For the past year or so, the startup ecosystem’s equivalent of ‘Why Kattappa killed Baahubali?’(characters in the Indian movie series Baahubali) has been ‘Who is Unicon Baba?’
Early last year, an anonymous handle appeared on micro-blogging platform Twitter, which called itself Unicon Baba—a play on the word unicorn, which in startup parlance means a firm valued at more than $1 billion.
This handle revealed interesting insider rumours, scoops and criticisms on the venture capital and startup scene in the country, from time to time.
Now, one of the victims of his not-so-pleasing trolling activity, Vijay Anand, founder and chief executive of Chennai-based accelerator The Startup Centre claims that he has found out the real identity of Unicon Baba.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Anand claimed that Rajan Gupta, a former employee at e-wallet firm Paytm is Unicon Baba. According to his LinkedIn profile, Gupta is currently the director of U2opia Mobile, a mobile technology company.
VCCircle has not been able to independently verify the claim made by Anand. However, Gupta has denied the claims made by Anand. He explains that the email recovery option for firstname.lastname@example.org does show as email@example.com, which is his email ID, but that does not mean he is Unicon Baba. “I seriously believe that there is a gross misunderstanding and display of gross irresponsible behaviour from Vijay Anand, if he is assuming that anyone with the firstname.lastname@example.org id in his database is Unicon Baba. I leave it to your judgement. I wish UB will come up with clarifications soon. It is seriously affecting my professional and personal relationships,” Gupta said in response to email queries from VCCircle.
Email queries sent by VCCircle to Unicon Baba did not elicit a response at the time of publishing this report.
Meanwhile, Unicon Baba has dismissed Anand’s claims.
“What is confirmed, however, is that the account linked to the email id and the main email address belong to and was operated by Rajan Gupta who is a director in (but not mentioned on the website or RoC) of U2opia Mobile,” Anand told VCCircle in an email response.
According to Gupta’s LinkedIn profile, he founded a startup called Zappka in August 2016, which is a mobile-based platform that allows users to discover, review and share apps. The startup had raised $100,000 (Rs 67.1 lakh) in angel funding in March last year. Gupta has more than12 years of experience in mobile and web products.
Interestingly, Unicon Baba has reportedly changed his personal email id linked to the account.
Besides Unicon Baba, other anonymous troll accounts focused on the Indian startup ecosystem have emerged on Twitter, including Corporate Kumar, Startup Kumar, India’s Dark Belly and so on.
This article has been updated to include Rajan Gupta’s response.
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