Home security tech start-up MyGate and online real estate platform NoBroker have accused each other of stealing proprietary customer data and filed first information reports (FIRs) against each other.
NoBrokerHood, the integrated visitor, community and payment management app by NoBroker.com on Monday said it has filed an FIR on June 28, 2020, against MyGate, to report that the latter has stolen its proprietary customer database. The Bengaluru-based firm also alleged that MyGate contacted NoBrokerHood customers to sell them their services.
MyGate alleged that it was NoBroker who stole the company’s data. The firm said it had already issued a legal notice to NoBroker and its management and Board through its advocates, on June 12. Later the firm, which is also based in Bengaluru, filed an FIR against NoBroker on June 19. Business Standard has seen copies of both FIRs.
“Over the past several months, we have received numerous complaints from our employees as well as our customers regarding NoBroker’s unethical and illegal acts,” said Vijay Arisetty, CEO and co-founder, MyGate, in a statement. He alleged that the company was informed that NoBroker is stealing contact details of its customers, threatening and attempting to bribe the employees with an intent to illegally obtain confidential information. He also alleged that NoBroker was making unsolicited calls to MyGate’s customers by using the stolen data and spreading false and baseless rumours about MyGate services whilst unethically creating business opportunities for themselves.
“We were shocked by these incidents,” said Arisetty.
After conducting an internal investigation, MyGate issued a legal notice to NoBroker and its Management and Board through advocates, on June 12.
“Surprisingly, NoBroker chose to remain silent and did not even bother to respond to our legal notice,” said Arisetty. The company said it has provided all the evidence including voice, audio recordings and text messages of the above incidents to the Police authorities along with a complaint. On the basis this, an FIR was registered on June 19, 2020, at the Cyber Crime Police Station, C.
I. D, Bengaluru.
“We will ensure that all legal steps are taken, as appropriate, to ensure that MyGate’s rights are protected,” said Arisetty.
Interestingly, Tiger Global Management is a common investor in both companies. NoBroker has raised total funding of $214.5 million from investors including General Atlantic and Beenext, according to data platform Crunchbase. MyGate has raised a total funding of $67.3 million from investors including China's Tencent Holdings and Prime Venture Partners.
NoBroker which filed the FIR on June 28 at Bellandur police station, Bengaluru, alleged that MyGate’s employees have been actively and persistently chasing management committee members of societies from the NoBrokerHood database. It said that MyGate resorted to these antics as NoBrokerHood has a much superior product offering and was rapidly gaining market share which seems to have rattled MyGate.
“An employee from NoBrokerHood, Vineet (name changed) received a call from Anuj Singh, an employee of MyGate offering MyGate’s software for a society named ‘Golden Skyview Apartments’. It is to be noted that ‘Golden Skyview Apartments’ is a dummy society created by NoBrokerHood for testing and demo related work,” said NoBroker in a statement. “When Vineet asked how MyGate got his contact details, he was told that MyGate’s central team has access to the numbers of all management committees in Pune. In fact, Vineet had been added as a management committee member in the dummy society for testing a few days back only. He got suspicious and tried to avoid calls from the number. Anuj (Singh) however kept chasing and offered to put MyGate to replace NoBrokerHood software. Anuj also knew that the dummy society was using NoBrokerHood ERP suite, which is a very new offering and gives NoBrokerHood an edge over all the other society apps,” said NoBroker.
NoBroker said its product offerings are way superior to MyGate and it is easy to see that MyGate is finding it hard to cope with as they have been rapidly losing market share. The company said it has concrete proof and call recordings about how MyGate has stolen the data and thus had to file a police complaint against them.
“It is disturbing to see that MyGate is having to resort to such dishonourable antics to survive competition,” said NoBroker. “We have always believed that good ethics form the foundation of good businesses and induct all our employees with the best business practices. Companies should work within a legal framework and better their software instead of blatantly stealing competitors’ data.”