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Zoho takes Freshworks to US court for trade secret misuse

Zoho Vs Freshworks: Indian SaaS Platfroms In A Legal Fight – the first battle of Indian unicorns

zoho sue freshdesk
  • Saas provider Zoho alleges that Freshworks stole and misused zoho’s confidential financial & business information.
  • It also accused Freshworks founders of poaching Zoho’s employees.
  • Freshworks founders Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy, were former employees of Zoho before building the Freshworks.

Zoho, the SaaS based software provider, has taken Freshworks (formerly Freshdesk) to court for violating the ‘Defense of Trade Secrets Act’ in the US. A lawsuit has been filed at the United States District Court, Northern District of California. Both the Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) leaders are locked in a legal battle.

Freshworks was founded by Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy, Both of them had worked in Zoho from year 2001 to 2010 before incorporating Freshworks

Zoho Vs Freshworks : A Legal Battle

In a lawsuit filed in the US on March 17, Zoho has alleged Freshworks of building its business by stealing and misuse of Zoho’s confidential business information. Zoho has also pointed out in lawsuit that Freshworks has also been engaged in poaching its employees to gain Zoho’s confidential information.

Zoho was started in 1996 by Sridhar Vembu, and Freshworks in 2001 as a software-as-a-service company. Both the companies are privately-held, US-headquartered with maximum workforce in Chennai, India.

Creating Freshdesk From Zoho Desk

As per report, Mathrubootham was V-P, Product Management for Zoho’s ManageEngine – IT Management software; which offered him confidential information and knowledge of what Zoho would require in a tool to provide efficient customer support. Coincidentally Freshworks’ first project was a prototype for a customer support tracking and management software – the type of project Mathrubootham headed at Zoho.

After founding Freshworks, Mathrubootham then allegedly used Zoho‘s confidential revenue figures while making investor pitch materials to secure initial funding, and suggesting his startup would perform like Zoho.


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Written by Abhishek Chauhan


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