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Why did so many tech IPOs flop?

The Indian-American entrepreneur, angel investor, and founding member of TiE holds private market investors responsible for the decline in the values of tech stocks.

Why did so many tech IPOs flop?

Thursday December 15, 2022 , 5 min Read


Turns out there are limitations to Elon Musk’s love for free speech.

Did you know @elonjet, a Twitter account run by Florida college student Jack Sweeney, used to track the billionaire’s private jet? Sweeney had amassed over half a million followers by tracking the plane’s location using publicly available flight data. 

But that’s over. Only days after Sweeney accused Twitter of shadowbanning the account, it has now been permanently suspended. Funnily, Musk had tweeted last month that he wouldn’t ban @elonjet despite the “direct personal safety risk” due to his “commitment to free speech”. 

Meanwhile, edtech unicorn Unacademy wants to take on LinkedIn with its new product, NextLevel. Co-founder and CEO Gaurav Munjal took to Twitter to announce that the platform will launch next week. NextLevel will help users “unlock” new job opportunities, without considering which college they attended “or if you even went to one”, he added. 

Lastly, check out the weirdest Guinness World Records achieved this year. One person actually set the record for “longest journey by pumpkin boat (paddling)”. Duane Hansen, 60, climbed into a hollowed-out pumpkin and paddled it for 37.5 miles.

And that’s not even the oddest one on the list.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Why did so many tech IPOs flop?
  • An EV solution for ecommerce
  • What’s next on Pebble’s watch?

Here’s your trivia for today: Which company’s corporate headquarters is nicknamed ‘the spaceship’?


Why did so many tech IPOs flop?

Inflated valuations by private markets are to blame for the decline in newly-listed technology blocks, according to technology entrepreneur Kanwal Rekhi. The founding member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) and Co-founder of Inventus Capital Partners emphasised the need to build robust and profitable companies on the sidelines of TiE Global Summit 2022.

Personal take:

  • Kanwal said that investors, including the likes of SoftBank and Tiger Global, were responsible for the inflated valuations.
  • He said startups in India don't have to worry about the funding winter, however, the ecosystem needs to brace for more corrections.
  • Kanwal has committed to invest Rs 20 crore to seed the Kanwal Rekhi Rural Entrepreneurship and Startup Centre in Telangana.
Kanwal Rekhi

Kanwal Rekhi


An EV solution for ecommerce

Two-wheeler electric vehicles (EVs) are the future of ecommerce, and Zen Mobility has come up with a solution to optimise deliveries and help companies save money. Enter Micro Pod—a cross between a two-wheeler and a three-wheeler auto truck that can carry three times more cargo than an average two-wheeler.

Optimised mobility:

  • Micro Pod can run for 100 kilometres on a single charge, and costs around Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh.
  • Zen Mobility has invested around $2 million in its development and launch. It is running pilots with companies like Amazon, Bigbasket, and Flipkart.
  • The next iteration of the Micro Pod would be made out of carbon fibre, which will be able to withstand speed bumps and degrade slowly as compared to a standard metal frame.
Zen Mobility


What’s next on Pebble’s watch?

Lifestyle accessories brand Pebble started nine years ago with a range of chargers and power banks and grew to over 100 SKUs. But co-founder Komal Agarwal is now eyeing the smart wearables space with a vision to take the lead in the Indian market with smart glasses and rings, and home audio.

Growth markers:

  • Pebble saw 150% growth in 2022 and expects to see this momentum continue into 2023.
  • The brand saw almost 6X its expected demand over Diwali and Dussehra.
  • Komal says the biggest driver for the company has been product differentiation—be in terms of quality of technological innovation.
Smart rings, glasses next on Pebble’s watch

News & updates

  • Bumpy roads: Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao warned his colleagues to expect tough months ahead and said the firm will overcome current challenges as the crypto billionaire tries to assuage concerns about the company’s financial health.
  • Drought: Funds raised by companies listing in London plunged by more than 90% this year, according to new research. Analysts said the market had cooled due to weak economic growth forecasts, rising interest rates and wariness around the performance of British firms.
  • Silver lining: An analysis of laid-off workers conducted by Revelio Labs revealed that 72% of tech workers fired this year have found new jobs within three months. Even more surprising, a little over half of them have landed roles that actually pay more than what they were earning in the jobs they lost.

Which company’s corporate headquarters is nicknamed ‘the spaceship’?

Answer: Apple. Located in Cupertino, California, the building has a circular groundscraper design and is also referred to as “The Ring”. 

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