An ICO digital ads startup is going through hard times as its two co-founders confess to having created a clone of their own company that sold the same products.
The co-founders of Bidooh, a British digital advertising firm, admitted to stealing intellectual property from their own company with the intention of selling it to third-parties. The firm created facial analytics software for use in advertisement, after ending a $3 million initial coin offering, or ICO, in 2018.
As reported on April 20 by Prolific North, a U.K. local news outlet, Bidooh’s co-founders, Abdul Alim and Shahzad Mughal, were accused of creating a clone of their own company and selling Bidooh’s products to third parties. This was likely done to avoid sharing revenue with other Bidooh shareholders.
In August 2019, Bidooh’s staff discovered suspicious activity from a website named Flydooh, which they believed was using stolen intellectual property from Bidooh.
In September 2019, Bidooh obtained an interim order that granted its representatives the right to seize evidence they found at the co-founders’ premises.
Examination of the evidence uncovered that the pair began executing their fraud several months prior. They engaged with existing Bidooh partners and clients in order to sell through the cloned company.
Allegedly, they also exchanged a series of offensive messages against other Bidooh stakeholders and employees.
Once the evidence was presented, the pair appears to have deemed further court disputes futile and admitted to all claims against them.
Tenuous crypto connection
Bidooh launched its own token in October 2018, after conducting an ICO that collected about $3 million.
As captured by ICOBench, the promotional pitch heavily relied on the credentials of Michael Edelson, a non-executive director of Manchester United F.C.
The tokens sold by the company were supposed to be used to reward users for watching ads, a model similar to projects like Basic Attention Token (BAT).
While the ICO itself was relatively successful, the DOOH token was never listed in any centralized exchange.
The current Bidooh website makes no mention of either the token or blockchain technology in any form.
A post published in January on Reddit claims that the project’s silence was caused by the legal proceedings against the two co-founders. The announcement stressed that there was “no misappropriation of funds in the business.”
Cointelegraph sent out inquiries for more information regarding the fate of the token, but did not immediately receive a reply.