Former employee accuses ScoopWhoop co-founder Suparn Pandey of sexual harassment
Photo Credit: Ankit Kumar/VCCircle

A former employee of news and infotainment website ScoopWhoop has accused co-founder Suparn Pandey of sexual harassment and assault, and filed a first information report (FIR) against him, a news portal reported on Wednesday.

The complainant, a senior executive who worked at ScoopWhoop between 2015 and 2017, has accused Pandey of inappropriate comments, lewd remarks and repeated attempts to touch her in a drunken state, Catch News said citing the FIR.

The woman has also accused co-founders Sattvik Mishra and Sriparna Tikekar of abetting the harassment and inaction.

Pandey had filed for anticipatory bail but he was denied one, the report added.

ScoopWhoop said in a statement that it was investigating the matter through its internal complaints committee and will cooperate fully with the police investigation.

Founded in March 2013 by Mishra, Pandey, Tikekar and Rishi Pratim, ScoopWhoop Media Pvt. Ltd is an India-focussed media startup that creates and curates news and infotainment content. Besides a news website, it also runs young women-focussed portal Vagabomb and Hindi website GazabPost.

The company is backed by Kalaari Capital and IgniteWorld, formerly known as Bharti SoftBank, among others.

The startup ecosystem has seen multiple instances of women speaking out against predatory behaviour of late.

Last month, several women had come forward alleging sexual harassment by Arunabh Kumar, chief executive and co-founder of Tiger Global-backed online media production company The Viral Fever. Kumar was booked on molestation charges by Mumbai Police.

In February, Vayuz co-founder Pooja Chauhan alleged that investor Mahesh Murthy sent her a lewd message on Christmas. founder Wamika Iyer also levelled similar charges against Murthy.

In February, a woman engineer who earlier worked at Uber, Inc in California published a personal blog claiming sexual harassment during her employment at the taxi-hailing company, prompting Uber to launch investigations.

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