Alleged audio of BharatPe founder threatening banker goes viral, he calls it fake

In the audio recording, the man who is supposedly Ashneer Grover can be heard abusing the bank employee regarding Nykaa shares and said he will 'encounter' the employee and his family.
Ashneer Grover
Ashneer Grover
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An anonymous Twitter handle ‘bongo babu’ put out an audio clip on Wednesday, January 5, of a man abusing a bank employee and threatening to encounter the banker’s family over failing to get an allotment during Nykaa’s Initial Public Offering (IPO). The clip, which was put out with the tweet “how rich founders treat poor bank employees”, was allegedly a conversation between BharatPe founder Ashneer Grover, his wife and an employee of Kotak Mahindra Bank. Nykaa recently went public and had a bumper listing. 

In the audio recording, the man can be heard hurling expletives at the bank employee regarding the IPO’s allotment, as well as saying he will “encounter” the employee and his family. The clip, which is four-and-a-half minutes long, begins with the employee asking the man how he is, when the person at the other end begins abusing him in Hindi. The employee questions the man if he is drunk, to which the other man, angrily, asks him if he is dumb. The man’s wife also takes the phone in between, and questions why they committed when they didn’t have the allocation. The authenticity of the clip has not been independently verified by TNM. 

Ashneer Grover tweeted on Thursday that the audio clip is fake, and was spread by a scamster trying to extort money from him in Bitcoin. "Folks. Chill ! It's a FAKE audio by some scamster trying to extort funds (US$ 240K in bitcoins). I refused to buckle. I've got more character. And the Internet has got enough scamsters :) (sic)," Grover posted in a tweet.

He also shared a couple of email exchanges between himself and a startup marketer that goes by the name of UniconBaba. In one of the emails, UniconBaba allegedly asked for a payment of $240,000 for BharatPe's promotion and marketing-related expenses.

The response shared by Grover showed that he asked the person who goes by UnicornBaba to take down the audio clip, and said it was tantamount to extortion. “Also please stop sending these fake audios / memes to our investors - we don’t understand your agenda / vendetta”.

A vocal voice in the Indian startup ecosystem, Grover recently took on the overpriced Paytm IPO, saying in media reports that the company “did not listen to market voices and spoilt the market for the immediate listings".

Grover is also a judge on Sony's Shark Tank India, a reality show where entrepreneurs pitch their idea to investors and receive funding.

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