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Startups have flagged their grievances regarding angel tax provision, which they considered was not friendly to them. Photo: iStockphoto
Startups have flagged their grievances regarding angel tax provision, which they considered was not friendly to them. Photo: iStockphoto

Share the wealth

PE firms, angel investors must be rewarded for their role in our startup ecosystem. For their next stage of growth, though, successful startups should look at using public money. This would diversify their funding sources, open their books to wider scrutiny, and let their wealth creation be shared widely

The Indian Tech Unicorn Report 2020 put out by Orios Venture Partners shines a light on the value created by our tech firms. It says that 44 Indian tech unicorns, including InMobi, MakeMyTrip, Paytm and Byjus, had generated over 1.4 million jobs and achieved a combined value of $106 billion by end-2020.

These numbers are indeed impressive, and the founders, investors and sweat equity-endowed employees of Indian unicorns deserve their gains as valuations rise. Private equity firms and angel investors must be rewarded for their role in our startup ecosystem. For their next stage of growth, though, successful startups should look at using public money. This would diversify their funding sources, open their books to wider scrutiny, and let their wealth creation be shared widely. Some already have public offers of equity lined up. For those daunted by the rigmarole of a direct listing, riding special-purpose acquisition vehicles (SPACs) could be a complexity-easing option if policymakers tweak our taxation policy and other rules in the idea’s favour. SPACs are now a Silicon Valley favourite. Even here, SPACs would help ordinary folks share the success of unicorns.

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