HealthifyMe’s name surfaces in connection with Pandora Papers for having links with Putin’s former aide

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HealthifyMe’s name surfaces in connection with Pandora Papers for having links with Putin’s former aide
Canva/BI India
  • Pandora Papers reveals 12 million documents and files exposing the “secret wealth” and dealing of world leaders, politicians and public figures.
  • A “compliance report” of Singapore-based watchdog AsiaCiti Trust had flagged Kirill Androsov’s Lang Capital Fund (LFC) as a PEP, which has a higher risk of indulging in bribery or corruption.
  • HealthifyMe noted LCF was a publicly listed trust at the time of their investment and they were not aware of the PEP links.
Indian fitness and health platform HealthifyMe’s name has surfaced in the Pandora Papers, which is a leak that reveals 12 million documents and files exposing the “secret wealth” and dealing of world leaders, politicians and public figures.

Names of several prominent Indians — including cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, businessman Nirav Modi, Biocon’s Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Reliance Communication’s Anil Ambani — have surfaced in Pandora papers as well.

Now the name of HealthifyMe’s Singapore-based parent company HealthifyMe Pte Ltd appears in connection with Lang Capital Fund (LFC) owned by Kirill Androsov, businessman and a former aide of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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A “compliance report” of Singapore-based watchdog AsiaCiti Trust, dated February 27 of 2018, mentions that at least four transactions made by Androsov’s LFC fund were marked as “high risk” due to their “PEP [Politically exposed Person]-related structure”. AsiaCiti has filed a similar report in October 2014 as well, which named LFC.

PEP adds an additional risk exposure for involvement in money laundering, bribery or corruption due to holding/having connections with high profile political roles or who has been entrusted with a prominent public function. A PEP status does not signify criminal behaviour.

HealthifyMe claims that they were not aware of LFC’s PEP risk and connection with Putin.

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"At the time of taking investment from LCF — LCF was a publicly listed trust on the SGX [Singapore Exchange] and therefore was not wholly owned by any PEP. Singapore KYC requirements allowed HealthifyMe to take capital from any publicly listed trust without further investigation," the company said in a blogpost, adding that LFC owns only 2% stake in the company.

The Indian Express report further reveals:
  • HealthifyMe Pte Ltd (founded in 2015) set up an Indian entity HealthifyMe Wellness Private Limited (HRPL) in 2018.
  • As of March 2020, HealthifyMe’s founder Tushar Vashisht held 10 shares in HealthifyMe Wellness Private Limited (HWPL).HealthifyMe Pte Ltd held 2,43,318 shares. They are the only shareholders.
  • The LCF transaction under question included a payment that was made “for the subscription of 122,066 Series B2 Compulsorily Convertible and Non-Cumulative Preference Shares in HealthifyMe’s Singapore-based entity.
  • The company did not reveal the shareholding and directorship patterns to the directors of HealthifyMe Wellness Products and Services Private Limited between FY2015-2018.
“Certain media reports on Pandora Papers have falsely claimed HealthifyMe Cofounder & CEO Tushar Vashisht owning shell companies or Singapore hold-cos with connections to Politically Exposed Persons. We wish to clarify that these stories are inaccurate and have grossly misrepresented the facts,” a HealthifyMe Spokesperson told Business Insider.

The company also noted that Vashisht is a minority shareholder in HealthifyMe Pte India, which counts Khosla Ventures, Leapfrog, Inventus, Chirata Ventures as shareholders. HealthifyMe’s co-founder claims to have no direct or indirect shareholdings in Lang Capital Fund, AsiaCiti Trust or Atlas Asset Management or other such companies mentioned in the article.

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HealthifyMe also told Business Insider that Vashisht was the sole director in HealthifyMe Wellness Products and Services Private Limited and the filings about directorships/shareholdings were never made.

“Lang Capital Fund specifically has a 2% investment/shareholding in HealthifyMe Pte Ltd. It was an investment accepted by the company after following all applicable laws and KYC as a part of its Series B fundraise in 2018,” the company added.

"Certain media outlets have created a false narrative. HealthifyMe, myself or my family are not in any pandora papers and neither do we have any connections with PEPs - we definitely do not know Putin or anyone linked to him! HealthifyMe is owned by some of the top VCs in the world. One of our minority investors (LCF) holding 2% of our parent company seems to be under question for PEP risk. That investor was a Publicly Listed Company in SGX when our board sanctioned their investment following all KYC norms in 2018. This is a case of unfortunate sensationalist reporting where focus on the real story has been shifted to a misleading startup victimization."

Tushar Vashisht, cofounder and CEO of HealthifyMe, told Business Insider


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