Final week, app developer Growthpond despatched a authorized discover to Khatabook for plagiarism its Dukaan app and violating registered emblems
In responde, Khatabook launched a counter-attack on Growthpond accusing the corporate of stealing mental property and proprietary knowledge
Whilst Growthpond’s Dukaan app has furnished proof to combat again some claims of IP theft, Khatabook has remained silent on key questions
The Khatabook-Growthpond (MyDukaan.io) battle over plagiarism and IP theft that got here to gentle final week has seen loads of twists and turns. And allegations and questions are persevering with to come back up even after a number of statements from each firms. Whilst Growthpond’s Dukaan app has fought again in opposition to allegations of IP theft, Khatabook has remained mum on key questions, which increase critical doubt about its place on this tussle.
Whereas Growthpond or MyDukaan.io has laid out what it claims to be proof to show that the app was initially created by the corporate, Khatabook has been adamant that it’s a sufferer of mental property theft because it had outsourced the event of its Dukaan by Khatabook app to Growthpond. However the Sequoia-backed firm has additionally refused to reply Inc42’s questions probing the validity of their claims.
In its defence, Growthpond founder Suumit Shah instructed us that Khatabook has additionally tried to gasoline hypothesis that Growthpond stole Khatabook’s thought by means of nameless tweets. However what’s the true story?
Khatabook Vs Dukaan
Final week, Growthpond Know-how or MyDukaan.io, which permits digital storefronts for small retailers by means of an app referred to as ‘Dukaan’, despatched a authorized discover to Sequoia-backed Khatabook’s dad or mum firm Kyte Applied sciences for plagiarising its complete platform and trademark violation for its app ‘Dukaan by Khatabook’. The logos, description and functionalities of the apps are bordering on being an identical.
In our earlier report, Khatabook’s $300 Mn SMB Empire In Plagiarism & Trademark Violation Bother?, we highlighted that even the color palette of the UI and the structure of the 2 apps had an uncanny resemblance.
On the time, Khatabook denied Growthpond’s claims as false and baseless and mentioned that the 2 firms have been engaged with one another for digital advertising and marketing. Nonetheless, a couple of hours later, Khatabook modified its assertion launching a counter-attack on Growthpond for copying their thought as an alternative.
The up to date assertion claimed that Khatabook had outsourced the event of the Dukaan app to Growthpond Know-how Non-public Restricted & Risemetrics Inc (Rankz.inc). “Post-development and on the premise of testing it, the outsourced team Growthpond Technology Private Limited & Risemetrics Inc (Rankz.in) published the app on Playstore, using Khatabook’s proprietary data, in what we see as a clear case of intellectual property theft,” Khatabook claimed
Backing this declare, a supply instructed us on the situation of anonymity that Dukaan app was conceptualised by Khatabook, however was outsourced to Growthpond for growth. The supply added that Growthpond founder Suumit Shah went on to publish the app by means of Rankz.inc for “testing”, however later refused to “return” or delete it. Shah has denied these allegations in subsequent conversations with Inc42.
Nonetheless, each firms cited authorized causes to say no to share proof of communication or contracts proving both declare. And but, they proceed to take care of that the opposite firm has transgressed authorized boundaries.
Dukaan Fights Again After Twitter Claims
When contacted after the up to date assertion from Khatabook, Shah insisted that Dukaan is a singular mental property developed by Growthpond. “This is much prior to our associate company being engaged by Khatabook for app development. We are the prior adopters and users of the wordmark “Dukaan” and related UI/UX. The entire above is properly documented.”
He added, “There is no question of us having used any alleged proprietary information of Khatabook and all allegations being made to the contrary are false, only to divert attention from the core issue. We will pursue all available legal options if Khatabook does not stop misusing our intellectual property.”
On the identical day, an nameless account on Twitter shared a screenshot highlighting that the API utilized by Growthpond for Dukaan app truly belonged to Khatabook. The tweet got here with a screenshot to again the declare. Notably, the Twitter account was created in August and had posted no different tweet earlier than this.
Whereas the tweet appeared to point that Growthpond and Dukaan truly use Khatabook’s API for his or her app, Shah mentioned that the area and subdomain (1kg.me) the place the “Dukaan” app’s API is hosted has been owned by Growthpond since November 24, 2017. “The only reference to “Khatabook” within the API response is the “Store Name” and “Link”. The API name is for the shop title “Khatabook” on our platform. Which is sort of a common Fb or Twitter web page anybody can create,” he instructed Inc42.
Shah added that this specific retailer was created by a cellular quantity on July 1, 2020. The quantity belongs to a Khatabook worker, who has been working with the corporate since January 2020. Because of this, Shah claimed the API name being proven within the tweet was truly made by Khatabook and doesn’t point out any wrongdoing on Dukaan’s half.
The Wall Of Questions
The assault and counter-attacks between Khatabook and Growthpond has raised loads of questions. And lots of of those questions nonetheless don’t have solutions as the businesses declined to reply them on their authorized groups’ suggestions.
If Khatabook is to be believed then the app was stolen by Growthpond (MyDukaan.io) and uploaded by Rankz.in by means of its Google Play developer account. On this situation:
- Why did Khatabook not take any motion until now provided that Growthpond uploaded the app to the Google Play Retailer on June 9, 2020?
- Figuring out that its app had already been “stolen”, why did Khatabook go forward and determine to publish the app on August 11, 2020? Or was Khatabook not conscious that the app was uploaded by Growthpond in June until it launched the app in August?
- Why did Khatabook’s Google Play Retailer itemizing screenshots comprise a URL point out of MyDukaan.io?
Inc42 had reached out to Khatabook on August 20, in search of responses to the above questions however the firm declined to remark citing authorized causes. We additionally shared all of the allegations made by Shah with Khatabook, however the firm didn’t reply to these both.
Launched in 2018, Khatabook claims to have near 20 Mn (2 Cr) registered retailers utilizing its companies in almost 11 languages. Valued at $300 Mn, it has raised $87 Mn throughout three rounds from marquee traders comparable to Sequoia Capital’s Surge, DST International, Falcon Edge Capital, Fb cofounder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, Tencent Holdings, Higher Capital in addition to angel traders comparable to Cred founder Kunal Shah, Snapdeal cofounder Rohit Bansal.
Whereas, Growthpond’s Dukaan has signed up over 2.5 Lakh companies, with a collective stock of over 20 Lakh merchandise and claims to have a GMV of INR 20 Cr in GMV.
Questions come up over why Khatabook remained silent and didn’t take authorized recourse regardless of figuring out about Dukaan app’s existence. And it’s stunning why they determined to file a case solely after studies of plagiarism emerged.
As we highlighted in our earlier report, Khatabook had allegedly plagiarised UI prior to now as properly, notably the Sequoia Surge-backed Indonesian enterprise ledger app BukuKas and Bengaluru-based employees administration device Pagarbook.