Multinational non-bank lender Pepper has accused the new entrant of breaching its trademark, less than two months after Pickle Money launched to the public.
In September, property industry veteran Peter Wyszenko and mortgage and commercial broker Ruben Makken officially launched Sydney-based boutique lender Pickle Money, after raising over $50 million through institutional and private investors.
Pickle Money is a spin-off of property research advisory group Smarter Tenant, which was established to assist first home buyers and investors in purchasing distressed income-producing assets.
The new entrant has a funding pipeline of more than $150 million, which it will use to offer loans that range from $50,000 for small businesses and start-ups to over $50 million for larger projects.
According to Mr Wyszenko, the decision to launch Pickle Money was motivated by the directors’ experience dealing with property developers and contractors who had struggled to get their invoices paid or projects off the ground or completed as a result of difficulties securing finance.
“While Smarter Tenant was achieving success, I would often say to Ruben: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could get those developers and contractors out of a pickle?’” Mr Wyszenko said.
“That was the inspiration behind Pickle Money, and we have worked tirelessly to secure institutional and private investment in this new business.”
However, since launching in September, Pickle Money has been approached by multinational non-bank lender Pepper Money’s solicitors, who are accusing the new entrant of trademark infringement.
Pepper has confirmed that it has approached Pickle Money, but told The Adviser that it is unwilling to provide further details at this stage.
“[We] cannot comment as this matter is with our lawyers,” a Pepper spokesperson said.
“Regardless, Pepper Money takes its longstanding brand and reputation seriously, and seeks to protect its logo and trademarks both in Australia and around the world.”
The Adviser understands that both parties intend on resolving the dispute outside of court. However, Pickle Money is prepared to defend its right to use its brand if Pepper decides to litigate.
[Related: Brokers the ‘priority’ for new lender]