Contxto – PR at Rappi has had a rough couple of days. Maintaining a positive image after laying off 300 members of its staff was probably about as fun as getting a tooth pulled. Now they’re busy working to keep the startup’s stance in a lawsuit for theft of trade secrets in a United States court.

Let the drama unfold…

Related article: Colombia’s Rappi to lay off ~300 employees, in rude awakening to new 2020 reality

Hey, that’s mine!

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are three Colombian entrepreneurs by the names of Mauricio Paba, Jose Mendoza, and Jorge Uribe. According to them, they’d come up with the core concept of a delivery application by the name of Kuiky, and had entrusted their concept to Imaginamos, a software development company in Bogotá in 2015.

Moreover, Colombian Simón Borrero was charged with this project at Imaginamos. 

Nonetheless, the accusers say that at some point in the app’s creation, Borrero delayed communication with them. And he popped up later, as the Co-founder of Rappi and its corresponding last-mile delivery app.

In light of all of this, Rappi labeled these accusations as “objectively incorrect.”

That’s PR lingo for “liar, liar pants on fire.” 

It also states that it had already been planning the release of its original app into the world before Imaginamos came into the picture. To further defend itself, the Softbank-backed startup said it had already trademarked its brand with the Colombian authorities in 2014 and had even reserved its internet domain name.

Related article: Uber strikes back. Colombia’s ban of the ride-hailing app to be appealed

How the mighty have fallen

These last two weeks have just been strife after strife for some high-growth startups in Latin America. Uber left Colombia and e-scooter startup Lime withdrew from five locations in Latam. 

And it’s been a double-whammy for Rappi, that fired staff less than a week ago.

Now, this lawsuit has been added to the list.

And the thing is, the year’s just beginning. 

Wanna hear more? We recommend you listen to the following podcast episode: Lo que debes de considerar cuando se trata de “Big data” y la demanda de Rappi. You can find the time stamp available in the description.