Top Hat Monocle Poaches Groupon's Salespeople, Groupon Fires Off Legal Warning

by Knowlton Thomas | Startups

Toronto-based startup Top Hat Monocle just raised $8 million.

Part of that money is going toward a hiring binge that others aren't too happy with.

Instead of taking resumes the old fashioned way, Top Hat's strategy seems to involve picking tasty apples from the Groupon orchard. Aggressively enough, in fact, to draw a legal warning from Groupon's lawyer: "We have reason to believe that Top Hat has improperly solicited Groupon employees and that's what precipitated this letter," a formal note to Top Hat reads.

Top Hat confirmed with Business Insider that the startup has indeed hired five ex-Groupon employees. The company says Groupon has a good training program, which makes them ideal poaching targets, but insists they just used LinkedIn to seek candidates.

And while Groupon's biggest gripe is with the allegation that Top Hot used former Groupon employee's information to solicit more to come work there, Top hat affirms it hired the Grouponers by deliberately not having them talk with any of their existing former Groupon employees. In short, Groupon is feeling naturally defensive, but doesn't really have a leg to stand on—nothing illegal is going on, and even if it were, it would be extremely difficult to prove in a legal battle.

Groupon's Letter to Top Hat Monocle

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Launched in November 2008, Groupon features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in a variety of cities across the United States. We have about 200 wonderful people working in our Chicago office (a handful of whom you can see to your right), along with a smattering of people in Groupon's other cities. Our company philosophy is pretty simple: we treat our customers the way we... more

Top Hat
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Top Hat helps make every lecture count by transforming students' mobile devices into powerful tools for active learning. Using Top Hat, professors can ask questions, moderate discussions, host tournaments and more to help professors teach and students learn more effectively. Top Hat is used in over 400 universities around the world, including Harvard, Stanford & the University of Waterloo. more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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