DealMaker, a tech-enabled capital raising platform, has sued Issuance – another firm engaged in raising capital for private firms, in the US District Court, Central District of California. DealMaker is based in Canada but has several offices in the US.
According to the complaint, Issuance CEO and co-founder Darren Marble approached DealMaker about a strategic collaboration in 2022. At that time, DealMaker claims that Marble proposed that DealMaker could supply the technology for the back-end investment processing for Issuance.
Concurrently, Marble was the CEO of Crush Capital, Inc., creator of the Going Public webcast series. DealMaker was supposedly going to provide the technology to “support a high volume of Going Public investors,” as claimed in the document.
The allegations are convoluted by, in brief, DealMaker’s claims that Marble represented himself and Issuance as pursuing a strategic collaboration to conduct offerings. As well, it is alleged that Crush Capital intended to utilize Dealmaker technology for its own funding round while entering an enterprise contract.
Subsequently, an agreement was signed to raise capital for a separate company controlled by Marble called Pieta LLC (DBA BlueChipart.com). DealMaker then provided access to the defendants to “explore how the Crush Capital Offering and a broader potential enterprise relationship with DealMaker would work.”
In July 2022, the Pieta offering was launched. On November 4, 2022, Marble terminated the agreement and apparently closed the Pieta raise. DealMaker claims that not a single subscriber funded or confirmed an investment during the period from July to November 4th.
On November 30, 2022, Marble announced the release of a new product Issuance Express, which aims to compete directly with DealMaker.
DealMaker asserts that functionalities built into the Issuance platform are “predicated on and copied from DealMaker’s own platform.”
The complaint further alleges that Issuance now offers nearly identical prices designed to undercut DealMaker.
The complaint alleges several counts against Marble, claiming, among other things, fraudulent inducement.
A spokesperson from DealMaker has issued the following statement:
“Recently, DealMaker found out that Darren Marble and Issuance were fraudulently accessing the DealMaker software under false pretenses. In doing so, they gained access to DealMaker’s confidential information, Intellectual Property, and trade secrets. DealMaker’s IP is the result of thousands of hours of hard work, innovation, and collaboration with its partners and customers. We will never stand idly by while our proprietary information is copied or misused. Accordingly, DealMaker has filed a Complaint in California federal court describing the distressing actions of the defendants Darren Marble and Issuance.”
CI has attempted to reach Issuance for comment.