Will an unmasking lead to end of the Twitter handle Unicon Baba?
Answers are vague, but the startup ecosystem is abuzz with one Chennai-based startup advisor exposing real identity behind an anonymous Twitter handle. Will it lead to end of the whistleblower called Unicon Baba, everybody is asking
Call it Friday humour if you may, but the Indian startup ecosystem is refusing to let go the curiosity around the anonymous twitter handle, Unicon Baba. Who is Unicon Baba? That’s the question everyone is asking!
For the uninitiated, Unicon Baba is an anonymous Twitter handle that surfaced last year and has since been trolling Indian startups and its investors with exposes.
On Thursday, Chennai-based Vijay Anand, founder of an incubator called The Startup Centre took to social media claiming to have unmasked the notorious Twitter handler. He discovered, through a trial and error, that the handle belongs to one Rajan Gupta, Director at U2opia Mobile.
How did he come to this conclusion? Well, Anand, who also runs an email newsletter on startups, found by pure chance that Unicon Baba’s activity would surface right after he sent out the newsletter. He then segmented the subscribed email ids into different batches and started matching the time the newsletter was sent out with the time of the handle's tweets. He then compared the unmasked Gmail id attached with Unicon Baba handle with the email ids in his newsletter sender list. Rajan Gupta’s email address was a match, as claimed by Anand.
Rajan Gupta is an ex-employee of m-wallet startup Paytm and is now the Director at U2opia Mobile. According to his online profiles, he founded another startup called Zappka in 2016. We tried to contact him on Linkedin, but he did not respond till the time this article was published.Although Unicon Baba quickly responded on Twitter with the following:
— Unicon Baba (@uni_con1) May 18, 2017
Later, a new twitter handle - #IamUniconBaba @aks_hai- surfaced, which the original Unicon Baba handle re-tweeted.
Unicon Baba is not the only anonymous Twitter handle acting as whistleblowers in the startup industry. There are a few others in this category, including India’s Dark Belly, Startup Kumar, Startup Sarcasm, among others.
In an email interview, Unicon Baba told Moneycontrol he had no plans to reveal his identity anytime soon.
However, if Anand's claims are to be believed, it could mark the end of the handle.Read also: Why Unicon Baba is the topic of beer table chat in startup world