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This is the context:

Nauiokas of Anthemis said that while a number of startups may already be in that "half pregnant" phase, they might be fine with staying in . "I think for a lot of these companies that are in that in-between phase, there’s a lot of runway to go it alone."

source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-06/why-fintech-startups-might-not-want-to-become-unicorns

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It is a metaphor that is used to refers to a phase of development in which start-ups are not ready yet to "deliver" (the service or product) they were set up for but they should continue in their business.

You could say that the are midway in the development of their product or service.

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As explained in phrases.co.uk being half pregnant is an impossible state. In the article you have mentioned, they are talking about fintech companies that are well funded by individual investors so have high valuations but has no long term sustainable revenue plans. This situation increases the risk therefore bigger investors are unlikely to invest in. That's a half pregnancy because, you have a company that's high in value, so expensive to invest but doesn't have a way to return the investment.

If you want investment, your risk should be digestible; meaning that investors must have a high probable revenue to investment cost ratio. This can be provided by huge profit margins or low investment costs. The situation with fintech companies are half pregnant because they have high costs and low revenue probabilities.

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  • What you say is correct, but OP is asking about the meaning of the last paragraph where, to my understanding , the expression is used with a different nuance. – user5267 Sep 7 '16 at 10:07
  • You are right, I was deciphering Sean Park's usage in the middle of the text. Thanks for correcting. – user25595 Sep 7 '16 at 10:10

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