These are - to put it casually - companies who claim to be disruptive, they spice up their business with New Tech, but on closer inspection this self-presentation proves to be a labeling fraud.

Casper is a mattress retailer based in Manhattan; at the beginning of 2019 it had achieved the valuation of a Unicorn (namely $1.0 billion). And to dispel doubts about the disruptive nature of the company, the co-founder Neil Parikh declared in 2016: "We see ourselves primarily as a tech company." Nevertheless Casper has since lost its Unicorn status, the company went public in early 2020, and its valuation was halved. For the investors on the stock exchange, the company was not a high-tech company, but a mattress trader.

For further reading: Business Models in the Digital Economy: From Fake Tech to Highly Scalable


The author is a manager in the software industry with international expertise: Authorized officer at one of the large consulting firms - Responsible for setting up an IT development center at the Bangalore offshore location - Director M&A at a software company in Berlin.