Investments in Indian startups have soared to a two-year high in the quarter ending March, thanks to the accelerated digitisation of the economy because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of these firms have seen a three-fold jump in valuations in their latest funding rounds. Of these, nine Indian start-ups have been valued at more than $1 billion. In other words, they have turned unicorns, this year — half of them just this week. Here are the start-ups that turned unicorns this year:
Infra.Market: The tech-enabled one-stop store for all categories of construction materials and products, Infra.Market raised $100 million in its Series C funding round, led by Tiger Global, taking the valuation of the company to $1 billion at the end of February. With the latest investment, the start-up’s valuation has gone up to $2.1 billion. Earlier, there were talks that Google would also be betting on the social media platform.
Sharechat: The regional language social media platform raised $502 million from Tiger Global Management and LightSpeed Ventures. Snap Inc, Twitter, and India Quotient also took part in the latest round of funding. With this investment, Sharechat’s valuation has gone up to $2.1 billion. The firm will use this funding for its short video platform, Moj.
Five Star Business Finance: The non-banking finance company concluded a $234 million investment round by a consortium of leading global and Indian investment firms on March 26, enabling it to be a unicorn. The company provides small business and mortgage loans to eligible borrowers.
Meesho: The Bengaluru-based social commerce start-up stated on April 5 that it has raised $300 million (over Rs 2,200 crore) in a new round of funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. This has taken its valuation to $2.1 billion. Meesho operates an online sales platform for micro, small and medium businesses across India.
CRED: A day after Meesho turned unicorn, on April 6, fintech start-up CRED stated that it had gained unicorn status, raising $215 million in a Series D funding round. With this, the company’s valuation has nearly trebled to $2.2 billion. The company, which automates all credit card payments and manages the cards on a single portal, is now officially the second fastest Indian start-up to emerge as a unicorn by achieving the feat in just 29 months of its launch.
PharmEasy: The online pharmacy company, owned by API Holdings, announced on April 7 that it has raised $350 million in a Series E funding round led by Prosus Ventures and TPG Growth, enabling it to become a unicorn. Its existing investors — Temasek, CDPQ, LGT Lightrock, Eight Roads, and Think Investments — also participated in the funding round.
Groww: On the same day — April 7 — Bengaluru-based investment platform Groww announced that it had raised $83 million in a Series D funding round, taking its valuation to over $1 billion. Tiger Global led the round, in which Groww’s existing investors — Sequoia Capital India, Ribbit Capital, YC Continuity, and Propel Venture Partners — also participated.
Digit Insurance: Three-year-old fintech company Digit Insurance was the first Indian start-up to be a unicorn in 2021. According to the Bengaluru-based fintech firm, backed by Fairfax Group — which has operations in over 30 countries — its present valuation is over $1.9 billion after it closed a fresh funding round from existing investors.
Innovaccer: The Noida- and San Francisco-based company has become the first Indian healthtech unicorn earlier this year. On February 24, the company announced the closing of its Series D funding round, led by Tiger Global Management, during which it raised $105 million, taking its valuation to $1.3 billion.