Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Photo by James Lee / Unsplash

Here's an updated list of 108 unicorn startups in India and their mythical realm! Plus, we've also covered five former Unicorns of India...

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Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Photo by James Lee / Unsplash

Table of contents

Introduction

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What is a Unicorn Startup?
Privately held startups or companies with a valuation of $1 billion are accorded the "Unicorn" title.

Unicorn is a label that denotes uniqueness, rarity, and individuality that distinguish them from typical and average attributes. It is a legendary creature or a beast with a curling horn sprouting from its forehead in mythical worlds.

A maiden can only capture its magical horns and graceful gait. A unicorn is a rare accomplishment, and so are the unicorn companies and their magical features that have paved and influenced several lives.

The maidens have worked hard to ride their unicorn to the point where it wanders gracefully among the audience and has a significant impact. It already sounds magical, so why wait?

Let's go and explore these magical unicorn startups that rose to prominence with their unique characteristics and influenced millions and billions.

What is a Unicorn?

A unicorn is a startup or corporation with a valuation of $1 billion or more. Unicorns are privately held companies with an innovative concept that has the potential to drive a larger audience and market.

The term "unicorn" is universally perceived as the most coveted in the industry. There are 1,101+ unicorn startups worldwide, with 108 originating in India.

As of October 15, 2022, India is home to 108 unicorns with a combined market value of $340.79 billion, of which 44 unicorns have a 2021 debut year with a valuation of $93 billion, and 21 unicorns have a 2022 debut year with a valuation of $26.99 billion.

Aileen Lee coined the phrase after sorting through around 60,000 companies that received funding between 2003 and 2013, where she listed 39 startups with a valuation of $1 billion.

She characterized them as rare accomplishments and coined the term "unicorn."

Companies with unicorn status are becoming less unusual today since it is more common for companies to reach and sustain such status due to investors and their devoted investments. The majority of the top-performing unicorns come from similar industries.

Fintech has the most unicorns of any sector, genre, or industry. Given the performance and adoption of fintech unicorns, interest in the industry is growing, as is the likelihood of more unicorns emerging within the sector.

Unicorns are startups with no previous track record. Their valuation depends on how investors and venture capitalists believe a firm will perform in the future and then invest in acquiring a stake in the company resulting in increasing their valuation.

There are over 108 unicorn companies in India, and many more aspire to reach this milestone and be listed. Many of the listed unicorn startups are one-of-a-kind. So, you might need assistance figuring out how they accomplished it.

But don't worry.

We'll tell you how they came up with the idea, how they planned it, who supported them to reach such a high valuation, and why their concept stood out!

Some companies are far above the unicorn and its $1 billion touchline, with revenues exceeding $30+ billion. Simultaneously, some lost their grasp and status as their valuation sank below the touchline.

Given the current bullish trend, most companies with a $1 billion valuation on paper rely on capitalists and their acquisitions and artificial investments that drive them to such a valuation as mentioned above.

This entails identifying the investors, the funding rounds a firm has received, and those who have played a significant role in focusing on specific sectors and companies and their growth for your assistance.

So, here's an in-depth analysis of India's unicorns and the various sectors in which they operate, along with founders and fundraising valuations, to offer a thorough picture of how unicorns work and how these startups become unicorns.

The 108 Unicorns of India

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Did You Know? Of 108 Unicorns in India, 24 are native to the Fintech Sector!

Financial technology, aka Fintech, is the improved and automated administration and operation of financial services. It empowers business owners and users to manage their financial services, tools, procedures effectively, and so on by integrating software technologies.

Fintech startups assist financial institutions in modernizing their processes, operations, and systems. There are various subcategories of fintech startups, including:

Category: Lending (LendTech) Unicorns

Fintech lending is the application of technology in finance that optimizes API to assist lenders in making quick and accurate lending decisions.

It includes using various data sources to assess loan risk and integrating digital platforms to enhance the data exchange efficiency.

It enables previously marginalized P2P and business lenders by offering them an alternative funding source and assisting them in improving their financial health and independence.

Lenders now have access to more information enabling them to give financing to a broader range of borrowers in a secure manner. Furthermore, it lowers traditional financings' time and geographic hurdles, such as institutional procedures and approval days.

Borrowers in rural locations can also apply and receive funding in minutes without filling out tons of documents or visiting a physical bank.

1. Oxyzo

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2016

Unicorn Entry Year: 202

Founders: Ashish Mohapatra, Ruchi Kalra

Ruchi Karla was an associate at McKinsey before leaving to form a business partnership with her husband, Ashish Mohapatra, who exited Matrix. Ruchi graduated from IIM Delhi in 2004 and obtained her MBA from the Indian School of Business Hyderabad in 2007.

She began her career as a senior business analyst for Evalueserve and later joined McKinsey in 2007 after obtaining her MBA, where she met her husband, Ashish. Ashish Mohapatra graduated from IIT Kharagpur and earned his MBA from the Indian School of Business Hyderabad in 2007.

He began his career at ITC Ltd as a maintenance manager, then as an operations manager. He later left the organization to pursue his MBA, after which he joined McKinsey.

Later, he left McKinsey to work as a senior associate for Matrix Management Corporation. They worked long hours at McKinsey, Religare, the Royal Bank of Scotland, ITC, and Snapdeal.

They were at a point when many people were resigning and beginning their businesses, which was about 2015. During their analysis, they discovered that Indian SMBs in the Manufacturing Industries had a big issue that needed to be addressed, which was financial and material help.

He then left to work on a business endeavor with his wife and two pals with OfBusiness. In 2015, there was a B2C surge, and their model penetrated the B2B sector.

They aimed to build a large B2B platform that would assist SMBs in areas such as manufacturing and construction in acquiring raw materials and loans, focusing on industrial infrastructure.

It blended technology into SME purchasing practices to provide clients with better products at lower prices more quicker, with significant online and offline support. It facilitates the purchase of raw materials as well as the acquisition of financing.

After the company became a unicorn, he gathered a committed team and founded Oxyzo in 2016. It was formed with a firm grasp of the business trends affecting SMEs, and its objective is to assist SMEs in expanding their operations, sales, and profit margins.

Oxyzo, like its parent firm, provides bespoke financing solutions to help SMEs improve their operations, revenue, and profit margins. Its primary purpose is to provide cash flow-aligned working capital loans to SMEs in conventional industries for raw material purchases.

In 2021, the company evolved to provide a varied product suite and began catering to a more significant customer base, including SMEs, mid-corporates, and new-age economies.

Oxyzo now has its supply chain and securities platform. It strives to consistently innovate B2B financial services with its end-to-end capabilities in origination, contract formulation, deployments, and technology-based administration.

Funding

Ofbusiness is Oxyzo's parent company that led the valuation at $5 million in 2016 and added $11 million in February 2017. The startup demonstrated tremendous promise, garnering $28 million in June 2018, followed by $10 million in July 2019.

The company had slightly lower charts at the start of the pandemic. Still, as the pandemic led to digitalization, its worth increased, and it received $34 million in October 2019 and then $28 million in January 2021.

The growth accelerated with the procurement of $67 million in April 2021, and the route to unicorn was accelerated with the acquisition of $160 million in August 2021. Continuity saw a 2.8x increase in AUM, from Rs 900 crores in the fiscal year 2020 to Rs 2600 crores in the fiscal year 2022.

In March 2022, it joined the unicorn club after raising $200 million in a Series A round spearheaded by Alpha Wave and co-led by Tiger Global, Norwest Venture Partners, Creation Investments, and Matrix Partners.

It also passed a special resolution to issue 1,43,82,868 Series A Compulsory Convertible Preference Shares (CCPS) and 2,93,528 equities for Rs 1,041.26 per share, raising $200 million.

Alpha Wave led the financing round with Rs 565 crore, followed by Tiger Global and Norwest Capital with Rs 244 crore and Rs 290 crore, respectively. Creation Investment and Matrix partners, on the other hand, contributed Rs 152 crore and Rs 145 crore, respectively, to the most extensive Series A financing.

The new shares of OFB Group and promoters own 74% of the company, while Alpha Wave, Norwest Capital, Creations Investments, Tiger Global, and Matrix hold 7.40%, 3.80%, 2%, 4.50%, and 1.90%, respectively.

It was then valued at $1 billion following Series A allocation, making it one of the few firms to achieve unicorn status at the beginning of the Series A round!

"The Current Valuation of Oxyzo is $5 Billion"

Products & Services: Financial Lending Services

Visit their website here (1).

2. Yubi (CredAvenue)

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2017

Unicorn Entry Year: 2022

Founders: Gaurav Kumar, Vineet Sukumar

Yubi, formerly CredAvenue, is India's top debt marketplace, established by Gaurav Kumar and Vineet Sukumar. Gaurav previously operated for Northern Arc Capital and Vivriti Capital before founding Yubi.

Gaurav completed his graduation from the Anand Institute of Rural Management IRMA, and Vineet Sukumar attended IIT Kharagpur.

Vineet and Gaurav previously co-founded Vivriti Capital, India's first tech-based marketplace that links investors from small and medium businesses and individuals under one roof.

He was the CEO of IFMR Investments Manager Private Limited for two years. He has previously worked in investment banking, capital markets, and strategy at the Tata Group and Standard Chartered Bank.

Their objective with Yubi was to leverage the $120 trillion large enterprise debt market by generating a GDP multiplier for massive economic value creation. Its goal is to be omnipresent in the loan market by adopting the word Yubi, which means ubiquitous.

Funding

Yubi started its journey to unicorn status by raising $90 million in a Series A round of funding led by Sequoia Capital India, which also increased the company's valuation to $410 million.

TVS Capital Funds, Lightspeed, Lightrock, CRED, and Stride Ventures were among the other participants. Later, it raised $137 million in a series B investment headed by Insight Partners and backed by B Capital Group and Dragoneer.

The round valued Yubi at $1.3 billion and established its entry on the list of unicorns in India. Returning investors were also engaged in the series B round.

With over $10.5 billion in loans facilitated, the company has 2,300 corporates, 450 companies, and 750 lenders operating on the platform with a routine inspection, proving the potential and leading to the company's growth.

"The Current Valuation of Yubi (formerly, CredAvenue) is $1.3 Billion"

Products & Services: Financial Services, Lending

Visit their website here (2).

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Category: Payments (PayTech)

Fintech Payment startups and companies execute the logistics of receiving cashless payments for goods and services. They provide applications and back-end infrastructure, hardware such as POS systems, credit card chip scanners, and screens for processing exchanges.

Some startups specialize in enabling buy-now-pay-later interfaces for e-commerce enterprises aimed at a younger demographic. In contrast, others are P2P payment networks for everyday use, such as splitting checks and paying monthly dues.

The primary objectives are essentially the same, allowing consumers to make simple, quick, and secure payments!

3. Paytm

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2010

Unicorn Entry Year: 2015

Founders: Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Vijay Shekhar Sharma came from a middle-class household that valued education, as his father was a teacher who heavily affected him to be a high achiever. He completed his education in Hindi Medium and obtained rudimentary English skills to gain college admission.

He graduated from Delhi College of Engineering. He founded his independent content management firm, "Xs! Corporation," a web platform and search engine that provides internet-based services and web directories.

The company got involved with various reputable newspaper publications in India, and the company was doing well, with a revenue of Rs. 50 lakhs by 1999. He sold the company for $500,000 and split the proceeds evenly with four friends/partners.

He then completed college, landed his first job with a multinational corporation, and decided to leave after six months to pursue a less-traveled path. In 2001, he co-founded One97 Communications Ltd, the BSNL directory inquiry service number.

Unfortunately, following the 9/11 attacks, the company went bankrupt and had to part ways with its partners. He was left with no money and was under pressure from his family to marry and have kids, which is typical for any Indian around 25.

He then began working as a consultant and was living a modest lifestyle while also working towards innovation in the telecom sector, where smartphones were a huge hit, and chose to touch people's lives via Paytm, a digital payment platform accessible through smartphones and its online portals.

One97, with the help of Paytm, ventured into three areas of the internet: content, marketing, and ecommerce, and successfully raised USD 2 million on its own without any external funding.

Paytm's success is now linked to the emergence of India's e-wallet startup ecosystem, with Paytm becoming the first payments bank to provide a zero-balance account in addition to UPI transactions and online shopping.

Funding

Paytm began its ride to a unicorn with Ant Financial and Alibaba funding $680 million, or roughly 40% of a private-equity round 1/3, supported by Ratan Tata's participation in round 2 by raising 75,000 equity shares, or 0.5% in 2015.

