It’s raining unicorn in startups in India, thanks to a record-breaking round of funding for Indian entrepreneurs across all industries. Over $38.4 billion has been raised as of December 4th, with many rounds expected to produce multiple Indian unicorns in 2022.
The unicorn tale of 2021 is also one of many firsts, as the ecosystem witnessed the birth of unicorns in a variety of new fields. By far, there have been 82 Indian tech businesses that have joined the unicorn club.
India will have more than 100 unicorns by 2022 if current trends continue. It is also significantly sooner than the prior forecast of 2023.
Top 20 unicorn in startups in India
Digit Insurance, a Bengaluru-based insurtech business, was the first to join the Indian unicorn club in 2021. In January, the company secured $18 million from investors
Digit Insurance is a tech-driven general insurance firm formed in 2016 by Fairfax Holdings’ Kamesh Goyal and Prem Watsa. Customized insurance are available for health, auto, travel, smartphones, and commercial assets such as stores and vacation homes. It also claims to have grown by 31.9 percent from March to December 2020, with 20 lakh Indians signing up for its illness insurance policy. This includes protection against Covid-19 and seven vector-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria.
Meesho’s admission to the unicorn club is one of the most significant milestones in the social commerce category. It will also have a significant impact on the segment’s growth momentum.
Meesho is an online reseller network for people and small and medium enterprises (SMBs). It sell products inside their network through social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. Meesho was founded in 2015 by IIT-Delhi grads Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal.
The organisation claims to have 100K registered suppliers serving over 26K postal codes in 4,800 cities. It also earns over INR 500 crore in revenue for individual entrepreneurs.
Innovaccer was a rising star in India’s startup scene, eventually becoming the country’s first unicorn in the healthtech area. Healthcare data is analysed by them, which creates solutions for western markets such as the United States. It also delivers actionable insights to healthcare practitioners, hospitals, insurance companies, and other organisations and businesses.
Several governments and private institutions utilise the programme to keep track of more than 3.8 million patients’ medical records. It also helps them to save $400 million for healthcare providers.
API Holdings had set out in 2020 to merge its subsidiary PharmEasy with rival Medlife in order to gain market dominance and join the unicorn club. The company was able to achieve one of its goals — joining the unicorn club — once the transaction was completed in the latter half of last year. In a Series E fundraising round, the company raised $323 million at a valuation of $1.5 billion. It is noteworthy because it is India’s first unicorn epharmacy.
Dharmil Sheth and Dr. Dhaval Shah founded PharmEasy, a chronic care firm, in 2015. It provides services such as teleconsultation, prescription deliveries, and sample collection for diagnostic tests.
CRED, founded by Kunal Shah, entered the unicorn club with a stunning valuation of $2.2 billion. It focuses on premium credit card customers and offers them prizes and advantages in exchange for paying their credit card bills. CRED claims to have added over 5.9 million credit card users.
The company decided to try its hand at ecommerce last year in order to increase revenue and utilize its user base.
There are only a few Indian unicorns that have been profitable since their inception. Another similar firm, Infra.Market, entered the club this year based on its profitability and rapid development. Aaditya Sharda and Souvik Sengupta launched the company in 2016, and it is a B2B online procurement marketplace for real estate and construction materials.
The platform gathers demand and aligns it with the supply chain, offering wholesale pricing on supplies as well as reasonable credit or financing.
Groww, India’s second wealth management unicorn, was founded only eight months after bootstrapped Zerodha valued itself at over $1 billion. Like Zerodha, it provides a software platform for users to invest in stocks, mutual funds, and other financial instruments.
Lalit Keshre, Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh, and Ishan Bansal, all former employees of Flipkart, founded the five-year-old firm, which now has over 15 million registered customers.
After gaining the attention of users in Tier II and III India, ShareChat has finally made it to the unicorn club. In one year, the regional language social media startup’s monthly active user base increased by 166 percent, from 60 million to 160 million.
ShareChat began its journey in 2015 as a content-sharing service for WhatsApp, with users contributing over 100K content pieces each day. It was founded by IIT-Kanpur grads Farid Ahsan, Bhanu Singh, and Ankush Sachdeva. It discovered its niche in the vernacular social networking platform and has been concentrating on it since.
Gupshup, based in San Francisco, became the ninth unicorn in 2021 after raising $100 million in a Series F fundraising round. In the round, the company was valued at $1.4 billion dollars. It also implied that the present fundraising would be followed by a second round with significantly more money.
Gupshup, founded in 2004 by Beerud Sheth, is a conversational messaging platform that serves businesses in a variety of industries, including banking, ecommerce, hotel, and consumer products. India accounts for approximately 80% of the company’s revenue, followed by the United States and Latin America.
Chargebee, a subscription management platform based in Chennai, was named the tenth unicorn of 2021.Rajaraman S, Thiyagarajan T, KP Saravanan, and Krish Subramanian founded Chargebee in 2010 as an automated subscription billing software platform.
