Residential community management system providers MyGate and NoBrokerHood (NBH) have filed complaints against each other alleging data theft. While MyGate sent a legal notice to NBH on June 12 accusing it of stealing and misusing confidential and sensitive data, NBH filed a police complaint against MyGate on June 28 making similar accusations. NoBrokerHood is owned by NoBroker.
Both parties allege that the other stole confidential and sensitive customer data, which it then used to try and sell their own offering. Allegations have also been made by MyGate and NoBrokerHood of defamation and that their employees were called by those of the other organisation to try and extract sensitive information.
Interestingly, both startups are backed by a common investor, Tiger Global.
For the complaint filed by MyGate, an FIR was registered on June 19 at CID’s Cyber Crime Division in Bengaluru. In the case of NBH, an FIR was registered on June 28 at the Bellandur police station in Bengaluru.
MyGate has alleged that over the past few months, it has been receiving complaints from employees and customers about NBH engaging in ‘unethical and illegal’ acts.
In its complaint, MyGate has alleged that NBH and its employees have been ‘illegally and dishonestly’ and ‘unethically’ been stealing customer information and leads from MyGate and using this information to establish business relationships with MyGate’s existing customers. It has also alleged that NBH has been defaming MyGate by misleading its customers with false and inaccurate information regarding its services.
When it started receiving multiple complaints from customers in Bengaluru and other cities, MyGate claims to have laid a trap in Bengaluru where it entered one of its employee’s contact details in place of a customer’s information into its confidential databases. The said employee reportedly then received a call from NBH confirming MyGate’s suspicion.
It has also listed in its complaint instances of NBH employees calling MyGate employees and customers to extract confidential information.
“We were informed that NoBroker is stealing contact details of our customers; threatening and attempting to bribe our employees with an intent to illegally obtain confidential information; making unsolicited calls to MyGate’s customers by using the stolen data; and spreading false/baseless rumours about MyGate services whilst unethically creating business opportunities for themselves. We were shocked by these incidents,” Vijay Arisetty, CEO & Co-Founder, MyGate said in a statement.
MyGate sent a legal notice to NoBroker on June 12 and when it didn’t receive a response, it filed a complaint basis which an FIR was registered on June 19, 2020 by the Cyber Crime Police Station, CID, Bengaluru.
NoBrokerHood is a society management app by NoBroker.
Saurabh Garg, Co-Founder and CBO, NoBroker told TNM that the company has not received any legal notice from MyGate and that they didn’t hear from the police or from elsewhere of a complaint filed against them.
On its part, NoBroker filed a complaint with the police alleging MyGate had stolen its proprietary customer database and contacted NoBrokerHood customers to sell them their services, thus causing financial loss to the company.
In a statement put out by the company, NBH said that MyGate’s employees have been actively and persistently chasing management committee members of societies from the NBH database.
It stated in its complaint that an employee from NBH, Vineet, received a call from an employee of MyGate offering MyGate’s software for a society named ‘Golden Skyview Apartments’, which in fact, was a dummy created by the company for testing purposes.
“It is to be noted that ‘Golden Skyview Apartments’ is a dummy society created by NoBrokerHood for testing and demo related work. 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,” the company said in a statement.
The company further claims that it has concrete proof and call recordings of how they stole NoBroker’s data and had to file a police complaint against them.
“We have always believed that good ethics form the foundation of good businesses and induct all our employees with best business practices. Companies should work within a legal framework and better their software instead of blatantly stealing competitors’ data,” the statement added.
Speaking to TNM, Saurabh said that there have been instances in the past of former MyGate employees joining NoBroker and leaving in a few months to return to MyGate. While this raised suspicion, Saurabh said that the company didn’t act on it.
There have also been instances of them calling NoBroker’s customers and offering their own software, which Saurabh said they were okay with as data of welfare societies is usually public information and these are competitive actions.
“When they called the dummy society, we realised that we don’t know the extent of data that has been leaked and that’s when we decided to take legal recourse. I don’t know if the data was hacked or leaked,” he added.
Responding to allegations made by MyGate, Saurabh said these were completely baseless. “We haven't done anything wrong. If they send us a legal notice, our lawyers will speak to them. We have real proof of them stealing proprietary data that isn't available elsewhere. All our employees work within a legal framework and never did anything wrong,” he said.