Food delivery aggregator Zomato has elevated Chief Financial Officer Akriti Chopra as a co-founder of the company ahead of its $1.1Bn or INR 8,250 Cr initial public offering.
Chopra had originally joined Zomato back in 2011 as its Senior Manager, Finance & Operations. She was elevated to the post of VP, Finance & Operations in September 2012, after which she was appointed CFO in April 2019.
The CFO role was later replaced by Akshant Goyal in October 2020, and Chopra was then appointed as the chief people officer in the same month. Chopra is a Chartered Accountant who got her certification in 2011, and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Lady Shri Ram College For Women.
“Tuki (Akriti, I know this doesn’t mean much to you, because you have always been a founder at Zomato. Sometimes more than me, but never less than me. Thank you. Congratulations for now officially being a founder at Zomato,” Goyal wrote in an internal email circulated to employees on June 9th, according to reports.
In the run up to its IPO, the company had also appointed five independent board members last month in order to maintain cognitive diversity in the company. Prior to that, the company had a largely investor-run board consisting of CEO Deepinder Goyal, Alipay’s Douglas Feagin and Info Edge’s Sanjeev Bikhchandani.
The latest addition to Zomato’s board included Sutapa Banerjee, who is also on boards of other companies like Godrej Properties, JSW Cement and Axis Capital among others; former Olympian Aparna Popat; Zalora Group CEO Gunjan Tilak Raj Soni; Airveda’s founder Namita Gupta; and TARI founder Kaushik Dutta. Each of these independent directors have been appointed at a remuneration of INR 24 Lakh per annum, effective from April 2021 (FY2022), with a sitting fee of INR 1 Lakh per meeting.
Zomato had filed its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) In April 2021. Zomato’s largest stakeholder InfoEdge, which holds about 18.55% shareholdings in the food aggregator, will be offloading shares worth INR 750 Cr (approximately $100 Mn) in this process.
Zomato had been preparing for its IPO since last year, after the company closed its $660 Mn (about INR 4,822 Cr) Series J round last year in December. The company soon buckled up to raise additional funding in order to create a war chest of $1 Bn to go public as well as fend off competition. Notably, Zomato has raised about $910 Mn in the last 12 months, of which $250 Mn (over INR 1,800 Cr) was invested in the first quarter of 2021 at a valuation of $5.4 Bn. It is now looking to raise another INR 1,500 Cr ($200 Mn) as a pre-IPO exercise, it revealed in its DRHP filing.