Mountain Capital boosted its investment by pushing Paytm to a $5 billion value in round 4 of the private financing in August 2016. It raised $60 million from MediaTek Inc. before skyrocketing to $6 billion after Reliance Capital, SVB, and SVP Ventures leased the entire 4.3% ownership to Alibaba and Ant Financial.

After Alibaba and Ant Financial demonstrated the company's potential, it raised $1.4 billion from SoftBank Group Corp., the biggest fundraising round by a single investor in India.

A Series G equity round issued 2.8 million equity capital to nine investors. AliPay and SoftBank had 785,597 equity shares in Series G and invested $200 million. Then, in a further round headed by T. Rowe Price, 589198 shares worth $150 million were allotted.

Paytm was valued at $10 billion in September 2018, with Berkshire Hathaway raising $300 million for a 2.6% stake. Discovery Capital increased its investment by $75 million and acquired 294,600 shares.

Steadfast Capital Management acquired $25 million shares, and Samba Financial Group matched that amount. K2 Ventures put $20 million into a series B investment. Hana Financial Investment contributed $15 million, with Venture Capital providing $10 million.

By closing the Series G round, Paytm was worth $15.4 billion. T Rowe Price, D1 Capital, and Discovery Capital led most of the fundraising in 2019, raising a billion dollars.

Ant Financial, Alibaba, SoftBank, and BH International Holdings are among the major investors. Paytm has over 84 retail investors, with 80% of them being Millenial investors under the age of 35, contributing to its present $16 billion market capitalization!

“The Current Valuation of Paytm is $16 Billion”

Products & Services: Payment, Wallet, E-Commerce

Visit their website here (3).

4. Pine Labs

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 1998

Unicorn Entry Year: 2020

Founders: Lokvir Kapoor, Rajul Garg, Tarun Upadhyay

Lokvir Kapoor is the Executive Chairman & Co-Founder of Pine Labs. He graduated from IIT Kanpur with a BTech in Mechanical Engineering. He then went on to obtain his MBA at IIM Banglore.

Before joining Pine Labs, he had worked for Schlumberger in India and overseas in finance management and business development. Rajul Garg is known primarily now as the co-founder of Leo Capital.

He is the co-founder of Pine Labs, has held the position for five years, and has been a Board member for almost four years. After leaving the company, he co-founded GlobalLogic, serving as COO and SVP.

Rajul Garg graduated from IIT Delhi with a Btech in Computer Science. Tarun Upadhyay is another co-founder and CTO of Pine Labs who holds an integrated MSc. in Mathematics and Computer Applications from IIT Delhi.

Tarun has a history of co-founding companies, including GlobalLogic, hCentive, and Gallop.ai. For the first two, he was a co-founder, and for Gallop.ai, he was the CEO. Amrish Rau is the current CEO of Pine Labs, having taken over the company around March 2020.

He earned a Bachelor of Engineering from the Shah and Anchor Kutchhi Engineering College and previously worked as the CEO of First Data and Payu India before joining Pine Labs.

Pine Labs has since been on a quest to build a product and service platform that expands access and accelerates commerce for merchants in any local market where they have a base. It also believes that with the right technology and capital, every business can develop exponentially, which is also the primary goal of its mission.

Funding

Pine Labs began its journey to unicorn status by raising funds in 13 rounds, totaling over $1.2 billion. It is currently worth more than $5 billion. The company's valuation increased by $3 billion following a $600 million capital round from Blackrock and Fidelity in July 2021, as well as a $20 million investment from SBI.

Its valuation grew to $3.5 billion in January 2022. The firm gained $50 million in the round headed by Vitruvian Partners in March 2022, following an initial round in which it bought $150 million led by Alpha Wave Global in February 2022.

Pine Labs joined the list of unicorns in India in January 2020 and became the country's first unicorn the following month when it acquired an unspecified amount from Mastercard. Pine Labs is backed by renowned worldwide investors such as Sequoia Capital, Actis, PayPal, Temasek Holdings, and Mastercard.

“The Current Valuation of Pine Labs is $5 Billion”

Products & Services: Financial Payments, ATM-cum Debit Cards, Banking

Visit their website here (4).

5. PhonePe

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2015

Unicorn Entry Year: 2020

Founders: Sameer Nigam, Burzin Engineer, and Rahul Chari

Sameer Nigam is the CEO and founder of PhonePe. He formerly worked as the Vice President of Engineering for Flipkart. He graduated from the University of Mumbai and has an MBA from The Wharton School.

Rahul Chari is PhonePe's second founder and CTO. After interning at Sun Microsystems, he began his career as a software developer with Andiamo Systems Inc.

He later had management positions with many firms, notably Cisco Systems, Flipkart, and Mime360. He created Flipkart's Ekart logistics stack and has over 18 years of expertise in content management, data analytics, and supply chain engineering.

Rahul cleared the exam and was admitted to IIT Bombay. Still, he decided to pursue another path in life, demonstrating that you don't need an IIT degree to achieve your objectives but rather perseverance and potential. He graduated with a Computer Science degree from the University of Mumbai.

Burzin Engineer is PhonePe's third founder and CRO. Before establishing PhonePe, he has been the Vice President of Engineering and Operations at M-GO for two years. He has also worked for Flipkart as the Director of Engineering, as well as mime360 and Shopzilla.

He obtained his bachelor's degree from the University of Mumbai and his master's degree in computer science from the University of Southern California. PhonePe was developed to be a ubiquitous and secure payment environment.

The three partners envisioned creating a massive, robust, and open transaction environment with the maximum possible beneficial influence for all stakeholders.

Funding

PhonePe was created in 2015 and was acquired by e-commerce behemoth Flipkart within a year of its inception. However, it split up, and Flipkart no longer holds any ownership in the company, which impacted Flipkart's valuation, which we will explore later.

It has raised $1.99 billion in 14 rounds of investment, including $297 million from PhonePe Private Limited Singapore. PhonePe reportedly completed a $350 million investment round led by Walmart, which was an extension of the $700 million raised by the business in 2020.

In a new investment round without Flipkart's influence, its worth doubled to more than $12 billion. It raised $350 million and another $650 million even after fundraising activities were delayed, with General Atlantic leading the first tranche of financing.

The corporation has not given the investment round a name, but it has said it is worth $12 billion. PhonePe was estimated at $5.5 billion in late 2020 and generated less than $450 million in annual sales. It also plans to generate $1 billion in revenue by the fiscal year ending March 2023.

“The Current Valuation of PhonePe is $12 Billion”

Products & Services: Payments

Visit their website here (5).

6. BharatPe

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2018

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Bhavik Koladiya, Shashvat Nakrani, Ashneer Grover

BharatPe had some contentious founders, with Bhavik Koladiya, Shashvat Nakrani, and Ashneer Grover being the initial individuals to hold the role of the founder. Koladiya managed the company before being delisted and convicted of credit card fraud in a US court.

When Sequoia joined the board and abstained from investing due to his presence, Ashneer Grover was appointed as the firm's face alongside Shashvat, who has been with the company since the beginning.

Ashneer Grover was then named MD and Co-Founder of BharatPe, a position he resigned from and relinquished in February 2022. He graduated from IIT Delhi and was previously the head of a new business at PCJ. He also oversaw Corp Dev for Amex India and was designated as the CFO of Grofers.

Bhavik Koladiya was the initial co-founder and the Group Head of Product and Technology at BharatPe and is an alumnus of IIT Delhi. He is an investor in Pristyn Care and an active angel investor in LenDenClub, Digifn, Vested Finance, Walrus, Flatheads, CityMall, Vahan Inc., ProtectPay, and Digifin.

Shashvat Nakrani was also a founding member of BharatPe. He was pursuing his bachelor's degree in Textile Technology at IIT Delhi when he decided to take a different path and become an entrepreneur in his third year.

He subsequently created his firm bookmyhaircut.com. With the challenges encountered during the startup's early stages and learning everything about technology, he co-founded BharatPe in his third year of graduation.

Shashvat Nakrani is also regarded as the youngest co-founder in India's Fintech industry.

Funding

BharatPe began with a seed investment round in 2018, raising $2 million. Sequoia Capital India and Beenext Capital were the major investors in this round. It later raised $14.5 million in a Series A funding round from Sequoia Capital, Beenext Capital, and Insight Partners.

In 2019, it raised $50 million in a Series B funding round from Ribbit Capital, Steadview Capital, and existing investors. In February 2020, it raised $75 million in Series C funding from Coatue Management.

It raised $33.5 million in the Debt Financing round in January 2021, with significant investors Alteria Capital, Trifecta Capital Advisors, and Innoven Capital. Coatue Management was also the primary investor in a subsequent $108 million Series D investment in 2021.

It raised $6.7 million in debt financing from Norther Arc in 2021 and $370 million in Series E funding led by Tiger Global Management LLC and other existing investors such as Dragoneer, Coatue Management, and Ribbit Capital in August of 2021, marking its entry into the billionaire club and on the list of unicorns in India.

Later in August 2021, it obtained $13.44 million in debt financing from IIFL Wealth and Northern Arc Capital and $20 million in secondary market capital. Later in October 2021, MAS Financial Services Private Limited raised $13.32 million in a debt funding phase.

“The Current Valuation of BharatPe is $2.85 Billion”

Products & Services: Payments

Visit their website here (6).

7. Mobikwik

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2009

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Bipin Preet Singh, Upasana Taku, Chandan Joshi

Bipin Preet Singh is the founder and CEO of MobiKwik. He has won multiple accolades for designing Java code for customer care and marketing, and he is an IIT Delhi alumnus with a Btech in Electrical Engineering.

He spent seven years at Intel, Nvidia, and Freescale Semiconductor before founding MobiKwik. He has also ventured into advertising as a Partner for Star Audio's civic campaign as a volunteer with Janagraha.

Upasana Taku is a co-founder of MobiKwik and a Btech Industrial Engineering graduate of NIT Jalandar. She subsequently completed her MS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.

She also serves as the COO of MobiKwik and is a co-founder of Zaakpay. She began her career at HSBC as a Business Analyst and proceeded to the role of Senior Product Manager at PayPal.

She then worked as a consultant for Multiple Companies before venturing for herself. Chandan Joshi was promoted to co-founder in September 2020 after working as a prominent executive for MobiKwik for two years.

Chandan Joshi graduated with a bachelor's degree in textile technology from IIT Delhi before pursuing an MBA in Finance and General Management from London Business School.

He began as an associate trader for Credit Issue before establishing Packetts and serving as CEO for one year before the company was sold to Nuvo Logistics.

He continued with Nuvo for a year as the Business Head in the Logistics section before Shadowfax acquired it. He later joined MobiKwik as a Business Head and VP in Online and Offline Merchants, and he is now Co-Founder and CEO.

Funding

MobiKwik had raised $213.94 million in investment, with the initial round of debt capital coming in August 2022. It raised $35 million from Blacksoil Capital to prepare for its IPO. The company received debt funding a year after filing its DRHP with SEBI.

This fund was established when the company issued 700 non-convertible debentures at an issue price of INR 5,00,000. It was previously reported that the corporation was trying to raise a total of $100 million. It also raised 100 crores in pre-IPO financing in December 2021 from Bennett Coleman and Company Limited.

Before that, the company raised $20 million in June of 2021, led by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and it is noted that with these funds from ADIA, the company saw a 47% growth within two months and was valued at $736 million later that year when it reached the unicorn valuation.

It was designated a unicorn following the completion of the secondary ESOP round led by Mathew Cyriac, the former chief of Blackstone India. MobiKwik also raised INR 8.74 crore in 2019 from NDTV and Trifecta Capital and INR 24 crore in December 2018 from Sequoia Capital. In 2017, it also received INR 225 crore from an NBFC.

“The Current Valuation of MobiKwik is $1 Billion”

Products & Services: Wallet, Payments

Visit their website here (7).

Category: International Money Transfers & Cryptocurrency Unicorns

One of the primary advantages of employing and leveraging FinTech in International Money Transfers is the "speed" it provides. A traditional bank takes several days to transfer money, whereas FinTech applications process it in much less time.

It also allows users to specify the delivery method, which speeds up the transmission. Fintech Payment (PayTech) has played a crucial role in the processing and transmitting of payments and money internationally for many consumers.

Users can send money using International Money Transfers in the following ways:

  • Smartphones enable cross-border fund transfers via Cryptocurrencies.
  • Through international currency brokers and the use of gadgets to facilitate transfers.
  • Handing out cash at physical locations and processing it in minutes.

