Darwin Platform, aka Darwin Group, operates in the “we do everything” MLM niche.

The company operates out of India and has three known website addresses:

  1. dprl.in – registered in 2020, private registration last updated on February 15th, 2023;
  2. darw1n.in – registered in August 2021, private registration last updated on February 15th, 2023; and
  3. darwinpgc.com – registered in April 2010, domain owned by “Darwin” in Mumbai and last updated on October 11th, 2022

Supposedly heading up Darwin Platform is Ajay Harinath Singh:

Oddly enough however, Singh is nowhere to be found on corporate information provided on Darwin Platform’s website.

As per Darwin Platform’s provided “company profile”, the company is run by Directors Parveen Kumar, Kamal Bhargava, Jagdish Prasad and Morris Kinny.

Unfortunately researching Darwin Platform reveals a ton of misleading curated marketing nonsense.

Meanwhile in reality, back in March India’s Enforcement Directorate led raids connected to Darwin Platform.

In late-March, the enforcement directorate (ED) descended upon Darwin Platform group, conducting raids across nine locations in Delhi, Mumbai and Goa seizing cash worth around Rs78 lakh, incriminating documents and foreign currency of Rs2 lakh from the residence of Ajay Harinath Singh and his associates.

The ED alleges transfer of nearly Rs18 crore through layered transactions involving multiple accounts linked to the Darwin group and personal accounts of the Singh family and associates.

The Darwin group also stands accused of being the primary beneficiary of funds routed through Dlehman Rea-IT Trade Pvt Ltd, adding weight to the money laundering charge.

Additional reporting from Money Life details Darwin Platform fraud complaints dating back to 2020.

Going back even further, Darwin Platform attempts to get into insurance back in 2011 prompted a fraud warning from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.

Money Life claims it reached out to Singh for comment on its research but never heard back.

Read on for a full review of Darwin Platform’s MLM opportunity.

Darwin Platform’s Products

Darwin Platform has no retailable products or services.

Affiliates are only able to market Darwin Platform affiliate membership itself.

Darwin Platform’s Compensation Plan

Darwin Platform affiliates sign up and purchase a “unit” engine oil each month for Rs. 11,800 (~$141 USD).

Commissions are paid when they recruit others who do the same.

Darwin Platform Affiliate Ranks

There are eleven affiliate ranks within Darwin Platform’s compensation plan.

Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:

  1. Star – sell 100 units of engine oil
  2. Silver – sell 400 units of engine oil
  3. Gold – sell 1000 units of engine oil
  4. Ruby – sell 2500 units of engine oil
  5. Pearl – sell 5000 units of engine oil
  6. Emerald – sell 10,000 units of engine oil
  7. Platinum – sell 30,000 units of engine oil
  8. Diamond – sell 60,000 units of engine oil
  9. Crown Diamond – sell 100,000 units of engine oil
  10. Black Diamond – sell 200,000 units of engine oil
  11. Ambassador – sell 500,000 units of engine oil

Although not explicitly specified, the way Darwin Platform’s compensation plan is presented suggests required unit sales are tracked across a binary team.

A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a binary team, split into two sides (left and right):

The first level of the binary team houses two positions. The second level of the binary team is generated by splitting these first two positions into another two positions each (4 positions).

Subsequent levels of the binary team are generated as required, with each new level housing twice as many positions as the previous level.

Positions in the binary team are filled via direct and indirect recruitment of affiliates. Note there is no limit to how deep a binary team can grow.

Requires engine oil unit sales are split between both sides of the binary team. E.g. to qualify at Diamond, 30,000 units must be sold on both the left and right sides of the binary team.

Referral Commissions

Darwin Platform pays referral commissions via a unilevel compensation structure.

A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):

If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.

If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.

Darwin Platform caps payable unilevel team levels at thirty-one.

