Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Sequoia India asks court to dismiss lawsuit by its former counsel -filing

Economy Jun 19, 2022 07:30PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Sequoia logo is seen in this illustration taken, June 13, 2022. Illustration picture taken June 13, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Aditya Kalra and M. Sriram

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -Sequoia Capital India has asked a local court to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by one of its former general counsels, saying it was an attempt to curb its free speech rights and harm its interests, the venture capital firm's court filing shows.

Sequoia has been locked in a legal battle with Sandeep Kapoor, after he included the company in a defamation lawsuit against media companies that reported on a leaked Sequoia email of June 2. Kapoor was Sequoia's in-house general counsel for nearly nine years until 2019.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of troubles for Sequoia that have the company grappling with complaints from startups about damaged trust following high-profile governance scandals at some of its portfolio companies in India and Southeast Asia.

Kapoor's firm, Algo Legal, has said in a press statement and its lawsuit that Sequoia sent an email to its portfolio companies this month making baseless references to "concerning details" about the law firm that hurt its business and reputation.

Sequoia denied the allegations in a 19-page court filing in India's tech hub of Bengaluru on June 18, calling the lawsuit "frivolous and vexatious" and saying it was duty bound to inform its portfolio companies when it detected certain irregularities.

An independent probe at Sequoia Capital-backed fashion startup in Singapore, Zilingo, found certain payments made to Algo and its related entities "were not in consonance with the engagement terms/contracts", forcing Sequoia to caution its portfolio companies from dealing with the law firm, the court filing states.

Sequoia's filing, which has been seen by Reuters, has not been made public.

A spokesperson for Algo and Kapoor said on Sunday they told the court on Saturday the investigation into Zilingo’s affairs is ongoing and there was no final finding, and that Sequoia’s allegations in the filing were without merit.

Detailing the Zilingo probe's findings for the first time, Sequoia said it found the fashion startup paid Algo and its related entities more than $6 million between 2020 and 2022.

In such circumstances, Sequoia said, its "right to freedom of speech prevails over the plaintiff’s right of reputation since the statement was issued without any malice and without any intention to defame."

Sequoia was Algo's top client in billings, but the U.S. venture capital firm ended its engagement with Algo in January. Sequoia on Sunday declined to comment on its court filing.

The Bengaluru court will next 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 financial irregularities. Bose was later dismissed in what she has said was a wrongful termination.

Zilingo and Bose did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

Bose's removal, Zilingo has previously said, followed an independent investigation into complaints about what the startup described as "serious financial irregularities".

Sequoia India asks court to dismiss lawsuit by its former counsel -filing

Related Articles

Echoes of dire 1970s in today's Britain
Echoes of dire 1970s in today's Britain By Reuters - Aug 17, 2022

By Andy Bruce LONDON (Reuters) - Plans for a high-wage, high-growth economy lie in ruins as Britain's Conservative prime minister struggles to answer a cost-of-living crisis,...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email