The Financial Alchemy

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

I thought of sharing an interesting insight as a continuation of one of my previous posts “Is the Party Over?”

Many of you would have seen Shark Tank India. I saw a few episodes. 

In these episodes, one of the Shark Tank India judges, Ashneer Grover was gloating about his achievements, while all the time criticizing (and even insulting) many participants. His whole media story (and personal branding) is about taking FinTech firm BharatPe’s valuation to $3 billion.

Guess what, according to a LinkedIn post written by a BharatPe employee, the company was apparently not paying the salaries of employees. The current CEO, Suhail Sameer of this FinTech firm, BharatPe writes in response to a comment to the LinkedIn post “Behen – tere bhai ne saara paisa chura liya (Sister, your brother has stolen all the money). Very little to pay salaries.” 

Seriously. A company valued at $3 billion dollars and can’t even pay salaries of people. Well, we will come to how most of these companies are valued in another post. The reality was simple for most of these start-ups. The public markets were doing well. There was a clear arbitrage between private markets and public markets. So, most VC firms had a simple mantra. Bid up the prices of these private companies to crazy levels hoping to cash out in public markets. 

We have seen this financial alchemy by FinTech’s in our industry/profession too.  PayTm is a clear example of this venture capital model.

The writing is on the wall.

Sooner or later, expect some shake ups in our space too.