To automate payment collections, invoicing, email notifications, and customer administration, the organisation integrates with payment gateways. Clients may now optimise revenue operations, compliance, and revenue recognition thanks to the company’s recent product improvements. According to the corporation, it serves 2500 enterprises in 53 countries.
Urban Company, a hyperlocal service provider based in Gurugram, is the newest unicorn to enter the club. Its latest $188 million Series F fundraising round valuing the company at $2 billion.
It is a home service company that focuses on beauty and massage, appliance repair, plumbing, carpentry, cleaning, and painting. Abhiraj Bahl, Raghav Chandra, and Varun Khaitan launched it in 2014. It has operations in ten Indian cities and four international markets: Australia, Singapore, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. It renamed to Urban Company last year in order to have a more globally accepted brand name.
Moglix, an industrial B2B marketplace, became a unicorn in May 2021 after receiving $120 million in a Series E investment.
It is an online platform that sells industrial equipment such as power tools, hand tools, adhesives, safety and security products, and electricals. The organisation manages a supply chain that includes approximately 16,000 vendors, 35 warehouses, and logistical infrastructure.
It supports approximately 500K SMBs as well as large corporations such as Hero MotoCorp, Vedanta, Tata Steel, Unilever, and Air India. It has also built 3,000 manufacturing plants in India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.
BharatPe, India’s sixth unicorn in startups, raised $370 million in a Series E equity round led by Tiger Global. Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani created BharatPe in 2018. It provided India’s first UPI interoperable QR code for merchants and has now moved into additional financial services. BharatPe, along with financial services player and NBFC Centrum, has secured a small finance bank licence from the RBI by acquiring PMC Bank.
BrowserStack, a SAS business, has raised $200 million in Series B funding. It was valued at $4 billion once it was funded. BrowserStack is the sixth Indian SaaS startup to reach the unicorn club. It is also country’s most valuable SaaS company, according to the funding round.
The web and mobile app testing platform claims to have four million developers working for 50,000 firms, including digital behemoths like Google, Microsoft, and Twitter. BrowserStack intends to use the funds to treble its team size over the next 18 months and undertake targeted acquisitions to expand its market reach.
The company expects to have a staff of over 1000 by the end of 2021, after growing from 300 to 800 in the last two years.
Droom, founded by Sandeep Agarwal in 2014. It is an online marketplace where users can buy and sell used and new cars in India and other emerging countries. Interestingly, Droom offers four different marketplace formats and three different pricing options.
The vehicle marketplace also announced that it is planning to go public next year, either on NASDAQ or in India.
B2B ecommerce platform OfBusiness has become the latest entrant to the famed unicorn in startups in India.
OfBusiness was founded in 2016 by Bhuvan Gupta, Vasant Sridhar, Ruchi Kalra, Nitin Jain, and Asish Mohapatra. It assists SMEs in the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors with raw material procurement and loans. The firm also combines technology with SMEs’ shopping habits to provide consumers with better items, at lower costs, and in shorter time frames.
Zeta, based in Bengaluru, provides a cloud-native neo-banking platform for the issuing of credit, debit, and prepaid goods.The fintech company employs roughly 500 people. It also claims to process 1 million transactions per day.
Serial entrepreneurs Bhavin Turakhia and Ramki Gaddipati launched the company in 2015. On May 24, 2021, it became a unicorn after obtaining $250 million in a Series C fundraising round .
Mindtickle, a SAS startup, joined the unicorn in startups with a $100 million investment from SoftBank.
It is a SaaS platform that focuses on improving the sales function in businesses. Mindtickle also helps in understanding ideal sales behaviours, increasing seller knowledge and skillsets.
The startup, which is based in Pune and San Francisco, claims to reduce training time for salespeople. It also gives firms that have been utilising legacy learning management systems solutions for onboarding, micro-learning, skills development, and coaching.
upGrad, a Mumbai-based business, became India’s third edtech unicorn in startups in August 2021. It aims to deliver higher education courses in collaboration with various universities.
upGrad bought Rekrut India, a recruitment and staffing solutions company, and The Gate Academy, a Bengaluru-based coaching institute. It also claims to have a student body of over 2 million. The company borrowed INR 50 crore from IIFL Income Opportunities Fund in August of last year.
CoinDCX is the first crypto unicorn in startups in India. Sumit Gupta and Neeraj Khandelwal created CoinDCX in 2018. The company raised $13.5 million in its Series B investment round in December 2020. It also claims to have a user base of 3.5 million people. CoinDCX Go, a cryptocurrency investment app, CoinDCX Pro, a professional trading platform, and DCX Learn, a crypto-focused investor education platform, are all part of this company.
Summing it up
Many Indian businesses are growing in numerous industries, therefore this list of unicorn in startups could continue on and on. Flipkart, Big Basket, Ola Cabs, InMobi, FirstCry, and CureFit are now household brands in India. These firms fueled a new force in the global economy and results in India’s increasing international presence.
Liked this article? Read more: