Friday 17 January 2020

Ex-Paytm staff Sonia Dhawan joins SAIF Partners

BENGALURU: Sonia Dhawan, the prime accused in an alleged extortion case involving Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, has joined SAIF Partners, an early backer of the company.

The case against Dhawan is still ongoing in court, people with knowledge of the matter told ET.

“We confirm the development that Sonia has joined SAIF as corporate communications adviser to help portfolio companies," SAIF Partners said in a statement. Paytm is one of SAIF’s top portfolio companies, and the fund owns an about 18% stake in it.

Prior to this stint, Dhawan worked at Paytm First Games, a joint venture between Alibaba’s AGTech and Paytm’s parent One97 Communications. In June last year, Dhawan joined as the director of corporate communications at Sheroes where Paytm’s chief Sharma is an investor and a board member. All three companies that have hired Dhawan since the case have direct links to Paytm founder Sharma.

Dhawan, a former vice-president of communications and public relations at Paytm had spent nearly five months in jail after Ajay Shekhar Sharma, a senior vice-president of the company and the founder's brother, lodged an FIR against her. She along with three other accused had allegedly stolen private data of Sharma and tried to extort Rs 10 crore. Dhawan had been granted bail by the Allahabad High Court in March.

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