Silicon Valley startup accused of shutting out early creators

By Gabriel Neves | Sep 20, 2018

Open Foundation, which does business as Open Platform, is a cryptocurrency trading company.   Photo by David McBee from Pexels

SAN FRANCISCO –– A Florida investment company claims a blockchain startup took its software and shut the company out of its success.

Local Ventures & Investments LLC (LVI), Dustin Sinkey, Derek Waterman and Chase Smith filed a complaint on Sept. 19 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against the Open Foundation, Angud "Ken" Sangha, Appclarity Inc. and Clear Technologies Software Inc.

Open Foundation, which does business as Open Platform, is a cryptocurrency trading company headed by Sangha.

According to the complaint, Sinkey and Waterman created Open with Sangha to provide an easier platform for those paying with various types of cryptocurrency. 

Sinkey developed the platform's software, Sangha became CEO and Waterman wrote white papers to stoke interest in the company. Later, LVI provided marketing services. 

In its initial offering, Open raised approximately $23 million. 

Afterward, the plaintiffs allege Sangha  "systematically and constructively forced out plaintiffs, his fellow co-founders and the early executives of Open, and the people actually responsible for Open’s achievements.

Sinkey claims copyright infringement for the Open software. All the plaintiff seek compensatory damages, restitution, attorneys' fees, and costs and expenses.

The company is represented by Randolph Gaw of Gaw Poe LLP.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Case number 3:18-cv-05581-EDL

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