Coding platform for kids WhiteHat Jr on Monday filed a defamation lawsuit of Rs 14 crore against angel investor Aniruddha Malpani at the Delhi High Court.
The complaint copy, accessed by TechCircle, alleged that the Malpani “is continuously and incessantly posting false and defamatory tweets which are causing severe damage” to the Byju’s acquired startup’s reputation and business.
The fact that #WhiteHatJr feels so threatened by honest criticism that it needs to drag @WhiteHatSr and me to court suggests they know how fragile and vulnerable their house of cards is, because it's built on a platform which is a sand of lies.— Aniruddha Malpani (@malpani) November 24, 2020
It also mentioned that Malpani has been an investor in Evobi Automation operated startup BiBox Labs. According to the complaint, BiBox Labs teaches entrepreneurship and innovation to children in the age group 8-14 years. The startup provides content in several subjects such as animation, web development, biotechnology and design thinking to name a few, unlike WhiteHat Jr’s solely coding curriculum.
Separately, WhiteHat Jr also filed another defamation lawsuit of Rs. 20 crores against Pradeep Poonia, which received an ad-interim injunction at the Delhi High Court on Monday. Poonia was asked to remove specific URLs as ‘Whitehat Sr’, of some of his tweets questioning Whitehat Jr’s teachers and their qualifications, Mint reported. Poonia is a Bengaluru-based software engineer who goes by the name Whitehat Sr on his social media handles and Youtube channel. The court has also restrained him of using the name Whitehat Sr.
Poonia had allegedly hacked WhiteHat Jr’s computer systems, and accessed and published internal communications and chats of WhiteHat Jr. He has criticised the startup’s online ads and advertising tactics.
Karan Bajaj, founder and CEO, WhiteHat Jr, through a LinkedIn post said, “We didn’t want to go to court. Startups require intense, singular focus with no distraction. But false, unethical attacks, including attempts to breach into company servers & defame women teachers, severely impacted employees & teachers daily. News cycles turned against us because negative stories are far more sensational than the truth.”
“We’ve made mistakes while growing up. Our marketing campaigns were poorly designed, which we changed. Legitimate, honest fact-based criticism is truly welcome. Blitzscaling is hard. Fires burn all over. Keep giving us feedback to improve. But lies and illegal breaches damage real lives and take no one forward,” he added.