Fintech's International Money Transfer software allows customers a variety of payment ways and makes payment through a bank account cost-effective and hassle-free.

Aside from the exchange rate, the transfer costs are also changed and become more cost-effective. Banks often charge a considerable transfer cost, whereas Fintech-powered applications offer little or no transfer fee, depending on the region where the transaction is initiated.

8. CoinSwitch Kuber

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2017

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Ashish Singhal, Govind Soni, and Vimal Sagar Tiwari

Ashish Singhal is the co-founder & CEO of CoinSwitch Kuber. He previously worked for Amazon and interned at Microsoft. He received his bachelor's degree in computer science from Delhi's Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology.

He has also held different technological roles for firms such as Livspace and Reap benefit, and he is also the founder of CRUXPay and Urban Tailor. He departed from Urban Tailor in September 2016 and CRUXPay in April 2020.

Govind Soni is the co-founder & CTO of CoinSwitch Kuber. He previously worked for Amazon and Livspace. He co-founded CRUXPay with Ashish and Vimal.

He received his bachelor's degree in computer engineering from Delhi's Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology. He also stood down as CRUXPay's creator in January 2021.

Vimal Sagar is the co-founder & COO of CoinSwitch Kuber and has worked previously for Zynga and Accenture. He graduated from the Jaypee University of Information Technology and is the co-founder of CRUXPay, a role he still holds.

Funding

CoinSwitch Kuber has raised over $300 million in four fundraising rounds and is regarded as one of India's top unicorns, with a valuation of $1.9 billion. It is one of the most rapidly developing investment and crypto trading platforms, enabling international money transfers utilizing digital currencies.

Ribbit Capital, Paradigm, and Sequoia Capital India invested $15 million in Series A funding, and Tiger Global added $25 million in Series B fundraising.

Andreessen Horowitz also participated in CoinSwitch's $260 million funding round for the first time in India, which was also backed by Coinbase Inc., resulting in its inclusion on the list of unicorns in India, achieving a billion valuation.

It also raised $260 million in its Series C funding round, which added to the platform's current valuation.

“The Current Valuation of CoinSwitch Kuber is $1.9 Billion”

Products & Services: Cryptocurrency Trading, Financial Services

Visit their website here (8).

9. CoinDCX

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2018

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Sumit Gupta and Neeraj Khandelwal

Sumit Gupta is the co-founder and CEO of CoinDCX. He graduated from IIT Bombay with a Btech in Electrical and Electronics and a Mtech in Electronics and Signal Processing.

Before joining Sony as a Software Engineer, he worked as a Data Research Analyst at Columbia Business School. However, after a year of research, he left the position and co-founded ListUp before landing with CoinDCX.

Neeraj Khandelwal is CoinDCX's co-founder and CTO. He graduated from the same university as Sumit, IIT Bombay, with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Neeraj oversees the technological development of CoinDCX products.

Funding

CoinDCX acquired seed funding from Bain Capital and well-known angel investors such as Utsav Somani and Sanjay Mehat in their early stages. In March 2020, it raised $3 million in a series A funding from Polychain and BitMex.

In May that year, the exchange received $2.5 million in Series A funding from investors Coinbase and Bain Capital. It also raised $13.9 million from its existing investors in a series B funding round headed by Block.one, Temasek, Uncorrelated Ventures, Alex Pack, Jump Capital, and Mehta Ventures.

It was CoinDCX's third round of funding in 2020, pulling in a total of $19.4 million. It later raised $90 million in series C funding, reaching a valuation of $1.1 billion, making it India's 22nd unicorn in 2021.

It was also the first crypto unicorn in India. Following that, the company raised $135 million in a series D investment round headed by Pantera Capital and Steadview Capital, with participation from additional investors, including Kingsway, Republic, Kindred, and DraperDragon.

Existing investors in the company, including B Capital Group, Cadenza, Polychain, and Coinbase, also participated in the round. It has received funding from several well-known venture capital firms worldwide, propelling CoinDCX to the status of India's first crypto unicorn.

Polychain Ventures has the most prominent position in CoinDCX, with a total valuation of $590 million. Neeraj and Sumit, co-founders, have 14.36% holdings, with a total worth of $590 million.

“The Current Valuation of CoinDCX is $2.15 Billion”

Products & Services: Cryptocurrency Trading, Financial Services

Visit their website here (9).

Category: Personal Finance (WealthTech) Unicorns

Personal finance is managing money and finances, such as savings or investments, and includes accounting, banking, loans, retirement taxation, wealth management, and other subjects.

The phrase is frequently used to refer to the entire industry that provides financial services to individuals and families, advising them on financial and investment prospects.

It also fulfills Individual ambitions and aspirations and provides a plan for meeting those needs within financial constraints, influencing the method for the features mentioned above.

Making the most of your savings and earnings is also vital for becoming financially knowledgeable. It helps everyone identify positive and negative guidance and helps them make wise financial decisions.

10. CRED

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2018

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Kunal Shah

Kunal Shah is the founder and CEO of Cred. He earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Wilson College and an MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies. He later dropped his education to pursue his goal of becoming an entrepreneur.

Along with his colleague Sandeep Tandon, he began his entrepreneurial experience with PaisaBack, a website that offered cashback rewards and coupons to consumers. He then shut down the operations and created FreeCharge in 2010.

In 2015, Snapdeal purchased FreeCharge, but it retained an independent company run by Shah. Axis Bank then acquired it in 2017, and in 2018, Kunal established CRED, which became a unicorn on April 6, 2021.

Funding

CRED successfully reached India's unicorn club three years after its inception, with a capitalization of $2.2 billion in 2021. It has raised approximately $1 billion in funding throughout the brand's ten funding rounds.

Cred was valued at $4.01 billion in October 2021 and has increased by more than 60% through the middle of 2022. CRED raised $80 million in its series F investment round headed by GIC, Alpha Wave, Sofina, and DF International, which took place in June 2022 and was backed by $200 million from GIC's Venture Round in April 2022.

Previously, the company raised $251 million in a Series E funding round co-led by preexisting investors Tiger Global and Falcon Edge in October of 2021.

Several prominent figures actively participated in the round, including DST Global, Sofina, Dragoneer, Coatue, and Insight Partners. CRED added two new investors in that round, Marshall Wace and Steadfast Venture Capital.

A 2021 Series D funding backed the funding mentioned above to unicorn CRED successfully raised $215 million, backed by an $81 million Series C round from DST worldwide.

It raised $120 million in a series B financing headed by Gemini Investments, Sequoia Capital India, and Ribbit Capital in 2019, following a $24 million Series A fundraising round. It began its journey to unicorn status with a seed funding round of $30 million raised by Sequoia Capital India in 2018 and Rainmatter Technology in 2019.

“The Current Valuation of CRED is $6.4 Billion”

Products & Services: Credit Card Services, Personal Financial Services

Visit their website here (10).

11. Slice

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2016

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Rajan Bajaj

Rajan Bajaj is the CEO of Slice. He began his work as a Business Analyst intern at Walmart before earning his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from IIT Kharagpur. He also founded Mesh Internet while he was only 22 years old.

He recognized that credit cards constituted one such thing that caused various headaches and afflicted the entire generation, particularly those from middle-class households in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. He also took a keen curiosity in the banking field, leading to the foundation of Slice.

Funding:

In 2016, Slice raised $500,000 million in a seed investment round led by Blue Ventures. FinUp Finance Technology Group raised $15 million in a Series A investment in 2018.

It then acquired $2.72 million in a debt financing round headed by Gunosy Capital and Pegasus Wings Group. The finance was provided as non-cumulative compulsory convertible Debentures CCD, with the company issuing 20,50,600 CCD at face value of Rs 100 apiece in 2019.

Gunosy Capital led the round, raising INR 13.4 crore, with Pegasus Wings Group contributing INR 7 crore. Slice then received INR 46 crore in a pre-Series B investment headed by Gunosy in 2020, with participation witnessed by EMVC, Kunal Shah, Better Capital, and Das Capital.

Slice raised INR 75.5 crore from institutional investors, including Northern Arc Capital, Credit Saison India, Niyogin Fintech Limited, and Vivriti Capital in the first quarter of FY22. In addition, the startup has 3 million registered users, with a 30% month-on-month development.

It entered the unicorn club after it received $220 million in the Series B round of 2021 at a valuation of more than $1 billion. Tiger Global and Insight Partners led the capital raising round. Gunosy, Moore Strategic Ventures, Blume Ventures, 8i, Sunley House Capital, Anfa, Binny Bansal, and others also participated in the round.

In 2022, it raised another $50 million from existing investors in a series C investment led by Tiger Global, Moore Strategic Ventures, and Insight Partners.

“The Current Valuation of Slice is $1.5 Billion”

Products & Services: Credit Payments, Financial Services, Banking

Visit their website here (11).

12. Zeta

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2015

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Bhavin Turakhia, Ramki Gaddipati

Bhavin Turakhia is the CEO and founder of Flock, Radix, CodeChef, and Zeta, as well as a billionaire and successful entrepreneur. In 2011, The World Economic Forum designated him a Young Global Leader.

He obtained his bachelor's degree in commerce from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics. He co-founded Directi in 1997, and after 17 years, he departed to form Ringo.co, in which he is currently active.

He co-founded Radix Registry and is the creator and CEO of the Flock App. He co-founded Zeta in 2017 and is still actively engaged, and he later became the founder and CEO of Titan.

Ramki Gaddipati earned a Master's Degree in Management and a Master's Degree in Software Systems from Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani. He subsequently began his career with the Directi Group, where he spent seven years overseeing various technical initiatives.

He is currently the co-founder and CTO of Zeta, where he leads a strong engineering team that provides a solid basis for the product. Bhavin and Ramki want to operate in an environment where they can fundamentally modify or make a significant influence.

Funding

Zeta is a fintech company that operates a full-stack neo-banking platform. Sodexo BRS invested in Zeta in its series C financing and purchased a small stake in the company. At the same time, the executive declined to specify the amount of funding, which was estimated to be over $60 million in 2019.

It was the first time Zeta raised funds from an outside source, and it later raised $250 million in a Series C round headed by SoftBank Vision Fund, with participation from prior investor Sodexo in 2021.

The fresh round of 2021 branded the startup and placed it on India's list of unicorns. Zeta's worth rapidly skyrocketed, reaching $300 million in the year's second half and becoming a unicorn by 2021.

“The Current Valuation of Zeta is $1.5 Billion”

Products & Services: NeoBanking, Financial Services

Visit their website here (12).

13. OneCard

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2018

Unicorn Entry Year: 2022

Founders: Rupesh Kumar, Anurag Sinha, Vibhav Hathi

Rupesh Kumar is the co-founder of OneCard. He holds a master's degree in Analytical Finance from the Indian School of Business and a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Delhi. He began working as a Software Engineer for Geometric Ltd. and spent two years at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.

He also worked with ICICI Bank for 18 years and was responsible for developing and implementing mobile banking and digital payments. Before joining OneCard, he was in charge of raising equity and debt and acquiring two banks.

Anurag Sinha graduated from IIT Varanasi with an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. He is a member of the International Advisory Board at Shoolini University in Himachal Pradesh.

Before joining OneCard, he founded Walnut Software in 2016, a personal financial smartphone application that automatically tracks expenditures, P2P payments, balance, and costs without requiring bank passwords.

He has been affiliated with numerous organizations and has played crucial roles, with his most extended spell with ICICI Bank, where he worked for 13 years. He is currently the CEO of FPL Technologies. Vibhav Hathi is the co-founder of OneCard.

He worked with ICICI Bank for 14 years, holding several key positions before becoming a founding member of OneCard. His first startup, Open Canvas, is a mobile-based transaction platform that drives interoperable digital payment. He worked as a Management Trainee for Reliance and has an MBA from IIM Kolkata.

Funding

OneCard raised $4.5 million in a seed round in June 2019 from Sequoia and Matrix, then $10 million in a Series A fundraising round from existing investors and Hummingbird Ventures.

The company received $7.6 million from QED and $2.4 million from Ocean View Investment. It secured $25 million in a Series B round headed by Sequoia Capital in February 2021, with previous investors present. In addition, in August 2020, it raised $10 million in its Series A financing.

It then raised $100 million in a Series D round from Sequoia Capital, other existing investors, and Temasek, putting it on the list of India's unicorns with a valuation of $1.4 billion. It received $225.2 million in six rounds of funding. It received funding in the series D round of 2022 from 14 investors, including Sarv Investment and GIC.

