PhonePe files complaint with Sebi against Ventureast

BENGALURU: Walmart-owned digital payments platform PhonePe has filed a complaint with markets regulator Sebi against Ventureast Proactive Fund-II (VPF) for alleged side dealings with tech company Affle to scuttle PhonePe’s acquisition of OSLabs. OSLabs is the parent of IndusOS, a homegrown mobile platform.
The Sebi complaint is in addition to a lawsuit that PhonePe has already filed against Ventureast and Affle in the Singapore high court. The lawsuit says that VPF deliberately deceived PhonePe by continuing to engage PhonePe and OSLabs on the sale of its shares in OSLabs in favour of PhonePe even though it had sold those same shares to Affle in a side deal without OSLabs and PhonePe’s knowledge. This, it said, was done during a legally binding no-shop period.
PhonePe in its Sebi complaint has alleged 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”.
PhonePe founder and CEO Sameer Nigam said, “As founders, we are always held to the highest standards of legal and ethical integrity by our investors. But these standards should apply to investors in startups too. VPF has also acted in complete negligence of its fiduciary duties as a large shareholder of IndusOS.”