In the last several years (2015-2021), the Indian startup ecosystem has grown at an exponential rate:
- The number of investors (Venture Capitalists) has increased by 9 times.
- The overall amount of money invested in startups has increased by 7 times.
- The number of incubators has increased sevenfold.
India is experiencing a startup boom, with the country’s official unicorn count rising to 54, surpassing the United Kingdom for third position in the globe.
According to the survey, India has 15 of the 122 worldwide unicorns in e-commerce, making it the third-largest behind China and the United States, which have 42 and 28 unicorns, respectively.
In India’s unicorn narrative, there were multiple firsts in the recent year, as the ecosystem witnessed several new entrants. India is currently the third nation in the world to have unicorns. By 2021, the nation will have added 33 unicorns, including Innovaccer, the first unicorn in the health-tech industry, Meesho, and Pharm-Easy, the first unicorn in the E-pharmacy space. These businesses have developed rapidly, not despite, but because of the epidemic.
The word unicorn refers to start-ups worth one billion dollars or more in the venture capital business. In all, 119 unicorns have been discovered in India. More than 54 unicorns were created in India, while 65 unicorns were created by Indians in other countries, mostly in Silicon Valley. Bengaluru, India’s capital, is the city with the most unicorns, followed by Mumbai, Pune, Thane, and Gurugram.
Surprisingly, India has been a beehive of invention in a wide range of fields. Education, beauty, delivery, retail, fintech, e-commerce, mobility, salon and spa management software, healthcare, trucking services, grocery, insurance, food-tech, analytics, mobile advertisements, and more industries have seen unicorns develop. Furthermore, these businesses use a variety of business models, including B2C, B2B, and B2B2C, and they cater to both businesses and consumers. Despite the fact that India has three decacorns and 37 unicorns, the country is just now starting to witness the emergence of innovative startups that solve global challenges and scale worldwide. Unicorns will emerge from a variety of industries and places around the nation, including tier 2 and tier 3 cities, as a consequence of the ecosystem. A unicorn is a word used in the venture capitalist’s business to indicate a privately owned startup firm having a market capitalization of more than $1 billion.
Let’s have a look some of the unicorns that will exist in 2022.
Fractal, a supplier of artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics solutions based in New York and Mumbai, said in January that it had raised $360 million from TPG Capital Asia, TPG’s Asia-focused private equity platform.
The parties’ formal investment agreement is planned to be signed in the first quarter of 2022. Fractal was valued at over $1 billion in the investment round, according to media sources.
TPG’s Puneet Bhatia and Vivek Mohan will join Fractal’s board of directors as part of the latest round, bringing the company’s total equity capital raised to $685 million.
LEAD (formerly LEAD School) secured $100 million in Series E fundraising in January at a value of $1.1 billion. The first 2022 edtech unicorn is also the first school edtech player to join the exclusive club.
GSV Ventures (Venture Capitalist firm) also participated in the round, which was headed by WestBridge Capital. On the strength of tremendous growth in its operational and financial measures, the company’s value has doubled in the previous nine months. Since 2017, the current round is the organization’s sixth round of institutional financing.
With a $1 billion annual income run-rate, LEAD plans to utilize the startup funds to realize its objective of delivering high-quality, affordable education to more than 25 million children. Its immediate priorities will be product and curriculum innovation, expansion of its reach, and the recruitment of elite people across all areas.
Darwinbox, a Hyderabad-based HRtech firm, secured $72 million from previous investors Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, Endiya Partners, 3One4Capital, JGDEV, and SCB 10X in a fundraising round coordinated by Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV).
The company’s value has surpassed $1 billion after the Series D round, with a total investment of $110 million raised so far. Since its latest round of funding from Salesforce Ventures a year ago, DealShare has expanded by 200 percent.
Darwinbox, which was founded in late 2015 by Chaitanya Peddi, Jayant Paleti, and Rohit Chennamaneni, plans to use the funds to accelerate its platform innovation agenda, strengthen its product, engineering, and customer success teams, and scale its go-to-market (GTM) presence in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) (the Middle East and North Africa).
Darwinbox will be open to the public by 2025, according to the researchers.
POV– “While working from home during the epidemic aided the development of digital firms in India, it also spawned a lengthy number of unicorns. Three main variables have combined to attract investors (Venture Capitalists): a booming digital payments environment, a significant smartphone user base, and digital-first company strategies.
Xpressbees, a third-party logistics company, received $300 million in a Series F fundraising round, valued at $1.2 billion. Private equity firms Blackstone Growth, TPG Growth, and ChrysCapital lead the financing. The newest round included existing investors Investcorp and Norwest Venture Partners.
With this round, Xpressbees has raised over $500 million in total cash. On this transaction, Avendus Capital served as the only financial adviser to Xpressbees.
Uniphore, a conversational automation firm located in Chennai and California, has secured $400 million in a Series E round of investment.
