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Indrita Ganguly


Indian Origin Ankiti Bose's Zilingo is Nearly a $1 billion Startup

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4 months ago
4 months ago
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The path of turning into a fashion giant with an evaluation tending towards $1 billion started in the month of December of the year 2014 when Ankiti Bose, who was an analyst at Sequoia India at that time, chitchatted with a neighbour at a get together, type of party in Bengaluru, considered as the tech capital of India. 

Ankiti Bose, a twenty three years old woman at that time and another co-founder of Zilingo, Dhruv Kapoor who was a twenty four years old software engineer at gaming studio Kiwi Inc. then started to realize that they have the passion and necessary skills and ideas to form a startup of their own which could be successful in the future. After 4 months they resigned from their jobs and had taken out near about $30,000 from their savings for a dream which was to create Zilingo which will be an online stage that will enable small businessmen or merchants of Southeast Asia to create scale for them online.

On 12th February 2019 Zilingo, the company based in Singapore released a statement saying that it raised $226 million from bigwig investors like Sequoia Capital and Temasek Holdings Pte. According to a report by “The Economic Times,” it states “The latest financing valued Zilingo at $970 million, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information is private.” That clearly places Ankiti Bose who is just twenty seven years old today as one of the youngest Indian female chief executives to create and lead an Asian start-up of this size and valuation. 

One thing that was working for her firm, in Ankiti's own words, “is her cross-cultural sensitivity”. The tech giant owner clarifies that compassion and empathy in the times of dealing with various people across culture, which can be either fashion gurus or merchants or techies in Bengaluru or even conservative Muslim traders in Indonesia, has definitely helped her making Zilingo such a diverse and great start-up. Bose completed her undergraduate from St Xavier's College, Mumbai. After her graduation, she said “she was looking for investments in the South Asian markets when she met Dhruv Kapoor in Bengaluru” according to a report by The Times of India.

“We were a bunch of twenty-somethings with nothing except this dream and we decided to chase it,” Bose stated. 

They both came to realize soon that other South Asian market did not have any online e-commerce portal like the Indian market, which was flooded with online e-commerce websites like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra etc. That realization worked as the main motivation behind the start of the start-up Zilingo and they launched the website in the year 2015. 

The company was set up in Thailand and Cambodia since its inception in 2015. Since then it has expanded and now contains offices in 8 countries and employs currently 400 employees and soon is going to open one in Australia.  

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