Question: How can you tell that a unicorn startup is in trouble?

Answer: When it starts conjuring up make-believe metrics to tout success/traction.

Take Hike, for example.

In August 2016, the instant messaging startup founded by Kavin Bharti Mittal raised $175 million. The funding round was led by Chinese behemoth Tencent and Taiwanese manufacturing company Foxconn at a valuation of $1.4 billion. At that time, Hike was only four years old. It was the fastest Indian startup to enter the exalted unicorn club (startups with a valuation of $1 billion or more).


Sumanth Raghavendra

Sumanth is a serial entrepreneur with more than eighteen years experience in running startups. He is currently the founder of Deck App Technologies, a Bangalore-based startup attempting to re-imagine productivity software for the Post-PC era. Sumanth’s columns appear regularly in leading publications. He holds MBA degrees from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management, USA.

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