Sequoia Capital India has requested a neighborhood court docket to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by considered one of its former normal counsels, saying it was an try to curb its free speech rights and hurt its pursuits, the enterprise capital agency’s court docket submitting reveals.
Sequoia has been locked in a authorized battle with Sandeep Kapoor, after he included the corporate in a defamation lawsuit towards media corporations that reported on a leaked Sequoia electronic mail of June 2. Kapoor was Sequoia’s in-house normal counsel for almost 9 years till 2019.
The lawsuit is the most recent in a sequence of troubles for Sequoia which have the corporate grappling with complaints from startups about broken belief following high-profile governance scandals at a few of its portfolio corporations in India and Southeast Asia.
Kapoor’s agency, Algo Authorized, has mentioned in a press assertion and its lawsuit that Sequoia despatched an electronic mail to its portfolio corporations this month making baseless references to “regarding particulars” concerning the legislation agency that harm its enterprise and repute.
Sequoia denied the allegations in a 19-page court docket submitting in India’s tech hub of Bengaluru on June 18, calling the lawsuit “frivolous and vexatious” and saying it was obligation certain to tell its portfolio corporations when it detected sure irregularities.
An unbiased probe at Sequoia Capital-backed vogue startup in Singapore, Zilingo, discovered sure funds made to Algo and its associated entities “weren’t in consonance with the engagement phrases/contracts”, forcing Sequoia to warning its portfolio corporations from coping with the legislation agency, the court docket submitting states.
Sequoia’s submitting, which has been seen by Reuters, has not been made public.
A spokesperson for Algo and Kapoor mentioned on Sunday they instructed the court docket on Saturday the investigation into Zilingo’s affairs is ongoing and there was no remaining discovering, and that Sequoia’s allegations within the submitting had been with out advantage.
Detailing the Zilingo probe’s findings for the primary time, Sequoia mentioned it discovered the style startup paid Algo and its associated entities greater than $6 million between 2020 and 2022.
In such circumstances, Sequoia mentioned, its “proper to freedom of speech prevails over the plaintiff’s proper of repute for the reason that assertion was issued with none malice and with none intention to defame.”
Sequoia was Algo’s prime consumer in billings, however the U.S. enterprise capital agency ended its engagement with Algo in January. Sequoia on Sunday declined to touch upon its court docket submitting.
The Bengaluru court docket will subsequent hear the matter on June 29.
Zilingo in April suspended its 30-year-old CEO and cofounder Ankiti Bose, a former Sequoia analyst, over suspected monetary irregularities. Bose was later dismissed in what she has mentioned was a wrongful termination.
Zilingo and Bose didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Sunday.
Bose’s elimination, Zilingo has beforehand mentioned, adopted an unbiased investigation into complaints about what the startup described as “critical monetary irregularities”.
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by IHNS workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)