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Investor drives Deskwanted into insolvency - Criminal filed

Immobilienscout drove its first funded start-up, Deskwanted, intentionally into bankruptcy. Immobilienscout is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, which is known as T-Mobile in many countries.

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Deskwanted requested to open a series of insolvency proceedings. Since January, the company's investor has refused to provide payment from the budget that was previously agreed upon. Instead, they have continuously tried to bring Deskwanted into debt. The investor is Immobilien Scout, Germany’s #1 real estate portal and a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, also known as T-Mobile in many other countries. After the missing payments had been called for, Immobilien Scout cancelled the contract without notice. In addition, they refused to hand over a part of Deskwanted belongings. For these reasons, Deskwanted has recently filed a criminal complaint against the CEOs of Immobilien Scout GmbH.

The Berlin-based start-up Deskwanted is insolvent, due to the fact that their previous investor, Immobilien Scout, refused to follow through with the contract, thus refusing to make payments. The contract was cancelled within a day. The platform for coworking spaces and shared offices was the first start-up who joint the incubator supported by Immobilien Scout, You Is Now

In October 2012, the agreement with Immobilien Scout was extended. However, since January 2013, the payments which were promised, are now being withheld. So far, only a portion of it was given to Deskwanted, thus the company has slipped into debt, and their safety net was no longer availiable.

Immobilien Scout currently owes Deskwanted a six-figure sum, and without payment Deskwanted will no longer be able to meet its payment obligations. 

The financial shortages have threatened the existence of Deskwanted and its team. It seems that Immobilien Scout had hoped to maintain contral over the management of Deskwanted. The outstanding amount of money owed, in combination with the threat of insolvency, resulted in a conflict between Immobilien Scout GmbH and the management of Deskwanted. 

Ban and dismissal

In April 2013, Immobilien Scout GmbH commissioned the CEO of Deskwanted to be banned, after he wrote a dunning letter of the outstanding amounts. The ban was based on false allegations that would knowingly harm the manager. 

A few days later, Immobilienscout cancelled the contract with Deskwanted without notice. Within a few hours, the Berlin-based startup had to leave Immobilien Scout, without being given the chance to organize their move to a new location. The termination itself was unlawful, due to the fact that there were previously no warnings issued from the German Telekom subsidiary. However, Joel Dullroy, the other co-founder of Deskwanted, confirmed the cancellation, fired all employees, left many freelancers without money, resigned as second CEO of Deskwanted and continued working with the company who drove his own start-up into insolvency.

Misappropriation of property of Deskwanted GmbH

Immobilien Scout also refused to hand over the left-over belongings. Because of the outstanding payments and the embezzlement, Deskwanted filed a criminal complaint against the CEOs of Immobilien Scout, Marc Stilke and Dirk Hoffmann.

Last week, Immobilien Scout agreed for the first time to an unconditional surrender because Deskwanted GmbH filed for bankruptcy and could no longer support themselves, their assets, or their employees. Yet, a return does not undo the fact that a portion of Deskwanted's property continues to be withheld.

While they were still being funded, Deskwanted met many employees of Immobilien Scout assisted in the development of the coworking platform. Deskwanted wants to express its heartfelt thanks for their support. With the criminal complaint, Deskwanted hopes to give them better management and also for the start-up movement to become free from dubious funding models.

Update: Immobilien Scout cancelled the contract a second time due to the insolvency of Deskwanted, which was caused by Immobilien Scout itself.

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