Start-up stories that VCs and Private Equity players never share with their potential partners – One such ugly true story – Episode 1

It all started in July 2021. One of my investment advisors introduced me to a website and android application called #Bitdroplet #Bitbbns if I wished to systematically invest in crypto and commodities like gold and silver. My advisor also told me that the applications are from a Bangalore-based Buyhatke Internet Private Limited, a startup founded by @Gauravdahake (Gaurav Mahukar Dahake) @atiprashant Prashant Kumar Singh and @sriksm19 Srikanth Sethumadhavan in 2015. (@ are their respective public Twitter handles).

I did some research. Bitdroplet offered a Systematic Purchase Plan (SPP) platform for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Gold, and Silver. One can invest even a small amount of Rs 100 daily, weekly, or monthly in any of these four or all assets.

I also noticed that Directors of the company have released many online advertisements over social media platforms and given interviews in prestigious publications, including @LiveMint promising better returns at lesser risks due to dollar-cost averaging and was even a news sponsor on @NDTV. The idea of experimenting with this platform appealed to me.

It was very clear from the beginning that;

  • Potential investors can choose an asset or assets and decide the investment amount and frequency of investments (daily, weekly or monthly)
  • Investors transfer money from their bank accounts to the Buyhatke bank account.
  • Bitdroplet shall purchase the asset at prices prevailing in the market on the day as per the frequency configured by the investor.
  • Based on market volatility, returns from money invested in these assets could go up and down.
  • And those returns and the remaining balance from the total money transferred by the investor in the buyhatke account shall remain safe and be reflected in an Investor’s ledger.
  • Finally, investors can stop investment and withdraw accrued returns, plus or minus, from their Bitdroplet account.

I was impressed with the concept of systematic investments with small amounts and decided to give it a spin to cut the story short.

I opened an account at Bitdroplet on 27 July 2021 to initiate a Rs 500/- daily investment in all four listed assets: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Gold, and Silver.

Rather than expecting astronomical returns from these small-ticket investments, my main interest was to treat this investment to get first-hand information and analytics on the price movement of these four assets during the present uncertain market scenario.

My daily investments of Rs 500/- in all four assets continued largely uninterrupted until April 2022.

On 3 May 2022, I noticed that on my total investment of Rs 4.42 Lakh so far, cumulative returns had a profit of 0.17%, which is just Rs 750/-. Let’s call it a breakeven point.

That day I decided that it was about time I ended this experiment. I immediately sold both Bitcoin and Ethereum, showing a severe loss. Lucky for me gold and silver were my absolute savior. It was clear that if I sold gold and silver, I’d be breaking even – no profit – no loss other than my time investment in this experiment.

But was I lucky? Read on to know how the story unfolds.

On 4 May 2022, I redeemed both Gold and Silver investments for Rs INR 242670. The Bitdroplet website faithfully reported “successfully redeemed, and the amount will be reflected in your INR account” for both of these assets. The redeemed amount was not reflected in my INR wallet. I waited for a few more days. But nothing was still there in my INR account that I could transfer back to my bank account.

I promptly raised a ticket at Bitdroplet / Bitbns website, attaching the screenshots for successful redemption on both assets and exchanging emails with the company’s support team. Nothing came out. In fact, from 14 May 2022 onwards, the support department completely went silent and stopped responding.

Meanwhile, the Bitdroplet website continued to show Rs INR 242670 as my invested amount. This invested amount grew to INR 243270 on 23 May 2022 because of the favorable price movement in Gold and Silver. But more bad stuff was still waiting to happen.

To my utter shock and surprise 24 May 2022 onwards, nothing on my gold and silver investments or redemption history remained visible on the Bitdroplet application. INR 242670 vanished in cyberspace.

Was it a fraud or a rip-off? Or another “Zillingo” waiting to be exposed. I decided to investigate further.

I contacted one of the Bitbns Directors, @Gaurav Dahake, over LinkedIn on 23 May 2022. Once I replied to Gaurav expressing my shock at his firm’s inability to resolve customers’ redemption issues, he also stopped responding. Gaurav did respond promptly, but to my utter shock and dismay, he put all the blame for the mess on another startup called # Oropocket.

After more than a month of this incident, I have not heard from the founder or his support team that my invested money will be returned to me by a particular date. The story doesn’t end here.

I finally reached out to Oropocket cofounders @TheMohitMadan and @TarushaM over Twitter to hear their side of this messy story. I shared Gaurav’s LinkedIn conversation with them over Twitter. In that conversation, the Bitdroplet founder blamed Oropocket for my issue. Both Orpocket founders never responded after that.


Rather than remaining in contented ignorance with the “blue pill,” like Neo from the movie “The Matrix,” I am choosing to swallow the “red pill” to undergo a potentially unsettling life-changing mission to expose such startups. These companies don’t have robust systems, processes, and technologies to resolve their customers’ issues quickly. And are managed by people who seem to rate pretty low on customer relations, governance, and compliance. Such startups and their managers can only give the Indian startup story a bad name.

I have decided now to become a vigilante and fight through all possible legal and quasi-legal means to recover my money and educate unsuspecting people like me who fall for investing through or in such startups.

Please comment on what you would have done if you also had your “skin in the game” (Rs 4.5 Lakh) in this game called #Bitdroplet #Bitbns.