to merchants. Zilingo was not built on orders and commands; instead, it was built on as much personal experience as possible to become what it is today.

Ankiti and her team quickly recognised that having only an e-commerce network was insufficient to assist these small firms. They were severely lacking in production, shipping, and other operations that a larger company would have. This is why Zilingo decided to create an online market platform that would help small businesses grow.

In 2016, they supported organisations with product development and design, data analytics, logistics, and customer service by developing software to offer supply chain capabilities.

Ankiti Bose - Controversies Related To Zilingo

Singaporean B2B fashion e-commerce startup Zilingo has suspended its Indian founder and CEO, Ankiti Bose, after irregularities in the company's accounts were reportedly uncovered during an attributable procedure for a fresh financing round.

Bose has denied the charges and challenged her suspension, calling the firm's move a "witch hunt" sparked by harassment complaints she filed against a corporate investor.

The apparent accountancy issues surfaced just as Zilingo was in active discussions to seek $150-200 million in a fresh round at a projected valuation of $1.2 billion, setting the stage for it to become a unicorn.

Ankiti Bose then retaliated with several charges after the company announced her departure as CEO following an inquiry into financial irregularities.

Bose has threatened to sue the board saying, she was fired because of her rebellious nature with Sequoia Capital India and Sequoia managing director Shailendra Singh. She holds an 8.58% stake in the company and is attempting to reclaim the business's $40 million in unpaid obligations, which creditors recalled following her discharge.

The company, in a statement, said, "Following an investigation led by an independent forensics firm that was commissioned to look into complaints of serious financial irregularities, the company has decided to terminate Ankiti Bose’s employment with cause, and reserves the right to pursue appropriate legal action."

Ankiti Bose - Awards

Year Award
2018 Asia's Forbes 30 under 30
2019 Fortune magazine's 40 Under 40, The Bloomberg 50, and Business Worldwide Magazine Most Innovative CEO of the Year – Singapore
2020 Singapore Top 100 Women in Tech List

FAQs

Who is Ankiti Bose?

Ankiti Bose is a 29-year-old entrepreneur who co-founded the e-commerce startup Zilingo.

Who founded Zilingo?

Zilingo was launched by Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor.

What does Zilingo do?

Zilingo is a fashion technology and e-commerce brand.

What is the net worth of Ankiti Bose?

Ankit Bose's net worth is reported to be approximately $5 million.

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