India is expecting to have over 93 unicorn startups in 2022, making it the world’s fastest-growing startup ecosystem. Unicorn startups have gained enormous popularity in today’s society; yet, establishing one is precarious. Climbing the unicorn ladder takes a lot of hard work, devotion, and perseverance throughout the startup’s journey.
The term “Unicorn Startup” is made up of two words: “Unicorn” and “Startup.” Unicorns are startups with a market capitalization of more than $1 billion. The term “Unicorn Startup” is coined by Aileen Lee. Aileen Lee is a capitalist, investor and founder of Cowboy Ventures. Startups, on the other hand, are privately owned businesses that are typically in the early stages of development.
For the year 2021, the country was ranked as the third best country for hosting unicorn enterprises. With 33 unicorn firms, India has pushed the United Kingdom out of third place, where only 15 unicorns were created in the same year. In 2021, the United States added 254 unicorns, while China added 74 unicorns, bringing the total number of unicorns to 487 and 301, respectively.
Following are some top unicorn startups of India:
InMobi is a mobile advertising platform established in Bengaluru that aids in the optimization of the ranks of advertisements available on mobile phones. The advertising platform was the first unicorn startup in India, and hence the forerunner of the unicorn league of Indian startups that followed. It was started in January 2007 and was the first unicorn startup in India.
Flipkart, India’s most popular eCommerce site, requires no introduction because the Big Billion Days are one of the most anticipated online events for millions of Indians. After inMobi, the first Indian unicorn, Flipkart was one among the first Indian unicorns to achieve unicorn valuation in the 2011-2012 period. As of 2022, the Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal-founded firm has a market capitalization of around $37.6 billion, making it the most valuable Indian company.
BharatPe is a digital payments app, merchant aggregator, and payments platform based in India that promotes QR and POS payments. It is a private limited corporation called Resilient Innovations Private Limited, rather than a government entity. The New- Delhi based company, increased its worth to $2.85 billion and joined the unicorn club.
Dream11 is an Indian fantasy sports platform that allows Indian sports fans to participate in a variety of sports, including cricket, football, hockey, volleyball, handball, futsal, and rugby. The fantasy sport app joined the unicorn group of Indian startups in April 2019 after raising $60 million in funding from Steadview Capital and others.
PhonePe is a digital payment and merchant aggregation platform that has already made a significant contribution to making digital payments for Indian users and merchants smooth, fast, and simple. The startup, which was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Andheri, Maharashtra, India, claims to have the greatest market share among UPI apps. The company has shown tremendous development potential and has already achieved unicorn status before 2020. Flipkart purchased the company in April 2016, and it has experienced significant development since then.
Byju’s is an edtech platform situated in Bangalore. It is a freemium online tuition and coaching company that was founded in 2011. Byju’s, founded by Byju Raveendran, is utilized by over 15 million students worldwide and has over 900,000 paid customers. Its current market capitalization is $16.5 billion USD.
Ola Cabs is an Indian ride-hailing service that began operations on December 3, 2010. It has over 1.5 million drivers across 250 cities as of 2019. In September 2018, Ola expanded its network into its first overseas market, Australia, as well as New Zealand. Ola commenced operations in the United Kingdom with the introduction of auto rickshaws.
OYO is one of India’s most popular travel firms. India’s largest hospitality company, founded by 21-year-old Ritesh Agarwal in 2013, consists of inexpensive hotels. The firm collaborates with established hotels to provide tourists with unoccupied rooms at a lower cost. The cost of an OYO room starts at Rs. 999. They have invested in their own properties in addition to bulk renting hotels.
Swiggy is a well regarded online meal ordering and delivery service. Nandan Reddy, Sriharsha Majety, and Rahul Jaimini started Swiggy in 2014. Swiggy Stores was launched in early 2019 as an extension of Swiggy’s broad product delivery service. Swiggy currently has over 5,000,000 mobile app installations.
Zomato is an online platform based for meal delivery services directly from nearby restaurants. Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah established food based app, Zomato in 2008. Zomato provides its user everything, from menus to reviews to platter of the day. Food technology application is a branch of food science that manages the generating forms that produce Food Techs.
