Moneycontrol
Last Updated : Jun 29, 2020 05:43 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Tit-for-tat FIRs, NoBroker and MyGate slug it out over ‘data theft’

Business rivalry turns ugly as NoBroker accuses MyGate of stealing data. MyGate hits back, says its employees harassed by NoBroker for sensitive customer information.

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Bengaluru-based real estate startup NoBroker has filed a first information report (FIR) against MyGate, accusing it of data theft a few days after a similar case was lodged against it by the city-based rival which competes with it in the security services space.

The real estate firm is also planning legal proceedings against MyGate, NoBroker said in the complaint filed with the Bellandur police station on June 28. Moneycontrol has seen a copy of the complaint.

Both the companies, which count US-based venture fund Tiger Global Management as its investor, have accused each other of malpractices as well in what is looking like a case of clashing interests and business rivalry.

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The FIR comes after MyGate filed a case with the cybercrime department of Bengaluru Police on June 19, alleging unlawful access to its internal customer data. The case was filed a week after MyGate sent a legal notice to NoBroker.

A digital house-hunting platform, NoBroker is in the business of buying, selling and renting of residential and commercial spaces in major cities of the country.

Two years ago, the startup got into society management and security services through NoBroker Hood, putting it in direct competition with MyGate which offers a similar service in Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Mumbai and other cities.

The issue came to light when a dummy society created by NoBroker got the attention of sales executives of MyGate, NoBroker chief business officer Saurabh Garg told Moneycontrol.

An employee of NoBroker who was listed as a management committee member of the dummy society  got a call with a sales pitch for MyGate.

“Our employee was confused because the society was a dummy one created by us for internal demonstration and testing purposes,” Garg said.

The details of the account were not in the public domain and MyGate and its employees accessed it illegally, NoBroker said in its complaint to police.

When reached for comments, MyGate co-founder Abhishek Kumar said the company had been suffering similar attacks from NoBroker over the last three months.

“We had sent them a legal notice on June 12, stating all the major issues we have been facing from them to which we have received no response. It was a week later that we approached police for a full inquiry,” Kumar said on June 29.

Moneycontrol has seen a copy of MyGate’s notice and the FIR.

“Our employees have been harassed by NoBroker officials for sensitive customer information. Our customers have received calls from them with false allegations against MyGate, we have seen multiple such instances happening over the last few months,” Kumar alleged.

NoBroker has countered the charge with similar allegations in the FIR. A top MyGate sales executive sent messages to NoBroker’s prospective customers, saying the real estate firm gathered information about them by stealing MyGate data, it alleged.

“This was clearly intended to tarnish the reputation and image of NoBroker,” the report said. “NoBroker has gathered evidence and many such violations by MyGate…and is in the process of taking appropriate steps in accordance with the law.”

NoBroker was consulting its lawyers on its next move against MyGate, Garg said. The company would also carry out an internal audit to check if there was a data breach and find out how MyGate got access to company information.

“In the past, we have seen multiple employees from MyGate joining NoBroker and leaving us in a short span to go back to MyGate. Now we are not sure if someone stole the data from our systems but we will get that checked,” Garg said.

Besides Tiger Global, NoBroker is backed by investors like General Atlantic. It was founded in 2014 by Amit Kumar Aggarwal, Saurabh Garg and Akhil Gupta.

The startup started with a business proposition to make house hunting cheap and easy for consumers by taking the system online, keeping away brokers and agents.

Chinese tech giant Tencent, Prime Venture Partners and JS Capital Management, the investment fund of Jonathan Soros, are the other investors in MyGate founded in 2016 by Vijay Arisetty, a former air force officer, Abhishek Kumar Shreyans Daga and Vivaik Bharadwaj.
First Published on Jun 29, 2020 05:43 pm
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