“The Current Valuation of OneCard is $1.4 Billion”

Products & Services: Metal/Smart Cards, Credit Cards, Financial Services

Visit their website here (13).

14. Chargebee

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2011

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Krish Subramanian, Rajaraman Santhanam, Saravanan KP, Thiyagarajan Thiyagu

Chargebee was started by four friends: Krish Subramanian, Rajaraman Santhanam, Saravanan KP, and Thiyagarajan Thiyagu. Krish is the CEO and co-founder of Chargebee. He graduated from Bharathidasan University and worked for TCS, Cognizant Technology Solutions, and MatexNet Pvt Ltd.

Rajaraman Santhanam is Chargebee's co-founder and COO. He completed his bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering at Bharathidasan University. Before joining Chargebee, he worked with Zoho Corporation for ten years.

Saravanan KP, the co-founder and CTO of Chargebee, formerly worked as a Technical Architect for Zoho Corporation for 12 years. His education is yet unknown. Thiyagarajan Thiyagu is the co-founder of Chargebee and works as an Architect for the company.

He completed his education at Madurai Kamaraj University and has 15 years of business experience. He was previously a Technical Lead at Zoho Corporation, where he led initiatives for developing integration for a foundation for several products, most notably the Zoho Office suite of apps.

Funding

Chargebee received $370,000 in seed funding from a private group of Angel Investors that featured top executives from several large corporations and a few entrepreneurs. Accel Partners then provided $800,000 in Series A funding.

Chargebee's total funding stands at $1.17 million, including the $370k obtained in the seed funding round in October 2012. The startup then raised $5 million in a series B financing headed by Accel, a New York-based investment firm.

It then received $18 million in a series C financing led by Insight Venture Partners, with existing investors Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management participating in the round. It also raised $14 million in a series D funding round headed by Steadview Capital for $38.2 million.

It has secured $55 million in another financing round to help accelerate its global market expansion. Insight Partners led the Series F financing round, joined by previous investors Steadview Capital and Tiger Global.

In a series G funding round headed by Sapphire Ventures and previous investors Tiger Global and Insight Venture Partners, it raised $125 million. Its second fundraising round valued the company at $1.4 billion, a threefold increase since the series F round, and elevated it to the list of India's unicorns.

Later, in a series H round led by Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital, it collected $250 million and was valued at $3.5 billion, with participation from Insight Partners, Sapphire, and Steadview Capital.

“The Current Valuation of Chargebee is $3.5 Billion”

Products & Services: SaaS, Financial Services

Visit their website here (14).

Category: Stock Trading Unicorns

Stock trading programs have diversified investment portfolios and made them readily accessible to users by leveraging technology and replacing the requirement for professional investment advisors.

Their AI-powered devices are intended for rookie investors, supporting them with threat management and expert financial advisory. Instead of traditional methods, online brokers now use stock-trading software, which also contains reserves for trading assets and investments.

Users can now trade, track, seek advice from, and remain updated utilizing technology-driven stock trading applications that have transformed it from an adult-only practice to a profession performed and followed by users of all ages.

15. Zerodha

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2010

Unicorn Entry Year: 2020

Founders: Nithin Kamath, Nikhil Kamath

Nithin Kamath is the CEO and co-founder of Zerodha and the Rainmatter Foundation, a non-profit initiative of Zerodha aimed at increasing environmental sustainability. He is the elder of the two founding brothers of Zerodha.

He graduated from Bangalore Institute of Technology and then worked as a Proprietary Trader before becoming a Senior Telesales Executive at Manipal Infocom and a Partner at Kamath Associates.

He worked with his younger brother to build Zerodha. Nikhil Kamath is a co-founder of Zerodha. He is Nithin's younger brother and the co-founder of True Beacon, an asset management firm that caters to the ultra-rich.

Nikhil dropped out of school at 16 in class 10 and focused his time and efforts on trading. He began his career selling used cell phones in the 10th grade and later joined a call center after dropping out at 17 and began equities trading.

Nikhil ultimately began handling money from friends and coworkers, which also helped him gain his first experience in asset management. He later quit his call center job and started auto-trading with his brother, which finally led to the establishment of Zerodha.

Funding

The company achieved unicorn status in June 2020 without raising capital from investors, focusing solely on bootstrapping. In FY20, the company reported revenues of INR 938.4 crore, which nearly tripled in FY21 to INR 2,729 crores.

This revenue increased significantly during FY22, with Zerodha claiming a revenue of INR 4,964 crores. The increase in revenue in FY22 was attributable to the large number of new users that joined the firm during the same financial year.

“The Current Valuation of Zerodha is $2 Billion”

Products & Services: Stock Exchange, Trading, Financial Services

Visit their website here (15).

16. Groww

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2017

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Lalit Keshre, Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh, Ishan Bansal

Groww was established by four former Flipkart employees, Lalit Keshre, Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh, and Ishan Bansal, to make investing more accessible to the younger generation by streamlining the process.

Groww co-founder and CEO Lalit Keshre completed his BTech Electrical Engineering, Microelectronics from IIT Bombay. He was responsible for the IITiam Systems' product and engineering.

After graduating, he started Eduflix and later joined Flipkart, where he worked in the Product Department for less than three years and later founded Groww in May of 2016.

Harsh Jain is the co-founder and COO of Groww. He holds a Master of Technology in Information and Communication Technology from IIT Delhi. He also has an MBA in Product Management and Marketing Technology from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Ishan Bansal is the co-founder of Groww.  He attended BITS Pilani and completed his BTech in Mechanical Engineering. He is a Charter Holder of the CFA Institute and completed his MBA in Finance from XLRI Jamshedpur.

He began his career at ICICI Securities before departing to work as a Manager for Naspers Limited. He then worked for Flipkart in Corporate Development before co-founding Groww.

Neeraj Singh is the co-founder and CTO of Groww.  He completed his bachelor's degree in information technology from ITM University in Gwalior before enrolling in a postgraduate diploma in advanced computing from C-Dac. He later worked as a Software Engineer with JDA Software.

Later, he worked in the SDE department at Flipkart before co-founding Groww with other co-founders. During their time at Flipkart, the company's founders saw a shift in e-commerce marketing. They believed that investing was the next significant potential, which resulted in the establishment of Groww.

Funding

Groww commenced becoming a unicorn when it raised $1.6 million in a pre-series A investment round from Insignia Venture Partners, Lightbridge Partners, and Kairos Fund, which was also attended by its existing seed funders and angel investors, including Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori.

Groww also counts Y Combinator as an active seed accelerator. It raised $6 million in a series A fundraising round headed by Sequoia India, with participation from Propel Venture Partners, Kauffman Fellows, and Y Combinator.

Groww then raised $21.4 million in a Series B fundraising round headed by Ribbit Capital, one of the most active VC companies in India that year. Groww closed a $30 million Series C fundraising round funded by Y Combinator's growth-stage investment vehicle, YC Continuity.

Other sponsors included Sequoia India, Ribbit Capital, and Propel Ventures. Groww raised $83 million in a Series D investment led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from current investors Sequoia Capital India, Ribbit Capital, YC Continuity, and Propel Venture Partners.

It later raised $251 million in series E fundraising at a $3 billion valuation led by ICONIQ Growth and investors, including Alkeon, Steadfast, and Lone Pine Capital, establishing its entry into India's unicorn club.

“The Current Valuation of Groww is $3 Billion”

Products & Services: Stock Exchange, Trading, Financial Services

Visit their website here (16).

17. Upstox

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2010

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Raghu Kumar, Ravi Kumar, Kavitha Subramanian, Shrinivas Viswanath

Ravi Kumar is a co-founder and a member of the Upstox Board of Directors. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine. He is in command of product development and corporate communications.

He worked in engineering and business development at TD Ameritrade's flagship product, Thinkorswim Trading Platform. He is well known as the creator of RK Trading Partnership and RKSV.

Raghu Kumar is an RKSV and Upstox co-founder. He is Ravi Kumar's brother and has been at the forefront of the company's rights from its beginning. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Raghu created RKSV alongside his brother and Shrini, which developed into a retail brokerage platform framework. RKSV was finally offered to the retail market in 2012, and the firm rebranded that division as Upstox.

Shrinivas Vishwanath is the co-founder and member of the Upstox Board of Directors and the company's technology director. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Science from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

He is a large-volume trading specialist who spent most of his experience in automated trading, designing low-latency, highly scalable systems. Before co-founding Upstox, he worked at Citibank in multiple managerial capacities.

Kavitha Subramanian is the co-founder of Upstox and is in charge of the company's growth, strategy, finance, and customer experience. She completed her Btech and Mtech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay.

She has an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. Before joining Groww, she worked as an Associate Director at Leapfrog Investments and as an Investment Principal at Actis Investments. She has worked as a Business Analyst for McKinsey & Co. and as the AVP of Business Development at SKS Microfinance.

Funding

Upstox raised $4 million in a Series A investment round led by Kalaari Capital, with participation from GVK Davix Technologies Pvt Ltd and other unnamed investors.

Tiger Global owns approximately 31.1% of Upstox and has made two $25 million investments in 2019 and 2021, followed by Ratan Tata and Kalaari Capital. Upstox became a unicorn after raising $25 million at a more than $3 billion valuation.

Tiger Global led the fundraising round, establishing Upstox as a significant competitor to Zerodha and Groww. Ratan Tata and Tiger Global are investors in Upstocx. In addition, 70% of the company's 2 million new consumers are first-time investors under 36.

“The Current Valuation of Upstox is $3.4 Billion”

Products & Services: Stock Exchange, Financial Services, Trading

Visit their website here (17).

Category: Consumer Banking (BankTech) Unicorns

Individual users can utilize consumer banking to manage their accounts, acquire credit, deposit funds, and safeguard their activities and invoices.

Access to credit card operations, certificates of deposit, cibil checks, personal loans, and other products are among the services provided by such applications.

The use of technology in consumer banking offers more simplified and effective service delivery. Consumer Banking is the use of digital platforms to provide banking solutions and services to users, as well as rewards and guidance.

It has various advantages over traditional banking, including a better user experience, reduced costs, and less operational burden!

18. Razorpay

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2014

Unicorn Entry Year: 2020

Founders: Shashank Kumar, Harshil Mathur

Harshil Mathur is the CEO and co-founder of Razorpay and an IIT Roorkee graduate with a Btech in Technology. In 2015, he joined Y-W15 Combinator's batch and embarked on his career as a Wireline Field Engineer at Schlumberger.

After a brief tenure at the company, Mathur opted to co-found Razorpay with Shashank Kumar in 2014. Shashank Kumar is Razorpay's co-founder, CTO, and former IIT Roorkee student who completed his BTech in Computer Science before entering Y-Combinator in 2015.

After three months as a research intern in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, he began another apprenticeship at Microsoft as a Software Development Engineer.

He was a Vice President at SDS Labs before joining Microsoft. He served as an employee for Microsoft for about two years before leaving to co-found Razorpay.

Funding

Razorpay raised $2.5 million in the seed round from Matrix Partners. The company raised $11.5 million in the next round of angel fundraising from 33 angel investors, including Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, Amit Gupta, Bill Gajda, Jeff Huber, Justin Kan, Punit Soni, Abhay Singhal, Naveen Tewari, and Amit Gupta, Sandeep Tandon, Kunal Shah, Ram Shriram, and others.

It raised $9 million in a series A investment round headed by Tiger Global and its current investors, Matrix Partners. It then raised $20 million in series B funding led by Tiger Global and Y Combinator, with participation from Matrix Partners, bringing the company's total funding to $31.5 million.

Razorpay later raised $75 million in a Series C round headed by Ribbit Capital and Sequoia India, both based in the United States. After raising $100 million in a Series D round backed by Singapore's GIC and Sequoia India, it joined the unicorn club.

Later, it raised $160 million in a Series E fundraising round co-led by GIC Sequoia, Ribbit Capital, and Matrix Partners, bringing the company's worth to $3 billion. It raised $375 million in a Series F investment round headed by Alkeon Capital, Lone Pine Capital, and TCV, bringing extra capital to the firm.

It then raised $75 million from Lightspeed and Moore Ventures in a secondary deal ESOP sale.

“The Current Valuation of Razorpay is $7.5 Billion”

Products & Services: Financial Services, Banking

Visit their website here (18).

19. Billdesk

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2000

Unicorn Entry Year: 2018

Founders: Ajay Kaushal, Srinivasu MN, Karthik Ganapathy

Srinivasu MN completed his MBA from IIM. He began his career with ITC and worked there for ten years before joining Arthur Anderson in 1999, wherein he met Ajay Kaushal and Karthik Ganapathy.

