Top News
Next Story
NewsPoint

Which Indian Companies Are Unicorns?

Send Push
Inc42
21st October, 2019 16:30 IST

For unicorn hunters in India — in the context of startups, of course — things have been going well this year. People who have been tracking the rise of these companies with a billion-dollar-plus valuation in India will tell you that 2018 and this year so far have been a great time for growth stage companies looking to reach unicorn status.

Startups valued over $1Bn are termed as Unicorns. India is home to 31 Unicorns today, with consumer service startups leading the charts.

According to Inc42 DataLabs, 2018 was a bumper year for Indian startups which saw the creation of 10 unicorns, the first time the ecosystem crossed the double-digit mark in a financial year. It was a great achievement considering the previous best year (2014) delivered just four unicorns.

The Startup Unicorn Landscape In India

This calendar year seems to be on track to beat 2018’s record-breaking tally. Since the start of 2019, seven startups have reached unicorn status already to take the total to 31 unicorns in India. Here’s a sector-wise look at the unicorns.

1. Consumer Services

Consumer services as the name suggests refers to startups in the hyperlocal and food delivery space. One of the hottest sectors of the Indian startup ecosystem. In Q3 2019, consumer services startups raised $176 Mn overall with 33% of the deals coming in FMCG startups. Here’s a look at the unicorns of the sector:

  • Quikr
    Launch Year: 2008
    Founders: Jiby Thomas, Pranay Chulet
    Headquarters: Bengaluru
    Total Funding: $430 Mn
    Key Investors: Kinnevik AB, Brand Capital, Tiger Global Management, NGP Capital, Warburg Pincus
    Unicorn Since: 2015
  • Zomato
    Launch Year: 2008
    Founders: Deepinder Goyal, Pankaj Chaddah
    Headquarters: Delhi NCR
    Total Funding: $775 Mn
    Key Investors: Sequoia Capital, InfoEdge, Temasek Holdings, Ant Financial, Vy Capital, Info Edge
    Unicorn Since: 2015
  • Hike
    Launch Year: 2012
    Founders: Kavin Bharti Mittal
    Headquarters: Delhi NCR
    Total Funding: $261 Mn
    Key Investors: Bharti SoftBank, Tiger Global Management, Tencent Holdings, Foxconn Technology Group
    Unicorn Since: 2016
  • Info Edge
    Launch Year: 1995
    Founders: Sanjeev Bikhchandani
    Headquarters: Delhi NCR
    Funding: Public Company
    Unicorn Since: 2014
  • BigBasket
    Launch Year: 2011
    Founders: Abhinay Choudhari, Hari Menon, Vipul Parekh, VS Sudhakar
    Headquarters: Bengaluru
    Total Funding: $1.02 Bn
    Key Investors: Alibaba Group, Helion Venture Partners, Paytm Mall, Helion Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, LionRock Capital, Abraaj Group
    Unicorn Since: 2019
  • Swiggy
    Launch Year: 2014
    Founders: Nandan Reddy, Rahul Jaimini, Sriharsha Majety
    Headquarters: Bengaluru
    Total Funding: $1.27 Bn
    Key Investors: DST Global, Naspers, Bessemer Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Accel, SAIF Partners
    Unicorn Since: 2018
2. Ecommerce

The ecommerce sector remains one of the most crucial in the Indian market from the point of view of startups as plenty of other sectors have relied on the growth of the ecommerce sector for their own growth — with hyperlocal and logistics being prime examples. Over 21 deals in Q3 2019, ecommerce startups raised $381 Mn, according to the analysis by DataLabs by Inc42.

  • Flipkart
    Launch Year: 2007
    Founders: Sachin Bansal, Binny Bansal
    Headquarters: Bengaluru
    Total Funding: $7.3 Bn
    Key Investors: SoftBank, Naspers, Tiger Global Management, Microsoft, Tencent, eBay, Steadview Capital, DST Global, Accel Partners
    Unicorn Since: 2012
  • Snapdeal
    Launch Year: 2010
    Founders: Kunal Bahl, Rohit Bansal
    Headquarters: Delhi-NCR
    Total Funding: $ 1.8 Bn
    Key Investors: SoftBank, RuNet Holdings, Alibaba, Kalaari Capital, Foxconn Tech, Blackrock
    Unicorn Since: 2014
  • Paytm Mall
    Launch Year: 2016
    Founders: Vijay Shekhar Sharma
    Headquarters: Delhi-NCR
    Total Funding: $ 645 Mn
    Key Investors: Softbank, Alibaba
    Unicorn Since: 2018
  • Udaan
    Launch Year: 2016
    Founders: Sujeet kumar, Vaibhav Gupta, Amod Malviya
    Headquarters: Bengaluru
    Total Funding: $ 285 Mn
    Key Investors: DST Global, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Yuri Milner
    Unicorn Since: 2018
  • Shopclues
    Launch Year: 2011
    Founders: Radhika Aggarwal, Sanjay Sethi
    Headquarters: Delhi NCR
    Total Funding: $ 255 Mn
    Key Investors: Helion Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Tiger Global
    Unicorn Since: 2016
3. Enterprise Tech

Enterprise tech startups refers to startups working in SaaS and ERP solutions to companies. Many SMEs are leveraging SaaS and to optimise their overall performance. While Zoho and Freshworks dominate the SaaS game, the new kids on the block include Druva and Icertis.

  • Zoho
    Launch Year: 1996
    Founders: Sridhar Vembu
    Headquarters: Chennai
    Total Funding: Bootstrapped
  • Freshworks
    Launch Year: 2010
    Founders: Girish Mathrubootham, Shan Krishnasamy
    Headquarters: Chennai
    Total Funding: $ 249 Mn
    Key Investors: Accel, Sequoia Capital India, Tiger Global Management, CapitalG
    Unicorn Since: 2018
  • Mu Sigma
    Launch Year: 2004
    Founders: Dhiraj Rajaram
    Headquarters: Bengaluru
    Total Funding: $ 211 Mn
    Key Investors: Sequoia Capital, General Atlantic, MasterCard
    Unicorn Since: 2013
  • Druva
    Launch Year: 2008
    Founders: Jaspreet Singh, Milind Borate, Ramani Kothandaraman
    Headquarters: Bengaluru
    Total Funding: $ 328 Mn
    Key Investors: Viking Global Investors, Riverwood Capital, Tenaya Capital, Nexus Venture Partners
    Unicorn Since: 2019
  • Icertis
    Launch Year: 2009
    Founders: Samir Bodas, Monish Darda
    Headquarters: Pune
    Total Funding: $ 211 Mn
    Key Investors: Greycroft, PremjiInvest, B Capital Group, Eight Roads, Ignition Partners
    Unicorn Since: 2019
4. Fintech

With 22% contribution to the total funding amount, fintech emerged as the most funded sector in Q3 2019. One of the most promising sectors for the Indian startup ecosystem, fintech has been on an upward swing with 36 funding deals and investment amount of $688 Mn. Lending tech is on the rise in the Indian fintech ecosystem, with 42% of all funding in the previous quarter coming for lending tech startups. Here’s a look at the fintech unicorns in India:

  • Paytm
    Launch Year: 2010
    Founders: Vijay Shekhar Sharma
    Headquarters: Delhi-NCR
    Total Funding: $ 2.5 Bn
    Key Investors: SoftBank, Alibaba, Berkshire Hathaway, SAIF Partners, Intel Capital, and SAP Ventures
    Unicorn Since: 2015
  • PhonePe
    Launch Year: 2015
    Founders: Burzin Engineer, Rahul Chari, Sameer Nigam
    Headquarters: Bengaluru
    Total Funding: $ 291 Mn
    Key Investors: Flipkart
    Unicorn Since: 2018
  • Policy Bazaar
    Launch Year: 2008
    Founders: Alok Bansal, Yashish Dahiya
    Headquarters: Delhi NCR
    Total Funding: $ 346 Mn
    Key Investors: Wellington Management, PremjiInvest, Tiger Global Management, Inventus Capital Partners
    Unicorn Since: 2018
  • Billdesk
    Launch Year: 2000
    Founders: Ajay Kaushal
    Headquarters: Mumbai
    Total Funding: $257 Mn
    Key Investors: Clearstone Venture Partners, State Bank of India, Visa
    Unicorn Since: 2018
5. Logistics

Touted to touch $307 Bn by 2020, the Indian logistics sector in recent years has become the backbone of the ecommerce, agritech and hyperlocal sector in India. In fact, ecommerce can be said to be the pillar which fuelled the growth of the sector in the country. Add technology to the mix and logistics has redefined movement of goods like never before and this is the reason that logistic startups have mushroomed like never before in the country. Take a look at the unicorns from the logistics sector:

  • Blackbuck
    Launch Year: 2015
    Founders: Rajesh Yabaji, Chanakya Hridaya, Ramasubramanian B
    Headquarters: Bengaluru
    Total Funding: $135 Mn
    Key Investors: Sequoia Capital India, InnoVen Capital, Sands Capital Ventures, Accel
    Unicorn Since: 2019
  • Delhivery
    Launch Year: 2011
    Founders: Bhavesh Manglani, Kapil Bharati, Mohit Tandon, Sahil Barua, Suraj Saharan
    Headquarters: Delhi NCR
    Total Funding: $670 Mn
    Key Investors: SoftBank, Fosun, Carlyle Group, Tiger Global, Nexus Venture Partners, Times Internet
    Unicorn Since: 2019
  • Rivigo
    Launch Year: 2014
    Founders: Deepak Garg, Gazal Kalra
    Headquarters: Delhi NCR
    Total Funding: $ 216 Mn
    Key Investors: SAIF Partners, Warburg Pincus
    Unicorn Since: 2018
6. Transport Tech / Mobility

