Unicorns pitch ‘club’ to Goyal

MUMBAI: A clutch of unicorn startups in a meeting with commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday discussed the possibility of establishing a unicorn club or simply put, an association of startups which would regularly engage with the minister’s office and suggest measures to boost the growth of the ecosystem.
Startups also urged the minister to look at the possibility of easing the esop (employee stock ownership plan) taxation framework, founders who attended the meeting said.Representatives of 40-50 unicorn startups including Zerodha, Zepto, Oyo, CarDekho, Paytm, and Flipkart were in attendance.
The meeting which comes against the background of a tepid funding environment also saw deliberations around the need to expand availability of domestic capital for supporting startups. The minister, it is learnt, suggested unicorn startups to consider possibilities of setting up a fund which could be used to financially back fledgling startups. “At present, a lot of startup founders invest in young startups in individual capacities. The idea is to look at ways by which they could instead contribute to the fund and help other smaller players,” said Rikant Pitti, co-founder at EaseMyTrip. “Several small startups today struggle to get funding from banks,” he said.

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