Most startups live by the mantra "move fast and break things."

This manifests itself not only in terms of innovation or technology, but also in terms of scale and revenue growth.

However, as the product and company mature, this 'aggression' streak can lead to flaws in culture, people management, and even the business model itself.


It's one of the reasons why companies like BharatPe, Zilingo, Bikayi, Pristyn Care, and others have recently made headlines.

We will investigate the dark side of startups' pressure to grow and scale quickly, which has resulted in problematic sales tactics and mis-selling.

 Is this a symptom of many business models' lack of profits and unsound unit economics?


We will look to reply that, but here first look at the top stories:

      1.The Downfall Of Vauld: What is the destiny that lies in wait for the Coinbase-backed crypto lending platform after it stopped operations in July.

  1. Ola-Uber Merger? After reports of a merger, Ola and Uber have separately rejected that the companies are in talks to team up
  2. Edtech Battle Escalates: Coaching major players are looking to contact the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and against edtech’s expansion tactics.

Two stories have reignited the debate over many startups' brutal sales cultures and how employees are frequently forced to cut corners due to commissions, incentives, and target pressure.

 First, we saw some salespeople at Sequoia and YC-backed Bikayi try to game the incentive structure by signing up low-quality users throughout 2020 and 2021.

 As a result, Bikayi's core SMB-focused retail tech business is suffering from a revenue slowdown and has been forced to fire several of these sellers.

 Bikayi is at a crossroads because of the push to bring in as many customers as possible without conducting a thorough assessment of their paying capacity.

 The Morning Context  looked into the alleged sales tactics and underhanded methods used by Pristyn Care to sell its surgery packages.

 The company's salesforce allegedly used fear tactics to coerce prospective customers into purchasing these packages, mischaracterizing the extent of any health issues.

 Even before this, the aggressive sales culture at BYJU's and WhiteHat Jr. was highlighted, with the edtech behemoth accused of selling courses to parents without informing them about how monthly payments worked.


The fact remains that Indian startups definitely have a sales problem.


One could argue that the desire for quick growth has compelled these startups and others to make compromises in order to demonstrate their product-market fit or demonstrate the scale that attracts venture capital funding.

In a hurry to attract business in the past season, startups have taken every other step in the book — even unpleasant ones — to show expansion and scale.

But the truth is that some models involve a continuous stream of sales — this is especially true for models that are looking to interrupt long-tail, tech-shy segments.

Following the founders' controversies, allegations of sales malpractice were made against both Sequoia-backed businesses.

Since these B2B clients typically don't have high purchasing power because they don't want to jeopardise their margins, the startups chose to grow quickly to participate in the high volume market.

Without prompt financial reporting, there is no transparency regarding these sales practices or revenue recognition, which is another significant issue.

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