Angel Investor Prof. Dhruv Nath introduces his latest book ‘The Earnicorns: Stories of Rare, Profitable Unicorns

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New Delhi: 10th July, 2024: Prof. Dhruv Nath, a veteran angel investor, startup mentor, and former Professor at MDI Gurgaon, has launched his latest book, “The EARNICORNS: Stories of Rare, Profitable Unicorns.” The book reveals how four Internet-based startups from India became market leaders in their respective fields. Even more significant, they reached valuations of well over a billion dollars (popularly known as unicorns), while maintaining profitability. Something that is unique in a world of loss-making unicorns, which survive purely because they keep getting funding from investors.

Prof. Dhruv Nath

Published by Penguin Random House India, this groundbreaking book introduces the concept of ‘Earnicorns’ : Unicorns that not only reach billion-dollar valuations but also generate substantial profits, providing a blueprint for sustainable success in the Internet world. As the Internet ecosystem faces increasing scrutiny over loss-making unicorns, “The EARNICORNS” offers timely insights into building truly valuable companies that defy conventional wisdom.

This compelling narrative takes readers behind the scenes of four Indian powerhouses that have redefined success in the startup world. The book profiles (Info Edge), which dominates 70% of India’s white-collar job market; Zerodha, the world’s largest brokerage by trading volumes which spent nothing on marketing; Dream11, the clear market leader in fantasy sports, led by a CEO who calls himself “Culture Enforcement Officer”; and Zoho, a company revolutionizing rural employment while competing globally in the SaaS space.

The EARNICORNS” offers a deep dive into how these companies built unique corporate cultures that retained employees and earned customers’ unwavering trust, allowing them to run frugal, profitable businesses year after year. The book explores the founders’ journeys, such as Sridhar Vembu of Zoho, who transformed rural Tamil Nadu by recruiting and training local talent; and Nithin Kamath of Zerodha, who built the world’s largest trading platform by transaction volume while charging zero brokerage fees. Additionally, it delves into Dream11’s unconventional stadium-like office, complete with a football field and Astroturf flooring, and recounts how Sanjeev Bikhchandani launched from his father’s servant quarters using second-hand computers and furniture, all while making sales calls on his father’s old scooter around Delhi.

“In a world fixated on unicorns that are constantly burning investor cash, ‘The EARNICORNS’ is a wake-up call,” says Prof. Nath. “These companies prove that profitability and hypergrowth aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s time we celebrate and learn from these leaders who dared to be different, and built profitable unicorns all the way from scratch.”

The book provides a comparative analysis of these four businesses –highlighting what is common across all four, and perhaps more important, what is different. For instance, the fact that Zerodha and Zoho never took any money from investors, whereas Dream11 took eight rounds of funding. And all the respective founders believe that this was one of the best decisions they ever took!

In short, this book will provide major insights to founders and potential founders in building successful, profitable Internet businesses. And for anyone interested in business, the fascinating stories of these four earnicorns is a must-read!

“Brilliantly written book. It clearly explains how a few Internet-based businesses bucked the trend of loss-making unicorns and made a profit,” says Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder and Executive Vice Chairman of

Saurabh Srivastava, Co-Founder and Chairman, Indian Angel Network and Co-Founder and former Chairman, NASSCOM, hailed the efforts of Prof. Nath and said, “In the world of loss-making Internet companies, here is a wonderful book which talks about those that are market leaders and profitable at the same time”

According to the publishers, Penguin Random House India, “ ‘The Earnicorns’ comes from the best-selling author of ‘Funding Your Start-up: And Other Nightmares’. It is an accepted act that Internet-based businesses are largely loss making. Dhruv Nath uncovers the secrets of four highly respected Internet giants that defy this trend.”

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