Delhi High Court Takes Swift Action Against Misuse of Venture Capital Names on Messaging Platforms

Posted On - 22 March, 2024 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva


In a recent development, the Delhi High Court issued a significant order[1] against messaging platforms WhatsApp and Telegram, directing them to suspend accounts exploiting the esteemed names of Peak XV and Sequoia Capital. The Court’s decision comes on the heels of a series of online financial scams where fraudsters utilized the identities of these reputable venture capital firms to execute fraudulent activities, leaving the unsuspecting public duped of substantial amounts.

Facts of the Case

Peak XV, formerly known as Sequoia Capital India and SEA, transformed into an independent venture capital firm investing across India and Southeast Asia after Sequoia Capital’s split in June 2023. The Court action followed separate lawsuits filed by Peak XV and Sequoia Capital on January 24th, after a series of online financial scams where scammers used the names of the venture capital firms to execute frauds and in order to dupe the public to the extent of several lakhs and crores.  

In a particularly audacious move, the perpetrators introduced an application named ‘Pak XV,’ attempting to pass-off Peak XV’s brand and trademarks. This rogue application went so far as to reproduce content from the official website to operate a fraudulent platform offering fake investment schemes. The perpetrators even went to the extent of impersonating employees of the firm to conduct webinars on stock trading tips to further deceive unsuspecting victims.

Issues Raised

The core issue at hand revolves around the misuse of trademarks and brand identity by unknown individuals. These fraudulent actors sought to exploit the standing of Peak XV and Sequoia Capital in the market to lure unsuspecting consumers into investing substantial amounts in their fraudulent schemes. By impersonating company personnel and creating misleading associations, the perpetrators aimed to give a false sense of legitimacy to their actions.

Observations Made by the Court

The Court’s observations explored the malicious tactics employed by the scammers. Notably, the court noted that the operators of groups such as “Peak XV 1026” and “Peak XV” on messaging platforms used the venture capital firm’s trademarks to draw unwitting consumers to their websites and mobile applications. The goal was to create a deceptive sense of association, enticing individuals to engage in trading and investing options that were nothing more than elaborate scams.

The Court also highlighted the audacity of the perpetrators who, by impersonating company personnel, sought to legitimize their actions further. In September 2023, Sequoia Capital was informed of a Whatsapp group named “John Analyst Group-303” presented themselves as Sequoia Capital Investors Advisors and Sequoia Capital BTC Trading Team, falsely claiming to be part of the renowned Sequoia Capital Group.


This case underlines the growing threat of online impersonation and fraud, especially within the financial sector. The scammers not only misappropriated the brand identities of reputable venture capital firms but also engaged in deceptive practices such as replicating official content and impersonating company employees. The Court’s analysis brought attention to the grave consequences of such actions, emphasizing the need for swift intervention to protect consumers and uphold the integrity of businesses.

The Order

In response to the gravity of the situation, the Delhi High Court issued an order to address the misuse of trademarks and brand identities. The Court directed WhatsApp and Telegram to suspend accounts that were found to be engaging in fraudulent activities using the names of Peak XV and Sequoia Capital. Furthermore, the platforms were instructed to provide necessary details of the involved parties to aid ongoing investigations.

Additionally, the Court directed the Electronics and Information Technology Ministry and the Telecom Department, to collaborate in ensuring that all telecom and internet service providers permanently block or remove access to telephone numbers, websites, and domain names associated with the misuse of trademarks belonging to the venture capital firms.


The Delhi High Court’s swift and decisive action in this case serves as a crucial step in safeguarding the trust of consumers in the digital landscape. By addressing the misuse of trademarks and brand identities, the Court sends a strong message that deceptive practices will not be tolerated. This case serves as a stark reminder of the challenges posed by online fraud and the need for a coordinated effort between legal authorities and technology platforms to protect individuals from falling victim to such scams. As technology continues to advance, ensuring the security and integrity of online spaces remains an ongoing imperative.

[1] CS(COMM) 109/2024