Ajay Kaushal graduated from IIT Madras with a degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Karthik Ganapathy completed his bachelor's degree from IIT Bombay and his MBA from IIM Banglore.

Three of them had previously worked as colleagues in the financial sector during significant technology shifts in Indian banking. It was a time when banks were engaging in technology-based banking services platforms and were trying to transition away from physical branches.

They saw a business potential in developing a layer of services to aid banks in their digital transformation. They decided not to enter online share trading or loans because there was already growing and intense competition.

They investigated and discovered that payments were the primary area in which they could collaborate with banks, which led to the establishment of BillDesk!

Funding

Billdesk started down the path of a unicorn in 2001 when it received its first funding from SIDBI Venture Capital Ltd and Bank of Baroda. Later a year, Clearstone Venture Partners and the State Bank of India raised $7.5 million in a Venture Round.

Later that year, TA Associates, a US-based private equity group, made an undisclosed investment backed by $200 million from General Atlantic and Temasek Holdings in 2015, bringing the company's total valuation to USD 1 billion.

General Atlantic remains the corporation's largest shareholder, owning 35% of the company. It then raised $245 million in five rounds of fundraising. In 2019, the company raised $82.27 million from Visa in a Series C round.

PayU announced in 2021 that it intended to acquire BillDesk for an all-cash deal of $4.7 billion, which would have been India's most prominent fintech acquisition. However, the agreement was later abandoned in October 2022.

“The Current Valuation of Billdesk is $4.7 Billion”

Products & Services: B2B Payments

Visit their website here (19).

20. Open

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2017

Unicorn Entry Year: 2022

Founders: Anish Achuthan, Mabel Chacko, Deena Jacob, Ajeesh Achuthan

Anish Achuthan is the CEO and founder of Open Financial Technologies. He has over 17 years of previous job experience in the financial business sector. In 2013, he also co-founded Zwitch, India's first developer-focused payment platform, which Citrus Payments ultimately acquired.

He obtained a patenting and intellectual property degree from IIM Bangalore and was a founding member of PayU India, where he served as Vice President and Business Head. Ifuturz Technologies was his first founding company, an internet, and cellular value-added service provider.

Deena Jacob began her career as an Assistant Manager at Deloitte & Touche and has over 15 years of experience working in various roles such as finance operations, HR, purchase operations, performance management systems, analysis, tax, pricing, legal, and so on, in companies such as ICICI Bank, Aditya Birla Minacs, and so on.

Deena is the current CFO of open and has received the CIMA Most Influential CFOs award in 2016 as well as the CFONEXT 100 in 2013, which recognizes the top 100 finance executives in India, as well as being selected to CFO India's top 100 CFO roll of honor in the field of management controls in 2017.

She earned a Chartered Accountant degree from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Mabel Chacko is the co-founder of Open. She has over 15 years of expertise in financial technology and a strong love for startups and entrepreneurship.

Before co-founding Open, she was instrumental in forming several other firms. The first was Touch2pay in 2006, a biometric payment startup that worked in financial inclusion in Gujarat's remote villages.

Mabel holds an MBA from IIM Bengaluru and has worked at Citrus Payment Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and PayU. MEITY and Nasscom honored her as the 2019 Startup Leader of the Year in the banking sector.

Ajeesh Achuthan graduated with a bachelor's degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Kerala and was named one of Forbes' 30 Under 30. He is the current CTO of Open, and his first company, InLoc8, was an indoor location-based ad-tech network.

He has worked for organizations like PayU and Citrus Payment Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Since then. Open has been on a quest to provide a seamless corporate banking experience and simplify financial administration.

Funding

Open raised $250,000 in its Angel fundraising round in 2017 from Amrish Rau and Jitendra Gupta, and later that year, raised $180,000 from ISMR Ace in its FinTech Accelerator Pre Seed Funding Round.

Open then raised $2 million in a pre-series A funding round headed by Unicorn India Ventures and Recruit Co. Ltd. itself through the investment arm RSP India Fund LLC. It then received $5 million in series A funding from Beenext, Speedinvest, and 3one4 Capital.

Open secured INR 210 crore in a Series B funding round led by US-based Tiger Global, with participation from Tanglin Venture Partners Advisors, 3one4 Capital, Speedinvest, and BetterCapital.

Trifecta Capital Advisors invested INR 250 million in debt financing in 2021. Open later raised $100 million in a Series C investment led by Temasek and joined by Google, SBI Investment, and Tiger Global, as well as participation from 3one4 Capital. It then raised $50 million in Series D funding from IIFL Finance, making it India's 100th unicorn.

“The Current Valuation of Open Financial Technologies is $1 Billion”

Products & Services: NeoBanking, Financial Services

Visit their website here (20).

Category: Insurance (InsurTech) Unicorns

Insurance in Fintech solutions improves the customer experience by integrating smartphones, IoT, AI, ML, and other technologies to provide a better service to clients that use and apply for insurance.

InsurTech is changing how clients perceive insurance products by providing benefits like accessible online applications, simple and customized plans, tailored profits, etc. Technology usage has improved the insurance sector's expansion while demonstrating how the conventional process was tedious and slow.

Insurance in Fintech has also attracted millions of users in the industry previously unknown to many. Millions of users have more than two policies owing to the ease of accessibility and exposure of services.

21. PolicyBazaar

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2008

Unicorn Entry Year: 2018

Founders: Yashish Dahiya, Alok Bansal, Manjoy Sharma, Tarun Mathur, Avaneesh Nirjar

Yashish Dahiya is the co-founder of PolicyBazaar and has a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering from IIT Delhi, a Post Graduate Diploma from IIM Ahmedabad, and an MBA from INSEAD. Later, he worked as a consultant for Bain & Company before becoming the Managing Director of ebookers.com.

He developed "First Europa," a global internet insurance broker, and was responsible for guiding its worldwide expansion and managing the company's business across nine geographical areas. He is also a national-level swimmer and triathlete.

He is now the ex-CEO of PolicyBazaar, an active investor, and the founder of paisabazaar.com, which offers fixed deposits and loans at the touch of a button. He has been the CEO of PolicyBazaar since its start and will remain so until February 2020.

Sarbvir Singh was appointed CEO of PolicyBazaar in February 2020, and Yashish took over responsibilities for the larger PolicyBazaar company. Before becoming CEO of PolicyBazaar, Sarbvir Singh was the Managing Partner at WaterBridge.

He is an IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad graduate with extensive experience working for firms such as JP Morgan Private Equity Group, HomeShop 18, Emerson Electric, Citi Bank, and Network 18. He also co-founded Hercules Capital, an Indian equity firm that invests in private and institutional client assets.

Alok Bansal is policy bazaar's co-founder and director. He graduated from IIM Kolkata and previously worked as the finance director at First Europa, the Senior Manager at Corp Strategy at Mahindra & Mahindra, and the Business Manager at iGate Global Solutions.

Avaneesh Nirjar is the co-founder of PolicyBazaar. He graduated from IIT Kharagpur and has an MBA from BIT (Birla). He had worked with AT&T India, Marico Industries, HeroITES, First Europa, GE Capital International Services, and Cendant ISO before joining PolicyBazar.

Tarun Mathur is the co-founder and CBO of PolicyBazaar. He received his diploma from IGNOU BIT (Bangalore). He later served as a Leader in Workforce Management for HeroITER and as a Manager for FE Global Technology before co-founding PolicyBazaar with fellow co-founders in 2008.

Manoj Sharma is a co-founder and the Director of Finance of PolicyBazaar. He graduated from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He worked briefly for Ericsson Indian Pvt. Ltd. before joining Fiamm Minda Automotive Pvt. Ltd. He then worked for organizations like First Europ and Anand Nishikawa before joining PolicyBazaar.

Funding

PolicyBazaar started its journey with an unannounced equity investment from Intel Capital. It later raised $5 million in a series B investment round led by Investus Capital Partners, with existing investors Info Edge and Intel Capital also participating.

It then raised $20 million from existing investors in a Series C round of funding. Later, in a Series D round of fundraising, it raised $40 million from PremjiInvest and added additional investors to its roster, including Ribbit Capital and Tiger Global, Steadview Capital, and ABG Capital.

The company then managed to raise $77 million in Series E capital from Tiger Global Management, as well as current investors Temasek and Premji Invest, as well as other unnamed investors.

Other previous investors, such as Info Edge Ltd, disclosed in a regulatory filing that it had invested INR 50.71 crore in the investment round, acquiring five equity shares and 1949 privileged shares at INR 2.59 lakh each.

The company later received over $200 million in a Series F round headed by SoftBank Vision Fund, which invested $45 million each and secured a total share of 8.93%, confirming its $1 billion valuation and admission into the unicorn club.

PolicyBazar significantly boosted $130-150 million from Tencent, a Chinese IT powerhouse, in a Series G round in 2019. SoftBank funded an additional $50 million in a series H financing in 2020, with an acquisition of $80 million in shares.

PolicyBazaar raised $75 million in another round headed by Falcon Edge Capital, and PB Fintech later gained board clearance to invest INR 700 crores in its insurtech subsidiary PolicyBazaar.

“The Current Valuation of PolicyBazaar is $2.4 Billion”

Products & Services: Policy, Insurance, Financial Services, Financial Assistance

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22. Acko

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2016

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Varun Dua, Ruchi Deepak

Varun Dua is the CEO and co-founder of Acko. He completed his studies at MICA Ahmedabad and afterward at the University of Mumbai. After graduating, he worked as a Trainee at Leo Burnett Advertising for less than a year before beginning a career as a Marketing Manager at TATA AIG Life Insurance and then at Franklin Templeton Investments.

He later became the CEO of Coverfox Insurance Broking Pvt. Ltd. He created Coverfox in 2013 and then two firms, Enser Communications, and Glitterbug Technologies, and has been actively working with Acko since 2016.

Ruchi Deepak is the co-founder of Acko. She has extensive experience as she held senior positions at Coverfox, Franklin Templeton Investments, and Matrix Partners, where she met Varun and later co-founded Acko in 2016.

While establishing the company and applying for a license, she gave birth to twins, demonstrating her commitment to the work culture and Acko, making her an inspirational entrepreneur alongside Varun, a serial entrepreneur.

Ruchi hails from Jamshedpur and is a graduate of Lady Shri Ram College (LSR), where she earned her law degree. She then co-founded, became the director of Acko, and served as an advisor to several startups.

Funding

Acko General Insurance is a Mumbai-based internet insurance firm that acquired $30 million in venture capital from a group of investors that included Accel Partners and SAIF Partners.

NR Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Infosys, funded through his family office Catamaran Ventures, as did Kris Gopalkrishnan through his Pratithi Investment Trust.

Other investors in that round included senior investment banker Hemendra Kothari of DSP Blackrock, Arpwood Capital founder Rajeev Gupta, NuVentures' Venk Krishnan, and Subba Rao, and Hexaware Technologies founder Atul Nishar.

Amazon has been linked with Acko investment and has supported Acko with $12 million in its funding round with Ashish Dhawan, the founder of PE company ChrysCapital, and current investors Catamaran Ventures, valuing Acko at $42 million.

Later, in a series C investment round, it raised $65 million, with participation from new and current top investors, including Binny Banal, co-founder of Flipkart, who contributed $25 million in his capacity.

Acko successfully raised $60 million in a Series D fundraising round headed by Munich Re Ventures and participated in by existing investors Amazon, RPS Ventures, and Intact Ventures, as well as the Corporate venture arm of Canada's largest real-estate insurer.

It then launched a $225 million Series D round headed by General Atlantic, a major global growth equity firm, and Multiple Private Equity, a leading India-focused Private Equity firm.

The round also included participation from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Lightspeed, a global tech-focused investment firm, and current investors Intact Venture and Munich Re Ventures. It also contributed to Acko's admission into the unicorn club, with a valuation of $1.1 billion.

“The Current Valuation of Acko is $1.1 Billion”

Products & Services: Insurance, Financial Services

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23. DigitInsurance

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2016

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Kamesh Goyal

Kamlesh Goyal is the Founder and Chairman of Digit Insurance. He formerly worked as the Head of Asset Management and Group Planning and Controlling at Allianz Insurance. He was also the Regional Chief Executive Officer for Allianz Insurance.

He later worked as the CEO, COO, and Country Manager for Bajaj Allianz after beginning his career as a Manager at KPMG India. He completed his BA LLB and Master's in Business Administration from Delhi University.

