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Ankiti Bose, Co-Founder of Zilingo, Women Entrepreneur, Ankiti Bose Biography,
Women Entrepreneur

Ankiti Bose: Pioneering Fashion Tech Entrepreneur

Early Life and Education

Ankiti Bose, a trailblazing Indian entrepreneur known for her determination and fashion acumen, co-founded the eCommerce and fashion-tech startup Zilingo alongside Dhruv Kapoor, an IIT graduate and software engineer. Despite her achievements, Ankiti’s journey faced a significant setback when doubts about Zilingo’s accounting systems led to her termination by the board in April 2022.

Ankiti Bose

Ankiti’s educational foundation was laid at Poddar School and Cambridge School in Mumbai. She furthered her studies in economics and mathematics at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai. Her remarkable achievements earned her a spot on Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30 list in 2018, and she was featured in Fortune’s 40 Under 40 and Bloomberg 50 lists in 2019.

Family Background

Ankiti’s father, an engineer for a state-owned oil company, frequently relocated the family due to his job. Her mother, a university professor, resigned from her position to dedicate her time to caring for Ankiti, their only child. Despite their significant roles, both parents have chosen to remain out of the public eye.

Career Beginnings

Ankiti’s career began in Bangalore with roles at McKinsey & Company and Sequoia Capital. A visit to the Chatuchak Weekend Market sparked her realization of the untapped potential in Southeast Asia’s fashion marketplaces, which were largely offline. Recognizing a gap in the market for training in finance, scalability, web design, and sourcing, Ankiti envisioned a platform to bridge this divide.

In 2015, Ankiti left her position as a financial analyst at Sequoia Capital to launch Zilingo. At just twenty-three, she moved to Singapore in 2016 to develop technology and distribution solutions for the company.

Rise of Zilingo

Zilingo, co-founded by Ankiti and Dhruv Kapoor, began as an online fashion marketplace and quickly gained traction. Initial funding came from Sequoia India, followed by an $8 million Series A round in September 2016, an $18 million Series B round in 2017, and a $54 million Series C round in 2018. By 2019, Zilingo had secured $226 million in Series D funding, valuing the company at $970 million, with over seven million active users worldwide.

The trade conflict between the United States and China in 2019 opened new opportunities for Zilingo in the American market. The company expanded its operations, sourcing Indian textiles for Californian firms and establishing offices on both coasts of the U.S.

Ankiti also focused on empowering women through Zilingo. She developed a program to teach Indonesian women garment-making skills, addressing the issue of women leaving the workforce after marriage. Zilingo also implemented a coaching program for executives and supported female entrepreneurs.

Challenges and Setbacks

Despite Zilingo’s rapid growth, the journey was not without challenges. Ankiti’s hands-on approach included signing up as a retailer to better understand the customer experience and make Zilingo more merchant-friendly. Recognizing the limitations of an e-commerce network, Zilingo expanded to offer production, shipping, and other operational support to small businesses, creating a comprehensive online marketplace platform.

In 2016, Zilingo developed software to provide supply chain capabilities, supporting product development, design, data analytics, logistics, and customer service for small firms.

Awards and Recognition

Ankiti Bose’s innovative leadership and entrepreneurial spirit have earned her numerous accolades:

  • 2018: Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30
  • 2019: Fortune’s 40 Under 40, The Bloomberg 50, and Business Worldwide Magazine’s Most Innovative CEO of the Year – Singapore
  • 2020: Singapore’s Top 100 Women in Tech List


Ankiti Bose’s journey from a determined student in Mumbai to the co-founder of a nearly billion-dollar fashion-tech startup is a testament to her vision and resilience. Despite facing significant challenges, her story continues to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly women in technology and business. Ankiti Bose remains a prominent figure in the fashion technology industry, shaping the future of e-commerce with innovation and dedication.


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