Ankiti to be first Indian woman CEO of unicorn

BENGALURU: Zilingo, a Southeast Asia-focused style ecommerce platform co-founded through 27-year-old Mumbai native Ankiti Bose, has reached near-unicorn status. The four-year-old startup was once valued at about $970 million in its newest spherical, consistent with resources. This would make Bose — who graduated from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, with an economics and mathematics stage in 2012 — the first Indian feminine co-founder and CEO of a high-valued startup.

The Singapore-headquartered company’s tech is powered from Bengaluru, where its co-founder and IIT-Guwahati alumnus, Dhruv Kapoor, leads a 100-person group.

Zilingo has turn out to be essentially the most successful new-economy challenge in the area through Indian marketers, mopping up $226 million in the latest spherical from challenge capital company Sequoia Capital, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Germany’s Burda Principal Investments (introduced on Tuesday).

‘Cross-cultural sensitivity helped me’

The startup has racked up a complete $306 million in investment.

Starting up for ladies marketers isn't easy. Last 12 months, India ranked at 52—simply ahead of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt and Bangladesh—on the 57-country listing of Mastercard Index for Women Entrepreneurs. Among other major startup ecosystems, the United States ranked in the top 5, whilst China is in the top 30. The collection of girls marketers stood at 14% in 2018, consistent with a Nasscom survey, up from 10% and 11% in the previous two years, respectively.

“Personally, a large number of men were very helpful to me in my adventure. But of course, if you have more girls in challenge capital and more feminine marketers, then issues will get significantly better,” said Bose. She says having empathy and being sensitive when dealing with other folks throughout cultures—from techies in Bengaluru to style gurus in Singapore to conservative Muslim traders in Indonesia—has helped her.

Bose was once scouting for investments in Southeast Asian markets like Indonesia and Philippines for Sequoia Capital India in late 2014 when she met Kapoor in Bengaluru. Kapoor was once operating as a device engineer at gaming studio Kiwi. Bose, who has also worked at McKinsey in Mumbai, said that whilst evaluating investments in Southeast Asia, she saw that a higher collection of girls participate in the personnel, giving them higher disposable earning.


Also, in contrast to the Indian marketplace—where players like Flipkart (which owns Myntra and Jabong) and Amazon India, but even so a slew of well-funded style portals Limeroad and Voonik existed—there have been no players serving the Southeast Asia marketplace. The duo figured they have got complementary skill sets and began Zilingo.com in early 2015 as a consumer-facing style portal, having a look to convey bazaars of SE Asia online.


“Ankiti was once a great member of the analyst magnificence at Sequoia India before beginning Zilingo—she was once razor sharp, hard operating and at all times switched on ... it’s been superb to witness her transformation into a daring and dynamic founder and enterprise chief,” said Shailendra Singh, MD of Sequoia Capital India, which seed-funded the company again in 2015.


By late 2016, Bose realised that there was once a bigger opportunity in serving to small traders scale up and compete with giant manufacturers like Zara and Uniqlo thru a business-tobusiness (B2B) platform. Of the entire $three trillion in style production done globally, about $1.4 trillion is finished from Asia, consistent with the company, presenting a miles larger opportunity than consumerfacing trade enterprise.



Ankiti to be first Indian woman CEO of unicorn Ankiti to be first Indian woman CEO of unicorn Reviewed by kailash soni on February 14, 2019 Rating: 5
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