More than his stint as BharatPe's co-founder and MD, Ashneer Grover became known for his wisecracks on reality show Shark Tank India. Since then he was forced to step down from his own startup, accused of embezzlement and also ousted from the TV show. After launching his new startup called Third Unicorn, Grover has accused his former co-founder Bhavik Koladiya of data theft.
Grover wrote to the National Payments Council of India, levelling the serious allegations against Koladiya, who left BharatPe months after his exit. The letter claims that Koladiya, who is now CEO of OTPLess, had stolen data of 150 million UPI users. Grover claimed that he gave Koladiya a chance for redemption as BharatPe's co-founder, after the latter was convicted for credit card fraud in the US.
After processing billions of UPI transactions, BharatPe had a reservoir of data from 150 million users. The application programming interface (API), enables data transfer between banks and client servers for transaction. This API between Yes Bank, ICICI and Federal Bank, and BharatPe, was used for collecting user data, which Koladiya allegedly stole.
The former Shark Tank judge also claims that Koladiya was under house arrest for 18 months before being deported to India. According to Grover, what he has highlighted is the biggest data theft in India so far. Highlighting Koladiya's crimes further, Grover claims that he was caught flying to Gujarat from Delhi Airport on a forged ticket.
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