Home / Companies / Start-ups /  Khatabook rebrands its storefront app

Khatabook, a digital ledger app that helps small and medium businesses to track its transactions has rebranded its online storefront app to 'MyStore' after running into legal entanglement with its competitor Dukaan, owned by Growthpond Technology Pvt Ltd.

The newly rebranded MyStore app allows businesses and sellers to list their products on an online web store and make it discoverable through social media channels or directly through a URL. 'MyStore' is available in 13 Indian languages and has already been installed by more than 2.5 million merchants in the country.

Apart from Khatabook-owned MyStore, the online storefront and digital ledger segment have witnessed an increased adoption among small and medium businesses in India in recent months. Some of the names include Tiger Global-backed online ledger app OkCredit, and Gurugram-based Chqbook which offers banking, digital ledger, and lending to small businesses.

Most of these digital ledger and online storefront apps are essentially a stripped down version of open-source e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Instamojo, and Magento, which allow businesses and independent sellers to create their own e-commerce website, with support for payments and logistics integration in the back end.

However, platforms like Shopify, and Magento require a higher-level software and Internet browsing knowledge to create and manage storefronts. With mobile apps like Khatabook, a seller can create an online storefront within in minutes on their mobile app, although it doesn’t offer a payment gateway or 3PL logistics support yet.

Ravish Naresh, co-founder and chief executive Khatabook told Mint that the startup is currently working on offering payment gateway 3PL logistics support in the coming quarters, but the business focus right now is to add more customers to MyStore.

“MyStore was in a pilot phase in the last few months, and we decided to have a new brand name which connects with the users globally. Businesses that have come online on MyStore come from diverse Indian geographies, and nearly 40% of MyStore users are also Khatabook users," Naresh added.

The rebranding of Khatabook's earlier online storefront app ‘Dukaan’ comes shortly after the startup received a legal notice last month from its competitor Growthpond Technology Pvt Ltd. which alleged that Khatabook had infringed upon its digital properties, including features, source code and logos.

After the legal notice, Khatabook claimed in a statement that it had outsourced the development of the MyStore app to Growthpond Technology Pvt Ltd, who were already consulting with Khatabook in the capacity of a digital marketing agency.

“However, post-development and on the premise of testing it, the outsourced team published the app on the Playstore, using Khatabook’s proprietary data, in what we see as a clear case of intellectual property theft," Khatabook added in statement on 18th August.

However, on October 4th, the Karnataka High Court passed a restraining order in favour of Khatabook, which restrained Growthpond Technology Pvt Ltd. from using Khatabook's trademarks and logos, following which Dukaan app (owned by Growthpond) was delisted from PlayStore. Digital news platform Entrackr first reported the development on October 4th. The report added that Karnataka HC will do a follow-up hearing on the case on November 9th.

Till date, Khatabook has raised around $85 million across multiple rounds from prominent investors including the partners of DST Global, GGV Capital, Sequoia India, Tencent, B Capital and others. In March this year, former India Cricket captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, invested an undisclosed amount in the company.

Currently Khatabook has over 10 million active merchants using its digital ledger. Industry estimates show that India currently has more than 60 million small and medium merchants mostly in the Kirana, medical stores, and paan shop category.

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