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The unseen wonders of a two-unicorn race

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21.01.2020

Cash-guzzlers. Chimera chasers. Splurgers of investor funds. A variety of epithets have been flung at Indian unicorns that run online ventures. Some analysts hesitate to call them businesses at all, unless they can credibly plot revenue and expenses on a graph extrapolated to show profits in the foreseeable future. Their rarity and celebrity mark them out, though they must be valued at no less than $1 billion to qualify as unicorns, a tag prized by all startups worth their passion and derived from a mythical one-horned horse. But, do they have a horse sense of the future that uni-sceptics cannot quite see? Clues may lie in Zomato’s latest buyout. The food delivery company has gobbled up Uber Eats’ India operations in an all-stock deal that leaves Uber with a tenth of its equity, worth a reported $350 million. It is unlikely to evoke anti-trust........

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