Funding

Digit Insurance entered the unicorn club in 2021, having raised around $530.8 million in investment throughout eight funding rounds. The most recent funding round was in January 2022, when Wellington Hadley Harbor and Ithan Creek Master Investors raised $70 million.

The company raised $200 million in July 2021, with investments led by Sequoia Capital India, IIFL Alternate Asset Managers, and its previous investor Faering Capital, among others.

The round resulted in a total capital infusion of $442 million into the company, making it one of the largest investment rounds in the history of the Indian insurance market or the InsurTech sector, with Digit Insurance valued at $3.5 billion.

Previously, it raised $200 million, with TVS Growth Fund and other high-net-worth people leading the way. To achieve such a valuation, the business approved a special resolution allocating 38,47,427 equity shares at an issue price of INR 314 per share.

“The Current Valuation of Digit Insurance is $3.54 Billion”

Products & Services: Insurance, Financial Services

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Category: B2C Business-To-Consumer Unicorns

Did You Know?

E-Commerce, also known as Electronic Commerce, uses electronic internet technology to purchase, sell, and trade products and services. E-commerce connects and functions in various areas, from computers and logistics to intelligent devices.

E-Commerce transactions enable virtual access to any product or service feasible, including groceries, apparel, entertainment, and even wealth management, such as trading stocks. E-commerce is a highly revolutionary technology and economy.

India's E-Commerce business is on the verge of overtaking the United States as the world's second-largest E-Commerce industry by 2034. Here are the various sub-categories of the E-Commerce sector in which the E-commerce unicorns of India are establishing their dominance.

The most prevalent subsection of E-commerce is B2C, which deals with electronic business connections between businesses and customers. It refers to a company selling items and services to its customers directly.

B2C became extremely popular during the late 1990s dot-com boom when the term was mainly used to refer to virtual stores. The market is pervasive, but it is challenging to stand out now because most products and services are already available.

However, these unicorns distinguished themselves by offering one-of-a-kind products and services or entering early in the race. There are numerous lessons to be drawn from India's e-commerce startup unicorns. Let us have a look.

24. DealShare

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2018

Unicorn Entry Year: 2022

Founders: Vineet Rao, Sourjyendu Medda, Rajat Shikhar, Sankar Bora

Vineet Rao is the CEO and CTO of Dealshare. He is also the founder of Shopwest and SpectraVR Studios Pvt Ltd. and has previous experience working with SlikCloud and Microsoft. He graduated from IIT Bombay.

Sourjyendu Medda is Dealshare's CBO and CFO. He has worked for organizations such as J.K. Helene Curtis Ltd., Metro Cash & Carry, Britannia Industries Limited, and Citibank. He obtained his MBA from the National Institute of Industrial Engineering.

Sankar Bora is the CEO of Dealshare. He formerly worked at AEON Learning and Miraistore and was the VP at Myntra. He obtained a Btech Engineering degree from the National Institute of Technology in Calicut.

Rajat Shikhar is the CPO of Dealshare. He formerly worked for Buzzl, Foodpanda, Thoughtworks, and GoFro. Rajat of Dealshare graduated from the Indian Institute of Management IIM.

Funding

Dealshare secured $624.8 million in funding from key investors such as Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Alpha Wave Global, Innoven Capital, Westbridge, Tiger Global Management, Falcon Capital, Matrix Partners India, Z3Partners, Omidyar Network, DST Global Solutions, Dragoneer Investments Group, Unilever Ventures, and Kora Capital in over ten rounds of investment.

The company received the title of a unicorn when Alpha Wave Global raised $165 million in Dealshare.  Dealshare raised INR 70 crore from Alteria Capital in a venture loan round and $21 million from West Bridge Capital in Series C fundraising.

Alpha Wave Incubation, Falcon Edge Capital, Z3Partners, and current investors Matrix Partners India and Omidya Network India all participated in the round.

It secured $165 million in the first round of series E from Dragoneer Investments, Unilever Ventures, Kora Capital, and current investors Tiger Global and Alpha Wave Global putting it on the list of Indian unicorns.

“The Current Valuation of DealShare is $1.7 Billion”

Products & Services: Retail Grocery, Rewards

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25. Livspace

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2014

Unicorn Entry Year: 2022

Founders: Anuj Srivastava, Ramakant Sharma, Shagufta Anurag

Anuj Srivastava is the current CEO and Co-Founder of Livspace. He graduated from IIT Kanpur with an MBA from the London Business School. Anuj worked as a Manager at Pepsico and as the Head of Product Marketing and Alliance at Encentuate before starting Livspace.

He also has over seven years of experience as the Global Head of Product Marketing & Growth: Google Commerce & Mobile Payments, Maps/Local, and AdSense before founding Livspace. Ramakant Sharma is the CEO and Founder of Livspace.

He is also an IIT Kanpur alumnus with an MBA from the Indian School of Business. Ramakant Sharma began his professional career as a Software Engineer at Teradata. He later worked as a Software Design Engineer and Senior Design Engineer for SumTotal Systems and GE Healthcare.

He then served as a Technical Lead and an Engineering Manager at Ketera and Zapak. He subsequently worked as the Vice President of Engineering at Myntra. Ramakant is not only the co-founder of Livspace, but he is also the co-founder of Violetbag.com.

He also worked as an Operating Partner at Jungle Ventures. Shagufta Anurag is the co-founder of Livspace. She studied BArch and obtained her degree from BMS College of Engineering.

Shagufta eventually founded her first company, Space Matrix, in April 2001. She is a serial entrepreneur, having founded three businesses, the other two of which are Livspace and Saltmine.

Funding

In 2014, Livspace raised $4.6 million in a series A funding led by Helion Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Singapore-based Jungle Ventures.

It then raised $8 million from its current investors in an internal round of funding. Later that year, it closed a $15 million Series B funding round sponsored by its existing investors. The company again raised $70 million in series C funding.

TPG Growth and Goldman Sachs led the round, including its previous investors. It then secured $90 million in a round led by Kharis Capital and Nicholas Cator's Venturi Partners, with involvement from new investors on its list, Peugeot Group's Holding firm FFP and EDBI.

Livspace became a unicorn after raising $180 million in a funding round sponsored by KKR and achieving a $1 billion value. Existing investors include Ingka Group Investments, Venturi Partners, Jungle Ventures, and Peugeot also participated in the round.

“The Current Valuation of Livspace is $1.2 Billion”

Products & Services: Interior Designing

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26. CarDekho

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2007

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Amit Jain, Anurag Jain, Umang Kumar

Amit Jain is CarDekho’s CEO and Co-Founder. Before joining Tata Consultancy Services, he graduated with a B Tech degree from IIT Delhi. After leaving TCS in less than a year, he joined Trilogy as a Product Manager.

He then joined GirnarSoft as CEO and Co-Founder, a position he holds today. Anurag is CarDekho's COO and co-founder. Anurag Jain is an IIT Delhi graduate with an Integrated Master of Technology in Mathematics and Computing.

He began his career as a Senior Systems Consultant at i2 Technologies before moving on to Sabre Holdings as a Senior Operations Research Analyst. Umang Kumar was originally the co-founder of Gaadi.com.

Still, it was eventually acquired by CarDekho, and he has since been connected with the team of CarDekho and became the Co-Founder and President at CarDekho. Umang Kumar graduated from Visvesvaraya Technological University with a BE degree in Computers.

He subsequently obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the Indian School of Business before starting the Naspers program in General Management, Strategy, and Leadership at Harvard Business School.

Umang launched another startup, Accentium Web, before embracing CarDekho's co-founder and CEO. Umang has worked for a few other companies, notably 9.9 Mediaworx and ABP, where he held significant management positions.

Funding

CarDekho entered the race of unicorns when it raised $15 million from its first round of funding led by Sequoia Capital. It then raised $50 million from Chinese Investment management firm Hillhouse Capital and Hong-kong based hedge fund Tybourne Capital.

The company also raised $15 million in funding from a round led by Google Capital and its existing investors. The band also witnessed the participation of its current investors Sequoia Capital.

It raised $2.5 million from its existing investor Sequoia Capital in an extended Series B round of funding and allotted 2,390 preference shares of INR 10 and a premium of INR 67,992.72 in 2018.

In a Series C round led by Sequoia India, Hillhouse, Axis Bank, and CapitalG, Carddekho raised $110 million in funding. In a series D funding, the company again raised $70 million with the round led by Ping An Global Voyager Fund and a supporting investment arm from Ping An, a Chinese Financial Service Giant.

It then in the series E round of funding raised by CarDekho of $250 million and thus leading it to join the list of unicorns in India. It was divided as $200 million from the equity round and $50 from the debt financing round.

The round that marketed CarDekho to the list of unicorns was led by LeapFrog Investments and other participants, including Mirae Asset, Canyon Partners, Harbor Spring Capital, Franklin Templeton, and its existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Sunley House, and the round was described as its pre-IPO round.

“The Current Valuation of CarDekho is $1.2 Billion”

Products & Services: Automotive Retail, Car

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27. Meesho

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2015

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Sanjeev Barnwal, Vidit Aatrey

Sanjeev Barnwal is the Co-Founder and Chief Technological Officer (CTO) of Meesho and holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from IIT Delhi.

He has formerly worked for Sony as an Android Camera Hardware Abstraction Layer Architecture Designer and Developer. Vidit Aatrey is the Co-Founder and CEO of Meesho and an alumnus of IIT Delhi who completed his BTech in Engineering in 2008.

Before Meesho, he worked for the mobile marketing platform InMobi, where he devised growth strategies for the company. While working at ITC Limited, Aatrey gained experience in the Operations department, which later came in handy while operating Cardekho.

Funding

Y Combinator was the first company to invest in Meesho. It was then joined by multiple angel investments from Kashyap Deorah, Maninder Gulati, VH Capital, Arjun/Rohan Malhotra, Abhishek Jain, and Jaspreet Bindra, where Meesho was able to raise $120k in the initial stage of its road to a unicorn.

It then secured $3.4 million in a Series A round led by SAIF Partners, which Venture Highway, Y Combinator, and other existing angel investors backed. It also secured $11.5 million in a series B round led by Sequoia Capital India.

Existing investors such as Y Combinator, SAIF Partners, and Venture Highway also participated in this round. Later, in a Series C funding round headed by Shunwei Capital, RPS Ventures, and DST Partners, the company raised $50 million.

Existing investors Sequoia India, Y Combinator, Venture Highway, and SAIF Partners also backed and participated in this round. It later secured $125 million in a series D round headed by Naspers and current investors, including Shunwei Capital.

Surprisingly, Meta also participated in the round, investing $25 million alongside Arun Sarin, CEO of Vodafone Group, with a total fundraising of $190 million. It then raised $300 million in a new funding round headed by SoftBank Vision Fund in a Seris E investment round in 2021.

The Series E funding round valued Meesho at $2.1 billion, up from $600 million to $700 million in the 2019 Series D funding. The startup eventually boosted its road to joining India's unicorn club by raising $490 million from existing investors such as Meta and Knollwood Investment by 2021.

The company then acquired $570 million in a Series F financing round, followed by $300 million in a Series E funding round, as previously mentioned. The band was co-led by Fidelity and B Capital Group, bringing the startup's total valuation to more than $1 billion.

SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Meta, Good Capital, Prosus Ventures, Symphony International Holdings Limited, and Trifecta Capital also took part in the funding round but did not comprise any secondary deal.

“The Current Valuation of Meesho is $5 Billion”

Products & Services: Retail

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28. Blinkit

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Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2013

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Saurabh Kumar, Albinder Dhindsa

Albinder Dhindsa is the co-founder and CEO of Blinkit. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and then completed his MBA from Columbia Business School. Dhindsa began his career as a Transportation Analyst at URS Corporation.

He then moved on to Cambridge Systematics and UBS Investment Bank as an Associate and Senior Associate. He then moved on to Zomato, where he served as the Head of International Operations for over 2.5 years.

He eventually left the company in December 2013 to co-found Grofers (now Blinkit). Saurabh Kumar is the co-founder of Blinkit. He completed B.Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT Bombay. He later completed his MS in Transportation Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.

Saurabh also worked at Cambridge Systematics, where he met Albinder for the first time. He then left the company to serve as an Associate and COO for two distinct companies, Opera Solutions and Rasilant Technologies Pvt Ltd., before co-founding Grofers/Blinkit with Albinder in December 2014.

Saurabh departed from Grofers on June 18, 2021. He founded Warpli, an e-commerce network labeled the "e-commerce of tomorrow," in September 2021. It aims to expand rapid commerce into the territory of Amazon, Nykaa, and others.

