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The Big Take

How a Celebrity CEO’s Rule of Fear Helped Bring Down Hot Startup Zilingo

The story of how globetrotting tech star Ankiti Bose built and lost one of Asia’s most vaunted startups

This Near $1 Billion Startup Is Led by a 27-Year-Old Female CEO
Photographer: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg

At first glance, the implosion of vaunted fashion startup Zilingo Pte looked jarringly sudden. 

When the Singapore tech darling suspended its 30-year-old chief executive officer Ankiti Bose over complaints about alleged financial irregularities, it was March. Within weeks, creditors were recalling loans, more than 100 staff had left, and Bose found herself fired, though she denies any wrongdoing. The company’s survival is now in question.