Sequoia Capital India has requested a neighborhood courtroom to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by considered one of its former normal counsels, saying it was an try to curb its free speech rights and hurt its pursuits, the enterprise capital agency’s courtroom submitting exhibits.
Sequoia has been locked in a authorized battle with Sandeep Kapoor, after he included the corporate in a defamation lawsuit in opposition to media corporations that reported on a leaked Sequoia electronic mail of June 2. Mr. Kapoor was Sequoia’s in-house normal counsel for almost 9 years till 2019.
The lawsuit is the most recent in a sequence of troubles for Sequoia which have the corporate grappling with complaints from startups about broken belief following high-profile governance scandals at a few of its portfolio corporations in India and Southeast Asia.
Mr. Kapoor’s agency, Algo Legal, has mentioned in a press assertion and its lawsuit that Sequoia despatched an electronic mail to its portfolio corporations this month making baseless references to “concerning details” in regards to the legislation agency that harm its enterprise and popularity.
Sequoia denied the allegations in a 19-page courtroom submitting in India’s tech hub of Bengaluru on June 18, calling the lawsuit “frivolous and vexatious” and saying it was responsibility sure to tell its portfolio corporations when it detected sure irregularities.
An impartial probe at Sequoia Capital-backed trend startup in Singapore, Zilingo, discovered sure funds made to Algo and its associated entities “were not in consonance with the engagement terms/contracts”, forcing Sequoia to warning its portfolio corporations from coping with the legislation agency, the courtroom submitting states.
Sequoia’s submitting, which has been seen by Reuters, has not been made public.
A spokesperson for Algo and Mr. Kapoor mentioned on Sunday they informed the courtroom on Saturday the investigation into Zilingo’s affairs is ongoing and there was no ultimate discovering, and that Sequoia’s allegations within the submitting have been with out benefit.
Detailing the Zilingo probe’s findings for the primary time, Sequoia mentioned it discovered the style startup paid Algo and its associated entities greater than $6 million between 2020 and 2022.
In such circumstances, Sequoia mentioned, 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 high consumer in billings, however the U.S. enterprise capital agency ended its engagement with Algo in January. Sequoia on Sunday declined to touch upon its courtroom submitting.
The Bengaluru courtroom will subsequent 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 monetary irregularities. Bose was later dismissed in what she has mentioned was a wrongful termination.
Zilingo and Ms. Bose didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Sunday.
Ms. Bose’s removing, Zilingo has beforehand mentioned, adopted an impartial investigation into complaints about what the startup described as “serious financial irregularities”.