The round, which increases Uniphore’s total fundraising to more than half a billion dollars ($610 million), was led by NEA, an American venture capital firm, and pushes the company’s value to $2.5 billion.
March Capital, a venture capital and growth equity company, as well as other current investors and new organizations, contributed.
Greenoaks led a $100 million Series C fundraising round for Hasura, a GraphQL developer firm.
Hasura has now collected $136.5 million in total funding, valuing the company at $1 billion, making it the eighth unicorn of the year. According to a statement, existing investors (Venture Capitalists) Nexus Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Vertex Ventures also contributed.
Hasura says that since its launch in 2018, their solution has been downloaded over 400 million times and has received over 25,000 GitHub stars.
CredAvenue, a debt marketplace for businesses based in Chennai, earned $137 million in a Series B round of investment, propelling it into the illustrious startup unicorn club. Insight Partners, B Capital Group, and Dragoneer Investment Group led the round, which valued the firm at $1.3 billion post-money, up from $410 million in September 2021.
Gaurav Kumar and Vineet Sukumar founded Vivriti Capital in 2021 as a subsidiary of the financial services marketplace.
According to paperwork filed with the Registrar of Companies, Bengaluru-based Perfios Software Solutions secured roughly $68 million (Rs 525 crore at current currency rates) from returning investors (Venture Capitalists) Bessemer Venture Partners and Warburg Pincus as part of its ongoing Series C round (RoC).
Perfios is now valued at roughly $4.05 billion, according to Venture Capitalist Circle, catapulting it into the coveted unicorn club.
The records also revealed that the company is in the process of buying Karza Technologies, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for financial institutions, for almost $78 million (Rs 597 crore).
Livspace, an omnichannel home interior and remodeling platform, earned $180 million in Series F funding, with KKR as the main fund investor.
Existing investors (Venture Capitalists) such as Ingka Group Investments (part of the biggest IKEA retailer Ingka Group), Jungle Ventures, Venturi Partners, and Peugeot Investments, among others, participated in the newest investment round, which propelled Livspace into the coveted unicorn club.
Livspace will use the funds to grow into other areas, concentrate on brand creation in India and Singapore, invest in platform technology and a digitally connected supply chain, and employ, develop, and nurture people across the board to support both new and current companies.
ElasticRun, a B2B ecommerce firm that provides items to kiranas, earned $300 million in its Series E fundraising round from investors including SoftBank and Goldman Sachs at a $1.5 billion value. Prosus Ventures, an existing Venture capitalist, also participated in the round, according to the firm.
ElasticRun plans to utilize the funds to develop and grow its business. According to its filing, if it gets any further interest until March 21, when the subscription period expires, it may conclude the Series E round with a considerably larger capital injection.
ElasticRun was founded in 2016 by Sandeep Deshmukh, Saurabh Nigam, and Shitiz Bansal and now operates in over 300 locations throughout India with over 125,000 retail outlets. It offers a platform for kiranas to make large orders for commodities online, as well as analytics and aggregation.
Oxyzo Financial Services, a Gurugram-based provider of tech-enabled smart finance solutions, has raised $200 million in a Series A round headed by Alpha Wave and co-led by Tiger Global, Norwest Venture Partners, Matrix Partners, and Creation Investments. The firm is valued at $1 billion as a result of the round.
The funds will be used to grow Oxyzo’s broader digital financial services play organically and inorganically across a strong own balance sheet, scaling the supply chain marketplace, launching innovative fixed income products for SMEs, and scaling other fee incomes business lines, such as debt capital markets and securities.
Oxyzo was founded in 2016 by Asish Mohapatra and Ruchi Kalra as a financing platform of Ofbusiness – a unicorn since July 2021 — to offer cash flow matching working capital loans for SMEs in conventional economic sectors like manufacturing and subcontracting.
Games 24×7, a multi-game platform, has secured $75 million in a round headed by Malabar Investment. Existing investors (Venture Capitalists) Tiger Global and Raine Group also participated in the deal.
The business claims that its current funding round has raised its worth to $2.5 billion, making it India’s most valuable multi-game platform and allowing it to join the unicorn club. RummyCircle (India’s biggest online rummy game), My11Circle (India’s second-largest fantasy platform), and U Games are among the services it provides (a portfolio of casual games).
Games24x7 is headquartered in Mumbai and has offices in Bengaluru, Delhi, Miami, and Philadelphia. It was founded in 2006 by Trivikraman Thampy, an engineering alumnus of IIT Bombay with a PhD in Economics from New York University, and Bhavin Pandya, an engineering alumnus of Purdue University with an MPhil in Economics from New York University.
There has been a change in the conventional means of fundraising, with entrepreneurs increasingly considering alternatives such as crowdsourcing, revenue-based financing, venture capitalists fund, bank loans, and so on. Startups like Zerodha, who have been bootstrapping from the beginning, are challenging unicorn financing conventions and encouraging independence and income creation from the start. Since the start of COVID-19, an unusual trend has emerged: new unicorn club members without a billion-dollar ticket size investment.