ZestMoney appoints new senior management after founders quit

By Staff Writer

  • 16 May 2023
Credit: 123RF.com

A day after all co-founders of ZestMoney decided to step down, the Bengaluru-based digital lending startup has announced a new leadership team. 

The company’s senior vice president-growth Abhishek Sharma, chief banaking officer Mandar Satpute, and vice president-finance Mohit Chhajer would be taking charge, ZestMoney said in its statement. 

In a townhall held on Monday, ZestMoney’s founders Lizzie Chapman, Priya Sharma, Ashish Anantharaman informed employees that they would be stepping down from day-to-day operations, ensure a new management transition over the next 3-4 months and continue to support the business thereafter as key shareholders. All three co-founders collectively own 18.5% stake in ZestMoney. 

Mint was the first to report about the co-founders resigning from the company. 

“The new management team, made up of long-term, senior-level leaders who have helped the company scale since its inception, is expected to continue driving ZestMoney’s growth and expansion in India," the company said. 

The company said it is also finalizing a funding round from existing shareholders, including Quona Capital, Zip, Omidyar Network India, Flourish VC and Scarlet Digital, that is expected to close in the next few weeks. 

“This new capital will support the future growth of the business and finance the path to profitability," it added. 

“As founders we are proud of what we have built and achieved so far. But we believe that this is the right time to bring in new management to take the company to the next level. We are confident that the new team will drive the company in the right direction and achieve even greater success," Chapman said. 

The fintech, which had some 500 employees last December, is now left with some 100 employees. Since March, some 130 Zest employees have moved to PhonePe; and almost 100 were laid off. 

Deal talks between PhonePe and ZestMoney began in November 2022. Mint reported then that PhonePe was slated to buy ZestMoney for $200-300 million.  However, the acquisition was called off in March this year over valuation. 

On micro-blogging site Twitter, PhonePe CEO Sameer Nigam said that the company had taken a copy of the technology IP (intellectual property) of ZestMoney’s loan servicing platform and hired around 130 of its employees. 

Founded in 2015, the fintech startup has raised about $140 million from marquee investors, including PayU, Zip, Ribbit Capital, Quona Capital, Xiaomi, Omidyar Network, Goldman Sachs, and others. During financial year 2022, ZestMoney saw its revenue rise to ₹145 crore from ₹89 crore in FY21. Losses jumped to ₹398.8 crore from ₹125.8 crore a year ago.