Referral commissions are paid as a percentage of engine oil units sold across these thirty-one levels as follows:

  • level 1 (personally recruited affiliates) – up to 12%
  • level 2 (must recruit two affiliates to unlock) – up to 6%
  • level 3 – up to 3%
  • level 4 – up to 2%
  • level 5 – up to 1%
  • levels 6 to 9 (must recruit three affiliates to unlock) – up to 1%
  • levels 10 to 14 (must recruit four affiliates to unlock) – up to 1%
  • levels 15 to 20 (must recruit five affiliates to unlock) – up to 1%
  • levels 21 to 30 (must recruit six affiliates to unlock) – up to 1%
  • level 31 (must recruit seven affiliates to unlock) – up to 1%

Recruited affiliates must have purchased and continue to purchase units of engine oil to count towards rank qualification.

If you’re wondering what’s up with the “up to” referral commission rates, Darwin Platform claims they’re “based on arithmetic propositions and probability”.

No further information is provided and yeah, I don’t know what that means either.

Rank Achievement Bonus

Darwin Platform rewards affiliates for qualifying at Star and higher with the following one-time Rank Achievement Bonuses:

  • qualify at Star and receive Rs. 15,000
  • qualify at Silver and receive Rs. 45,000
  • qualify at Gold and receive Rs. 90,000
  • qualify at Ruby and receive Rs. 180,000
  • qualify at Pearl and receive Rs. 300,000
  • qualify at Emerald and receive Rs. 500,000
  • qualify at Platinum and receive Rs. 1,000,000
  • qualify at Diamond and receive Rs. 1,500,000
  • qualify at Crown Diamond and receive Rs. 2,000,000
  • qualify at Black Diamond and receive Rs. 5,000,000
  • qualify at Ambassador and receive Rs. 10,000,000

Joining Darwin Platform

Darwin Platform affiliate membership appears to be tied to the purchase of an engine oil “unit” for Rs. 11,800.

Darwin Platform Conclusion

Darwin’s MLM opportunity is simple. Built around that however is representations that Darwin Platform is involved in over a dozen industries.

I wasn’t able to verify Darwin Platform having substantial business operations outside of its MLM opportunity.

What I can verify is Darwin Platform operates as a pyramid scheme.

Darwin Platform affiliates sign up and purchase units of engine oil. The only way to make money is to recruit other affiliates who do the same.

This, coupled with Darwin Platform failing to market or sell anything to retail customers, is what makes it a pyramid scheme.

In fact Darwin Platform’s “4 stroke premium engine oil” is so irrelevant to its MLM opportunity, they don’t even bother providing specific product details.

Seemingly in an attempt to distance itself from what it is, Darwin Platform provides a “differences between direct selling and Ponzi pyramid schemes” document on its website.

In the document Darwin Platform attempts to differentiate direct selling from a pyramid scheme.

Direct Selling” means marketing, distribution and sale of goods or providing of services as a part of network of Direct Selling, other than under a pyramid scheme, to the consumers, generally in their houses or at their workplace or through explanation and demonstration of such goods and services at a particular place.

A Pyramid Scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products. As recruiting multiplies, recruiting becomes quickly impossible, and most members are unable to profit; as such, pyramid schemes are unsustainable and often illegal.

Such narrow definitions make no allowance for product-based pyramid schemes, which is what Darwin Platform falls under.

As with all MLM pyramid schemes, once affiliate recruitment dries up so too will commissions.

This will see those at the bottom of Darwin Platform’s pyramid scheme stop buying engine oil units.

This in turn means those above them will stop getting paid. Unless new victims are found they too will also eventually stop buying engine oil units.

Once enough Darwin Platform affiliates stop buying engine oil units, an irreversible collapse is triggered.

Seeing as Darwin Platform has been around since at least 2010 and at one time was trying to get into insurance, it appears the scheme has evolved through several product iterations.

Regardless of products and/or services bundled with a pyramid scheme though, math guarantees that when they collapse the majority of participants lose money.

One final note, while I don’t have a follow up on the ED’s raids it appears, through multiple shell companies, that Darwin Platform might be part of a wider money laundering outfit.

That could explain the whacky marketing spam around Ajay Singh, as Darwin Platform’s MLM opportunity alone seems too simple to go to the effort.

As of May 2024, SimilarWeb tracked only a few thousand visits across Darwin Platform’s known websites. That’s not sustainable for an MLM pyramid scheme.

Unless new victims are found, between declining recruitment and pending further action from Indian authorities, Darwin Platform is probably on the way out.