Transport systems today are built on emerging and futuristic technologies and the companies operating within the segment are changing the mobility game by facilitating transportation in a quick and seamless way through on-demand cab services, bike taxis, carpooling and more. The growing segment of electric vehicles is only contributing to the optimism around mobility or transport tech.

  • Ola
    Launch Year: 2010
    Founders: Bhavish Aggarwal, Ankit Bhati
    Headquarters: Bengaluru
    Total Funding: $ 3.8 Bn
    Key Investors: SoftBank, Tencent Holdings, Tekne Capital
    Unicorn Since: 2014
  • Ola Electric
    Launch Year: 2018
    Founders: Bhavish Aggarwal, Ankit Bhati
    Headquarters: Bengaluru
    Total Funding: $306 Mn
    Key Investors: Ratan Tata, Matrix Partners India, SoftBank, Tiger Global
    Unicorn Since: 2019
7. Cleantech

Startups in India are working to bring eco-friendlier solutions for the major problems such as rising energy consumption. With climate change and global warming becoming a major problem to solve for countries around the world, many Indian startups today are supporting the government’s objective of generating and storing energy with a focus on renewable and sustainable production.

  • Renew Power
    Launch Year: 2011
    Founders: Sumant Sinha
    Headquarters: Delhi NCR
    Total Funding: $ 1.6 Bn
    Key Investors: Goldman Sachs, Franklin Templeton India, JP Morgan, L&T and more
    Unicorn Since: 2017
8. Traveltech

As per an IBEF report, the online travel space will likely account for 40% to 50% of total travel transactions by 2020. And to take a bite of this pie many startups have risen in the traveltech sector in India. These startups have changed how consumers make their travel plans, and have changed the game for hotel owners and the hospitality industry as well.

  • Makemytrip
    Launch Year: 2010
    Founders: Deep Kalra, Keyur Joshi, Rajesh Magow
    Headquarters: Delhi NCR
    Total Funding: $ 548 Mn
    Key Investors: Ctrip, Tiger Fund, Helion Venture Partners, Sierra Ventures
    Unicorn Since: 2010
  • OYO
    Launch Year: 2013
    Founders: Ritesh Agarwal
    Headquarters: Delhi NCR
    Total Funding: $ 1.7 Bn
    Key Investors: SoftBank, Greenoaks Capital, Huazhu Hotels Group, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners
    Unicorn Since: 2018
9. Media & Entertainment

The Indian media and entertainment industry is projected to touch $39.68 Bn by FY 2023, with the OTT and gaming sub-sectors contributing heavily to the growth estimates. With the rise of gaming unicorns in India as the rapid penetration of OTT players, the media and entertainment industry is poised for rocket growth in the next few years.

  • Dream11
    Launch Year: 2011
    Founders: Harsh Jain
    Headquarters: Mumbai
    Total Funding: $ 100 Mn
    Key Investors: Steadview Capital, Kalaari Capital, Think Investments, Multiples Equity
    Unicorn Since: 2019
10. Edtech

By integrating technology with traditional education patterns, Indian edtech startups are working to provide affordable education for one and all across geographies, and solving the problem of access to schools through online learning and courses. Edtech startups have redefined how one can learn any skill or topic and democratised learning in many ways.

  • Byjus
    Launch Year: 2008
    Founders: Byju Raveendran, Divya Gokulnath
    Headquarters: Bengaluru
    Total Funding: $819 Mn
    Key Investors: General Atlantic, Tencent Holdings, Verlinvest, Sequoia Capital India, Sofina, Aarin Capital, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
    Unicorn Since: 2018
11. Adtech

With mobile advertising growing by leaps and bounds in the Indian market, adtech solutions that give marketers and businesses the right analytics and digital tools for optimising these digital ads have also mushroomed.

  • InMobi
    Launch Year: 2007
    Founders: Naveen Tewari, Amit Gupta, Mohit Saxena
    Headquarters: Bengaluru
    Total Funding: $ 320 Mn
    Key Investors: SoftBank, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Tennenbaum Capital Partners, Sherpalo Ventures
    Unicorn Since: 2014
Explore more on Newspoint
Loving Newspoint? Download the app now