Ankiti Bose, a 27-year old Mumbai native who is currently the founder as well as CEO of Bangaluru-based startup Zilingo – is set to become a unicorn’s first woman founder-CEO. Zilingo is a fashion e-commerce platform with its focus in South-East Asia. It has managed to reach the near-unicorn status.
Started four years back, currently, the fashion portal in its latest round is valued at the huge $970 million. With this Bose is set to become the first women founder of a high valued startup. Although Zilingo has its headquarters in Singapore, however currently its tech is powered from Bengaluru. An IIT Guwahati aluminous Dhruv Kapoor currently leads a team of 100 people from India’s Silicon Valley city.
Zilingo is now officially the most successful venture started by the Indian entrepreneurs in recent times. It had managed to mop $226 million during the latest rounds of Sequoia Capital. Recently this Tuesday, the venture announced that Germany’s Burda Principal Investments and Singapore’s Temasek (a sovereign wealth fund) had decided to rack in the company. Overall, Zilingo managed to rack up $306 million in total.
Bose is a graduate of Mumbai’s prestigious St. Xavier’s College with a degree in Mathematics and Economics. She worked with McKinsey earlier as a business analyst. In an interview, she stated that being sensitive and empathic when dealing with people from a different culture – from tech experts of Bengaluru to the fashion moguls of Singapore or the conservative Muslim base in Indonesia, helped her a lot in this successful journey.
It’s not easy to be a woman entrepreneur, especially in India. Last year India ranked 52th out of 57 countries among MasterCard Index for Women Entrepreneurs. The US had topped this list. Until 2018, there are 14% of women entrepreneurs functioning across the world. According to a survey by NASSCOM, in the last two years, around 11% of women entrepreneurs have joined this list.