Funding

Blinkit began its path to unicorn status by raising $500,000 in a seed fundraising round headed by Sequoia Capital, followed by $10 million in Series A funding from existing investors Sequoia and Tiger Global.

It then secured $35 million in a Series B round from existing investors Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital, giving it a $100 million valuation. It later secured $120 million in a Series C financing led by Softbank alongside DST Apoletto Managers and current investors.

The company later raised $61.6 million in Series E capital headed by Softbank, alongside Tiger Global and Apoletter Asia. Following that, it secured $220 million in a series F financing sponsored by SoftBank Vision Fund for a total valuation of $800 million.

The company then secured $20.2 million from the Times Group. Zomato later approached the CCI to acquire a 9.3% share in Blinkit India and invested $100 million, propelling Blinkit into India's $1 billion unicorn club.

It then secured $24 million in Series G financing from KTB Asset Management. Zomato later committed to lending blinkit $150 million as part of its long-term investment in the rapid commerce sector.

Zomato and Blinkit then inked a merger term sheet, with Zomato receiving a $150 million load and acquiring the remaining equity in Blinkit for $567.78 million.

“The Current Valuation of Blinkit is $1 Billion”

Products & Services: Logistics, Retail Grocery

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29. Mamaearth

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Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2016

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Ghazal Alagh, Varun Alagh

Varun Alagh is the co-founder of Mamaearth from the FMCG industry. Varun Alagh obtained a BE in Electrical Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering, followed by an MBA in Finance and Marketing from XLRI Jamshedpur.

Varun formerly worked for Hindustan Unilever, Smirnoff, and The Coca-Cola Company, where he held significant management positions before establishing Honasa Consumer Pvt. Ltd., Mamaearth's parent company.

He is well-known for his brand management expertise. Ghazal Alagh is a co-founder of Mamaearth. She is designated as the Chief Innovation Officer of Mamaearth. She graduated from Punjab University BCA in Information Technology.

She subsequently worked as a Corporate Trainer at NIIT before launching Dietexpert in February 2012 and Mamaearth under Honasa in 2016.

Ghazal has also undergone intensive Modern Art and Applied Arts courses at the School of Visual Arts and the New York Academy of Art. She is regarded as one of India's top ten women artists, nationally and globally.

Funding

Mamaearth began its journey to unicorn when it received its first round of funding from Fireside Ventures, where it received $125k. Later, in a second round of funding, it received $1 million from the same.

Later, in a capital round headed by Sequoia India, the company raised INR 130 crore from Stellaris Venture Partners, Sharp Ventures, and its previous investors.

The following funding came after it received $4 million in 2018 from Fireside Ventures and Stellaris, as well as $250k from Shilpa Shetty Kundra in April of 2018.

It later raised $18 million in series B fundraising led by Sequoia India. Existing investors participated in the round as well. Mamaearth has raised a total of $126 million in eight investment rounds.

It received $759k in angel funding later in 2022 and previously received $37.5 million in December 2021. Sequoia Capital led Series B, while Sofina Ventures led Series C, raising $50 million in 2021, placing it on the list of Indian unicorns.

“The Current Valuation of Mamaearth is $1.07 Billion”

Products & Services: Skin & Personal Care, Retail

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30. Rebel Foods

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2011

Unicorn Entry Year: 2021

Founders: Jaydeep Barman, Kallol Banerjee

Jaydeep Barman is the CEO and co-founder of Rebel Foods. He played an essential role in the company's expansion. He was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

He obtained his MBA from INSEAD and worked as an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company in London from 2006 until 2010. Jaydeep is also an angel investor, having invested in companies such as Treebo Hotels, Quinto, The Whole Truth, and others.

Kallol Banerjee is a co-founder of Rebel Foods. He completed his higher education in Mechanical Engineering from Jadavpur University and his MBA from IIM, Lucknow. Kollol Banerjee worked for Bosch in Singapore before joining forces with Jaydeep Barman.

Funding

Rebel Foods began its journey to unicorn hood on August 30, 2018, when the company raised $15 million in a Series C round led by Sistem Asia Capital, RTP Global, Lightbox, Sequoia Capital, and Evolvence.

Later, in a Debt Financing round, the company raised $3.7 million from Alteria Capital, Sequoia Capital, and Lightbox. It then secured $125 million in a series D round headed by returning investors Lightbox and Evolvence.

Go-Jek also acquired $5 million from its venture capital unit, Go Ventures. Following the fundraising round, Rebel Foods was valued at $500 million.

Rebel Foods then joined the club of unicorns by raising $175 million in Series F funding led by Qatar Investment Authority, Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, including participation from current investors Coatue and Evolvence.

It then raised INR 35 crore in venture debt, led by Alteria Capital, for a total debt financing of INR 85 crores when Rebel Foods issued 10k Series E non-convertible debentures and both investors invested INR 50 crore each.

“The Current Valuation of Rebel Foods is $1.4 Billion”

Products & Services: Food Chain, Cloud Kitchen Services, Restaurant

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31. CARS24

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2015

Unicorn Entry Year: 2020

Founders: Gajendra Jangid, Ruchit Agarwal, Vikram Chopra

Vikram Chopra is the initial CEO and Co-Founder of Cars24. He completed his BTech and MTech in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and his MBA in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania.

Vikram is the former (renowned) Co-Founder of FabFurnish, Sequoia Capital Investment Analyst, and McKinsey & Company Business Analyst. Mehul Agrawal is the Co-Founder and COO of Cars24.

He completed his MBA from IIM Calcutta and has previously worked with BCG. Mehul launched FabFurnish, an online furniture retailer, before moving to Cars24. Gajendra Jangid is the Co-Founder and CMO of Cars24.

Gajendra, like Vikram, has a BTech and MTech in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Before moving to Cars24, he worked for Schlumberger. Ruchit Agarwal is also the Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer of Cars24.

Ruchit graduated from Cornell University and worked as a Vice President at Bank of America Merrill Lynch before co-founding Cars24.

Funding

Cars24 began its unicorn quest in 2015 when it raised $50 million from Sequoia Capital, Kingsway FCI Fund, and Toronto-based KCK Global Limited. Unbound and Moore Strategic Ventures later raised $100 million in series D funding.

The company's previous investors also participated in the round, and it later raised $42.2 million in a Venture Round from Global Car Group in 2019. It then acquired $200 million in a series E funding round led by DST Global, in which Exor Seeds also participated.

DST Asia, Tencent, and Alpha Wave Incubation each contributed $75 million, while Moore Strategic Partners contributed $22.7 million to the Series F investment.

Exor Seeds, based in New York, contributed $8.3 million, in addition to $2.2 million and $427k from HPS Investment Partners CEO Scott Kapnic and BloombergSen Investment Partners, respectively.

The company then finalized a $450 round of investment, which includes $340 million from the equity round and $110 million from the debt financing round, with various financial institutions' participation.

DST Global, Falcon Edge, and SoftBank Vision Fund 2 partnered with Tencent, Moore Strategic Ventures, and Exor Seeds in the series F equity, which also marked the company's unicorn status at a higher level.

Later, it raised $20 million from the Commercial Bank of Dubai in a local debt capital round, which propelled its commercial expansion in the UAE. It closed a $400 million investment transaction, which includes a $100 million Series G stock round from diversified financial institutions.

The series G equity round was headed by returning investor Alpha Wave Global, with current investors also participating. Cars24 raised a total of $100 million in debt investment throughout India, the UAE, and Australia.

The expansion of Cars24's capital of $400 million at its $1.84 billion valuation doubled its valuation to $3.3 billion, a remarkable performance in the sector.

“The Current Valuation of Cars24 is $3.3 Billion”

Products & Services: Used Cars, Exchange Platform

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32. Nykaa

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Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2012

Unicorn Entry Year: 2020

Founders: Falguni Nayar

Falguni Nayar founded Nykaa, now one of India's most significant fashion and lifestyle platforms. The founder and CEO of Nykaa Falguni is known as the wealthiest self-made woman in India and ranked 10th among the world's richest self-made women.

Falguni's net worth was estimated to be around Rs 57,000 crore and growing. In one year, her wealth increased by 963%. Nayar attended IIM Ahmedabad, where she completed her MBA in Finance.

Nayar obtained her degree and then her MBA before joining A F Ferguson & Co as a Manager for nearly eight years. She afterward headed Kotak Mahindra Capital Company, India's top investment bank.

Nayar led Kotak Securities before becoming the Managing Director of Kotak Investment Banking in December 2007. She worked for the bank for 18 years before resigning to pursue her business passion, Nykaa.com.

Falguni worked in the corporate sector for over 25 years before embarking on her entrepreneurial journey when Nayar was approaching 50. In addition, Nayar is a Founding Member of the Asia Society in India.

She serves as an Independent Member on several boards, such as the Aviva Insurance Board, Dabur India, and the Tata Motors Board. Falguni is an example to everyone in Nykaa and beyond because she is a successful businesswoman and a conscientious head of the household.

Funding

Nykaa's worth surpassed $13 billion in its blockbuster launch on Indian stock exchanges. The iconic Indian cosmetics platform's stocks began trading at an 82% premium and have since risen to over 96%. The current Stock Price of Nykaa on BSE is INR 131.05.

Nykaa's funding adventure began with capital raised by Falguni Nayar and her husband, Sanjay Nayar, who is the CEO of KKR.

Although the creator of Nykaa and her husband had extensive ties in investment banking, they did not approach institutional investors until the company had achieved vital growth metrics.

Nykaa received funding from TVS Capital in its Series B round with a valuation of Rs 500 crore. Previously, angel investors such as Harindarpal Singh Banga of "The Caravel Group" had backed Nykaa.

However, these investors assisted the business in raising Rs 20 crore in its Series A round, albeit at a higher cost, as it diminished 16% of the Nykaa stakes. Hardindarpal Singh's holdings in Nykaa, once it became a unicorn in 2020, were valued at a whopping Rs 1600 crore!

Nykaa's funding commenced in 2018 when an unnamed investor raised $10.07 million and $22.83 million in a Series D round. Later that year, in an undisclosed round, the company raised $14.77 million from Lighthouse India Fund III.

Later that same year, the company secured $30 million in a secondary market transaction headed by Steadview Capital after receiving $13.43 million in series E capital from TPG Growth. Nykaa successfully raised $13.43 million in Series F funding from Steadview in March 2020.

The company escalated the previously raised funds by $9 million. It was boosted in June when Hero Group's Sunil Kant Munjal raised $196 million in funding. Later, in October 2020, it raised an unknown sum in a secondary market round from Fidelity Management & Research.

“The Current Valuation of Nykaa is $8.3 Billion”

Products & Services: Retail, Beauty, Cosmetics, Personal Skin Care

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33. FirstCry

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2010

Unicorn Entry Year: 2020

Founders: Amitava Saha, Supam Maheshwari

Supam Maheshwari is the CEO and co-founder of FirstCry. He graduated from IIM Ahmedabad and then from the Delhi College of Engineering. He is a first-generation businessman who co-founded XpressBees, one of India's leading logistics companies.

Supam was also the co-founder and CEO of Brainvisa Technologies, one of India's leading e-learning ventures, before founding FirstCry. Amitava Saha is the COO and co-founder of FirstCry. He holds a master's degree from IIM Lucknow and a B.Tech from IIT Varanasi.

Saha also collaborated with Supam on the development of XpressBees. They teamed up again after XpressBees for another intriguing project, FirstCry. It became India's best online portal for baby care products.

Funding

FirstCry received $4 million in funding from SAIF in 2011, backed by $14 million in a series B round of investment into BrainBees, the parent business that owns FirstCry.

Later, the company raised $15 million in series C funding, led by Vertex Venture Management through one of its funds, with participation from existing investors SAIF Partners and IDG Ventures India.

The company later raised $10 million in series D funding from NEA and its current backer Valiant Capital Partners. The total funding raised is $36 million when the top ones are included.

Later, the company was able to secure $400 million in Series E funding from SoftBank Vision Fund. The Japan-based private equity fund raised $296 million upfront and another $100 million in the second tranche.

According to the filings, the investment is part of a more significant transaction in which FirstCry is raising about Rs 2,825 crore ($396.34 million) in two tranches from SoftBank's $93 billion Vision Fund.

According to the filings, the company secured the existing tranche by issuing shares at a higher subscription price. The remaining Rs 1,759.29 crore ($246.82 million) will most likely be raised by issuing shares at a lower subscription price.

