Ottawa phone startup's fundraising bid dropped over copycat allegations

An Ottawa-based mobile phone company's crowdfunding efforts were shut down Tuesday morning amid allegations the phone they were offering was a copy of an existing model.

Crowdfunding site shut down campaign amid allegations Ottawa company's phone was copy of Chinese model

An Ottawa-based company's attempt at crowdfunding to mass produce a mobile phone was abruptly ended Tuesday. (Twitter/@frankisaphone)

An Ottawa-based mobile phone company's crowdfunding efforts were shut down Tuesday morning amid allegations the phone they were offering was a copy of an existing model.

Moe Omer, the co-founder of mobile phone company frank., told CBC News that Indiegogo contacted him saying several members of the public had contacted them, reporting his phone was a copy of a phone already manufactured in China.

Omer said he explained that the phone's pre-made mould already existed on an online marketplace called Alibaba, but they were making custom improvements and that their edge is that by making a bulk order, they can lower the price. 

Indiegogo promised to follow up, Omer said.

"Then we were shut down without notice," he said.

A yellow banner tops the web page now, reading "This campaign has been closed by Trust and Safety due to a violation of our Terms of Use."

Omer's access to the page has also been revoked, and the donation portal has been closed, but he said he is trying to get in touch with Indiegogo moderators.