Copying products and features of competing products are getting common in the Indian startup ecosystem. Over the past few years, there has been a flurry of incidents like Oyo-Zo Rooms, Zoho-Freshworks and ShareChat-Helo.
In yet another such incident, Growthpond Technology, a company that enables digital storefront for small merchants through an app called ‘dukaan’, has served a legal notice to Sequoia-backed Khatabook and its parent company Kyte Technologies, Inc for copying its logo and interface.
In the notice a copy of which has been seen by Entrackr, Growthpond has said that Khatabook has published a mobile application using the logo and user interface of its app – dukaan. Khatabook made the new app ‘Dukaan by Khatabook’ live on Play Store last week, while dukaan made a debut two and a half months ago, on June 2.
Khatabook has denied the allegations made by Growthpond as false and baseless.
We used both the apps – dukaan by Growthpond and Dukaan by Khatabook – and had a tough time differentiating between the two. Growthpond also alleges that ‘Dukaan by Khatabook’ has also copied its logo and asked it to immediately cease and desist from using dukaan’s logo and any other mark identical or similar.
The notice also asks Khatabook to stop copying dukaan’s artistic work, including the app’s logo and user interface. It’s worth noting that Growthpond has been a vendor of Khatabook for the past year. It used to do custom product development and digital marketing campaigns for Khatabook.
“Dukaan is a brainchild of Khatabook and was envisioned as a way to help the merchant universe use their newfound comfort with keeping online business records to expand their operations online,” said Khatabook in an email statement.
Khatabook competes with Lightspeed-backed OK Credit and has raised around $90 million risk capital from Tencent, B Capital, Falcon Edge, Sequoia and others. Paytm, BharatPe, Udaan and Instamojo, who integrated bookkeeping features in their native app, are its indirect competition.
At the time of its Series B round in May, the company outlined an interest in overseas expansion. While the app is already used by merchants in Bangladesh and Pakistan, it forayed into the Indonesian market through a separate app, BukuUang.
The app has features akin to Khatabook and its core premise revolves around bookkeeping. According to Entrackr sources, the app went live early this month.
BukuUang competes with Bukukas which is also funded by Sequoia and was part of Sequoia’s accelerator program Surge. Other competitions of BukuUang include Moka, Jurnal and BukuWarung.