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WhiteHat Jr founder files $2.6 million lawsuit against critic

Karan Bajaj, founder of online coding classes startup WhiteHat Jr which is now owned by the educational technology company BYJU’s, has filed a $2.6 million lawsuit against Pradeep Poonia, an engineer who publicly slammed the company for its marketing tactics

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Karan Bajaj

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New Delhi: Karan Bajaj, founder of online coding classes startup WhiteHat Jr which is now owned by the educational technology company BYJU's, has filed a $2.6 million lawsuit against Pradeep Poonia, an engineer who publicly slammed the company for its marketing tactics.

According to a TechCrunch report, Poonia has been accused of "infringing trademarks and copyright of properties owned by WhiteHat Jr, defaming and spreading misleading information about the startup and its founder and accessing the company's private communications app".

The lawsuit claimed that Poonia recorded sessions of some WhiteHat Jr classes and asked questions that were not relevant to the course to "humiliate and harass" the teachers and then posted them online.

The lawsuit also accuses "Poonia of publicly sharing phone numbers of WhiteHat Jr employees and making strong accusations such as likening the startup's marketing tactics to "child sexual abuse", said the report citing the lawsuit on Monday. Poonia was yet to respond to the lawsuit.

BYJU'S in August acquired Mumbai-based WhiteHat Jr in an all-cash deal worth $300 million (roughly Rs 2,246 crore). Bajaj, WhiteHat Jr Founder and former Discovery Networks India CEO continue to lead and scale the business in India and the US.

WhiteHat Jr is India's second largest educational technology company at a revenue run rate of $150 million.

WhiteHat Jr had recently announced their plans to expand to other global markets like Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand after a stellar growth in the US for its one-to-one online coding classes.

After launching their courses in the US in February, the company is growing at more than 100 per cent (month-on-month) in the country.

Founded in November 2018, WhiteHat Jr helps kids aged 6 to 14 years build commercial-ready games, animations and apps online using the fundamentals of coding.

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