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.