FirstCry Founder Under Investigation For Alleged $50 Million Tax Evasion: Report

FirstCry's founder Supam Maheshwari has been held under investigation by India's tax department for alleged tax evasion of $50 million

Three Indian unicorns have fallen under the radar of India’s tax department as their founders are being investigated for alleged tax evasion. The companies under investigation are, Globalbees Brands Ltd. and Xpressbees, according to people familiar with the matter.

The department, run by India’s Ministry of Finance, has asked FirstCry’s founder, Supam Maheshwari, why he did not pay more than $50 million in taxes on equity transactions conducted in his privately-held company, the people requesting anonymity said, as per a report by Bloomberg.

At least six investors in FirstCry, including private equity firm ChrysCapital Management Co and Sunil Bharti Mittal’s family office, have also received enquiries related to the matter, they said. Maheshwari is in conversations with the tax department to settle the probe, according to the people.

Maheshwari, spokespersons for ChrysCapital, the tax department and Mittal didn’t respond to emails seeking comments about the probe.

FirstCry had turned profitable in the financial year ended March 31, 2021, after years of losses. It is one of the few startups in India seeking to tap the IPO market after being profitable at an operational level, Bloomberg reported earlier.

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