Stake sale for philanthropy, block deal buzz, more cement M&As, accounting illusions, and more

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The startup ecosystem went abuzz recently after a leading edtech reported its finances. Investors, entrepreneurs and experts picked it apart for trying to book subscription revenues of subsequent years at one go, among other things. But a certain unicorn founder refused to express any measure of surprise or shock at what had transpired. “It is an age-old trick in accounting,” he said. And then slipped in an interesting anecdote about a fellow celebrity entrepreneur (yes, we have those now!) who sold his company in a big-bang exit despite similar revenue recognition practices. “He used to book future revenues in a year and amortise the associated costs over the years.” So what? Well, he runs another venture now that has already attracted many millions of dollars in funding. But we are not casting any aspersions. People change with time.

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