Freshworks provides cutting-edge customer engagement software to a wide range of companies of all sizes and types. The company was founded in Chennai in 2010 and now has its headquarters in San Mateo, California. Its solutions help deliver a 360-degree perspective of clients. Freshworks was inducted into the coveted unicorn club of Indian firms in July 2018, making it the country’s first SaaS unicorn startup.
upGrad is an online tutoring programme for individuals interested in pursuing a higher education. The online ed-platform delivers a wide choice of industry-ready courses, including Bachelor’s degrees, MBAs, Data Science, and Machine Learning courses, and more, by partnering with some of the world’s finest universities. With the support of a $185 million financing, the company expanded to unicorn status.
Deep Kalra launched MakeMyTrip, one of India’s most popular online travel companies, in 2000. The company’s headquarters are in Gurgaon, and it is known for services such as arranging vacation packages, hotel reservations, movie tickets, and even ordinary travel through planes, buses, trains, and autos. MakeMyTrip is currently present in 14 cities around the world, with over 30 franchise locations in 28 Indian cities. The route planner function on MakeMyTrip gives users access to basic information on over one million routes across India.
Falguni Nayar founded Nykaa, a renowned cosmetics-based ecommerce company, in 2012. Nykaa’s headquarters are in Mumbai, Maharashtra, and is wildly popular for providing a variety of cosmetics, skin care, and wellness products. In addition to its online storefronts, the company has over 26 offline locations across India and was named a Unicorn startup in 2020. The site has provided a whooping number of 200,000 products from 2000 national and international brands. Nykaa has top Bollywood actresses Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif as brand ambassadors.
Policybazaar is one of India’s most well-known and dependable insurance firms. Yashish Dahiya, Alok Bansal, and Avaneesh Nirjar founded the company in 2008. The company began as an insurance comparison website, but as time went on, it expanded to include a variety of insurance plans such as life insurance, health insurance, auto insurance, and even travel insurance. Policybazaar.com is the country’s largest insurance firm and is also well-known in the United Arab Emirates. Policybazaar is a website and mobile app that allows customers to compare financial services from the best insurance providers.
Blackbuck is a truck aggregator that aims to solve the transportation and logistical difficulties of innumerable Indians. It is one of the biggest truck aggregators in India. Today, Blackbuck claims to have India’s largest transportation network, complete with freight and fleet management technology platforms. The truck company has a marvelous fleet of over 12,00,000 trucks. They work at over 2000 sites and have 15,000 happy customers.
Droom is a digital platform for used automobiles, motorcycles, scooters, and other vehicles. The company is run by cutting-edge data science technology. Droom smoothly guides its consumers in buying and selling vehicles and other goods and services. Droom is India’s largest vehicle platform online, with a massive 80% market share of online automobile transactions. It is also one of the country’s major E-Commerce enterprises.
Dailyhunt, the premier vernacular news aggregation platform, is owned by VerSe Innovation. Verse Innovation, based in Bengaluru, is a local language technology platform that now powers two of the most popular Indian applications, Josh and Dailyhunt, with a combined user base of over 300 million. In December 2020, VerSe Innovation raised close to $100 million from a slew of investors, including Google, Microsoft, Falcon Edge’s Alpha Wave Incubation, Sequoia Capital India, Sofina Group, and others, to join India’s coveted unicorn club.
MyGlamm is a direct-to-consumer (D2C) beauty and cosmetics company that offers a wide selection of items to stylists, beauticians, and others through an e-commerce marketplace. On November 9, 2021, MyGlamm became a unicorn company after raising $150 million in funding from Prosus Ventures and others. MyGlamm was the 34th Indian firm to become a unicorn in 2021, and the 76th Indian company overall to join India’s prestigious unicorn club.
Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, classmates, created Meesho, a renowned Indian social E-commerce startup, in 2015. The company is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka, and it was designated as a Unicorn because it assists small and medium enterprises. The E-commerce platform also helps individuals in establishing their online stores using several social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. In India, it is estimated that there are 2.6 million resellers.
The fast paced and flourishing Unicorns are an important part of the Indian economy. The Unicorn startups provide innovative technological solutions and large scale employment across the country. Unicorns could be India’s next best option to revive the pandemic hit economy.