India is now home to 51 unicorns, adding a record-breaking three unicorns every month to this list over the year, the Hurun Research Institute has found. Unicorns are startups founded after the year 2000 that have a valuation of $1 billion.
The Hurun report classified startups as gazelles, which are likely to become unicorns in the next two years and cheetahs, which are likely to reach unicorn status in the next four years.
India’s unicorns are currently worth $168 billion, which is more than the GDP of Telangana. The e-commerce, fintech and software as a service (SaaS) sectors make up 49 percent of the just released Hurun India Future Unicorn List 2021.
The evaluation of these startups is based on regulatory findings, feedback from entrepreneurs and a study of India-focused VC funds and angel investors.
Anas Rahman Junaid, MD and Chief Researcher, Hurun India, said the task of preparing a list was extremely difficult given the “positive hyperactivity in Indian startup ecosystems.”
Like last year, Bengaluru remains the hub of the startup ecosystem with 31 companies, followed by Mumbai with 13 startups and Gurugram with 12. These top three cities are home to 68 per cent of companies in the Hurun India Future Unicorn List 2021.
Here are the highlights from the report.
India has the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, only behind the US and China. Interestingly, India, with a total of 51 unicorns in 2021, is ahead of both Germany, with 18 unicorns, and the UK, with 32. The average valuation of the Indian unicorns is $3.3 billion with 31 new ones added to the list.
India’s future top 10 unicorns
The Hurun report identified the top 10 future unicorns of 2021 and they are a diverse group hailing from e-commerce, travel, beauty, and fintech sectors, among others.
Zilingo, the online retail store, Mobile Premier League, the gaming company, and Rebel Foods, India’s first cloud kitchen startup, are listed as the top three Indian unicorns.
“Zilingo has raised a total investment of $310 million to date and is backed by marquee investors such as Sequoia Capital, Temasek Holdings, Beenext, EDB Investments and others,” according to the report.
Also part of the list is fitness startup Cure.Fit, which ranks fourth; and RateGain, a SaaS company in the hospitality and travel industry, at sixth.
Mamaearth, a D2C personal care brand founded in 2016 by Varun Alagh and Ghazal Alagh, is eighth on the list. Mamaearth raised a total investment of $73.6 million from global investors such as Sequoia Capital, Sofina, Fireside Ventures, Stellaris Venture and Kunal Bahl.
Gurugram-based auto marketplace CarDekho was eighth in the list, followed by GreyOrange, which is a Singapore-based robotics startup. The wildly popular digital payments startup MobiKwik is also featured in the list at number 10.
The fintech industry is the largest contributor to unicorn startups, followed by e-commerce and SaaS companies. Edtech, gaming, logistics and artificial intelligence (AI) industries are also growing at a rapid rate in India. The report identified that despite unprecedented challenges in 2020 due to COVID-19, the fintech and e-commerce industries raised $2.8 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively.
The report this year identified that 12 startups in the future unicorn list are co-founded by women, including Zilingo, Mamaearth and MobiKwik. “Women entrepreneurs co-founded five gazelles and seven cheetahs on the Hurun India Future Unicorn List 2021. Likewise, six women entrepreneurs co-founded unicorn start-ups in India,” said the report.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)