The entire transaction valued the company between $975 million and $1.09 billion, making it India's first unicorn. Previously, the business raised $125 million from several investors, including SAIF, IDF Ventures, Valiant Capital, Vertex Venture, NEA, and Rata Tata.

Premji Invest contributed $13 million, while three private equity (PE) investors contributed $15 million, valuing the company at $1.9 billion. The private equity firms collectively invested $100 million into the company.

“The Current Valuation of FirstCry is $2 Billion”

Products & Services: Online Retail

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34. BigBasket

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Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2011

Unicorn Entry Year: 2019

Founders: V.S. Sudhakar, Hari Menon, V.S. Ramesh, Vipul Parekh, Abhinay Choudhari

V S Sudhakar is BigBasket's co-founder and CEO. He previously served as the CEO of Planetasia. He has extensive experience working in the IT field, but his formal education is unknown.

Hari Menon is the CEO of BigBasket. He has extensive knowledge in a wide range of industries. Menon formerly served as the CEO of Indiaskills, Manipal Group's Vocational Education joint venture with City & Guilds, UK.

Hari Menon is a BITS Pilani alumnus and has worked as the Country Head of Planetasia, one of India's earliest Internet service providers. Hari has also held senior positions with IT companies such as Wipro Infotech.

V.S. Ramesh is BigBasket's Head of Logistics and Supply Chain. V.S. Ramesh, an Electronics Engineering graduate from Karnataka University, has around 21 years of work experience in the Indian Navy handling Operations and Logistics.

Ramesh is an Electronics Engineer who previously co-founded Fabmall. Vipul Parekh is BigBasket's Head of Finance and Marketing. Vipul is an IIM Bangalore alumnus who has held significant executive positions in various firms, including Wipro Limited and Trinethra Super Retail Ltd.

He also worked as an Investment Director at Peepul Capital Advisors Pvt Ltd., a renowned Private Equity Fund. Before co-founding BigBasket, Parekh co-founded Fabmall. Abhinay Choudhari was the Head of New Initiatives at BigBasket and a Co-Founder.

Abhinay attended IIM Ahmedabad. Abhinay developed Stylecountry.com, one of India's first online fashion retail stores, in addition to working with renowned IT businesses like iGATE and Infosys.

Funding

BigBasket began its financial reign in March 2012, when Ascent Capital invested $10 million in a series A round. In a Bridge Round, it later raised $3 million from a Singapore-based private investor.

It raised $32.8 million in a series B financing headed by Helion Venture Partners and Zodium Capital, as well as current investors. The Series C round raised $50 million from Bessemer Venture Partners. The Abraaj Group in the UAE later invested $150 million in the company.

New investors International Finance Corporation and Sands Capital joined current investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Zodius Capital, Ascent Capital, and Helion Advisors in the round.

The company then raised $300 million in Series E fundraising at a pre-money valuation of approximately $600 million, headed by Paytm Mall and Alibaba Group. Eventually, it was joined by returning investors Sand Capital and the Abraaj group.

BigBasked joined the unicorn club after raising $150 million in a series F round headed by the UK Government-owned CDC Group, Alibaba, and Mirae Asset Global Investment of South Korea. The company was valued at more than $1.2 billion in the round.

BigBasket was valued at $2.28 billion following the Series F round of fundraising, and it also received INR 350 crore from Supermarket Grocery Supplies, which increased the company's valuation.

“The Current Valuation of BigBasket is $2.7 Billion”

Products & Services: Online Retail, Grocery

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35. Lenskart

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2010

Unicorn Entry Year: 2019

Founders: Peyush Bansal

Peyush Bansal is the CEO and creator of Lenskart's parent business, Valyoo Technologies. He aimed to be admitted to IIT but, sadly or happily, did not succeed. He then decided to study Electrical Engineering at McGill University.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering — IT, Control, and Automation from McGill University in Canada in 2006. Soon later, the Lenskart creator was hired by the US software behemoth Microsoft.

Peyush spent a year working for Microsoft as a Program Manager. He once met Bill Gates while working for Microsoft in Seattle since Gates liked to meet his company's interns at his beach house.

These meetings made Bansal understand that Gates has done something monumental by founding Microsoft and that he does not want to be a part of his company, which employs over 50K people, and instead wants to be recognized for his work.

Furthermore, he discovered that he was improving the lives of those who were already well-off. This is why he returned to India to address the more significant issue of vision correction and providing eyesight to everybody through Lenskart.

He eventually moved to IIM, Bangalore, for his PG in Management. Bansal then founded several Indian companies, including John Jacobs, AQUALENS, and Lenskart, under which he established Lenskart Vision Fund and Lenskart Plus, all of which specialize in spectacles and lenses.

During his stint at IIM, he founded Valyoo Technologies, which launched SearchMyCampus as the first commercial portal in 2007. In addition to accommodation, a student classifieds site listed books, part-time work, transportation, and internship opportunities.

His motto was to assist students with any problems they may be encountering. Peyush chose to expand SearchMyCampus into the e-commerce market because it was a great success. While hunting for chances, he stumbled upon the eyeglass sector, which was disregarded mainly by major e-commerce firms such as Amazon and eBay.

He founded Flyrr.com, an American eyeglasses company gaining traction, so he decided to try his luck in India and started Lenskart in November 2010. This new firm began by offering primarily contact lenses, but after a few months, it expanded to include eyeglasses.

Finally, in March 2011, the company expanded its range to include sunglasses, classifying them as a fashion item. Peyush Bansal, co-founder and CEO of Lenskart is presently one of the panelists (Sharks) in the latest industry television show Shark Tank India.

Bansal is known as the "kindest shark" on the show due to his cooperative approach, encouraging personality, belief in brands, and several motivations he provides to the candidates.

Funding

Lenskart recently raised $28.2 million on June 9, 2022, and $12.5 million on August 8, 2022, from the Ravi Modi Family Trust. The well-known eyewear startup has set aside 4,79,037 Series I CCPS for consideration for $12.5 million (INR 99.9 Cr).

This investment is a continuation of the previous Series I round of funding, in which Lenskart raised around $166 million. On April 11, 2022, Lenskart raised $100 million, led by Alpha Wave Incubation (earlier known as Falcon Edge). It later contributed another $25 million to the same (Series I) transaction, which Epiq Capital led on April 27, 2022.

The unicorn eyewear retail chain and eCommerce startup raised Rs 190.05 cr from Epiq in the second tranche of the Series I round by issuing 910,412 Series I preferred shares at an offer price of Rs 2085.52 per share, valuing the company at $4.32 billion.

On June 9, 2022, the Peyush Bansal-led firm acquired about $28.2 million from Avendus Future Leaders Fund II, which was not a significant fundraising round, as Lenskart previously reported. Lenskart has set aside 1,053,882 Series I CCPS for the $28.2 million in fundraising.

This financing, though, could be part of a larger round that comes in installments. Lenskart's recent $220 million fundraising round was led by Temasek and Alpha Wave Global and closed on July 19, 2021.

Other notable rounds for the company include the Secondary Market round, in which it raised $95 million, and the Series G round, which was headed by SoftBank Vision Fund and raised $275 million on December 20, 2019.

Lenskart has raised around $939.7 million in fundraising, as of August 8, 2022, in over 13 rounds of funding. So it all started when it raised $4 million in October 2021. It then raised $10 million in the series B round.

The company later raised $21.9 million in a series C and $60.1 million in a series D round of 2016. The company later raised $2 million in series E and $240 million in a secondary market round.

The company later raised $55 million in a series F and $275 million in a Series G round in 2019. In May 2021, the company raised $95 million again in the secondary market round.

Lenskart raised Rs 760 crore (or roughly $1 billion) in a new funding round from Alpha Wave Ventures. It was a Series-I funding round with 36,41,646 series shares issued at Rs 2087.52 per share to raise Rs 760 crore.

Chiratae Ventures, DSP India Fund, and Axis Bank's Axis Growth Avenues AIF-I were among the investors who contributed $39.6 million (INR 323.4 crore).

“The Current Valuation of Lenskart is $4.3 Billion”

Products & Services: Retail, Eye-Wear, Sunglasses, Lens, Frames

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36. Flipkart

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Founding Year: 2007

Unicorn Entry Year: 2012

Founders: Sachin Bansal, Binny Bansal

Sachin Bansal founded Flipkart. Sachin joined Amazon as a Senior Software Engineer after completing a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from IIT Delhi. He then left Amazon to co-found Flipkart.

He held the positions of CEO and Chairman at Flipkart before quitting in 2018 following Walmart's massive acquisition of Flipkart. The American multinational business acquired around 77% of the Indian eCommerce company.

Bansal eventually co-founded Navi with Ankit Agarwal and today serves as its Chairman. According to the Forbes 2022 report, Sachin Bansal's net worth is currently $1.30 billion. Binny, an IIT Delhi alumnus like Sachin, finished his Bachelor's in Computer Science and Engineering before co-founding Flipkart.

Binny Bansal is Flipkart's COO and CEO. Sachin Bansal has been the CEO of Flipkart since its establishment, and in 2016, Binny Bansal took over as CEO, while Sachin Bansal became the company's executive chairman.

On the other hand, Binny resigned from Flipkart in 2018 because of personal misconduct charges made by Flipkart. Bansal was also the organization's Group CEO. Binny has also worked as a Board Advisor for Acko, Blackbuck, GreyOrange, Udhyam Learning, and other firms.

Binny Bansal is presently the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of xto10x Technologies. According to Forbes, in 2022, Binny Bansal's net worth is also $1.30 billion. Bansal is on the Board of Directors of PhonePe in addition to his role in the SaaS consulting business.

Binny Bansal sold Tencent shares worth $264 million (almost Rs 2,060 crore). The documents indicated that the deal was completed in October 2021 but was not disclosed until the beginning of FY22.

Binny Bansal now controls around 1.84% of the company, while Tencent controls approximately 0.72%. The Chinese tech behemoth owns 4-5% of Flipkart Pte, the Singapore-based parent company of Flipkart.

Funding

Flipkart has raised more than $12.6 billion in fundraising across 26 rounds. Flipkart's most recent funding round brought in $233 million from its Singapore-based holding company. The funds were soaked up before two of the company's massive sales, Flipkart TV Days and Big Bachat Dhamal.

On July 12, 2021, the eCommerce behemoth received $3.6 billion in investment from a Corporate Round led by GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Walmart, and other investors.

Accel India, a venture capital firm, invested $1 million in funding in 2008. Flipkart was a unicorn firm by 2012, and South African Tec Major Naspers announced an additional budget of $150 million. Flipkart acquired $210 million from DST Global after acquiring Myntra in 2014.

Flipkart had secured $550 million from some of its previous investors as of May 2015, bringing its overall worth to $15 billion. Flipkart received $1.4 billion in investment in April 2017 at a valuation of $11.6 billion from eBay, Microsoft, and Tencent.

In August 2018, the US-based retail firm Walmart paid US$16 billion for a 77% controlling share in Flipkart, valuing it at $20 billion.

This figure was raised to 81.3% in November of the same year. The transaction was finalized on August 18, 2018. Walmart also provided the company with $2 billion in stock capital.

On July 12, 2021, Flipkart raised around $3.6 billion in a round-headed by GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Walmart, and others, which is regarded as one of the largest funding rounds in the history of consumer tech companies in India.

Flipkart is attempting to invest in people and technology to enhance the supply chain, develop its architecture, automate grocery stores, and add to it with this recent addition.

Furthermore, this injection represented the return of SoftBank, which left the company in 2018 when Walmart purchased it. Softbank also invested around $300-500 million.

“The Current Valuation of Flipkart is $37.6 Billion”

Products & Services: Online Retail

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The Former Unicorns of India

The above list is just one example of the myriad of unicorn companies India has seen over the years. The number of unicorn companies in India is likely to be even higher than shown in the list above.

Unfortunately, many businesses have either gone out of business or experienced a decline in value, thus losing their unicorn status. It is also unusual for a Unicorn to raise only a million dollars in a bridge round.

But such things are unsurprising when a company pursues unsustainable growth goals rather than fundamentals like unit economics and steady revenue channels that lead to profitability.

Several Indian startups, including Foodpanda, Jabong, and Snapdeal, have lost sight of their initial mission as they chased growth while burning investors' money. These companies have undoubtedly turned a blind eye to basics, putting them at the point of bankruptcy.

It's a sign of recession. Recession business and stock crisis concept. Economy crash and markets down. Market Crisis Economic Debt Reduction Rate Risk Investment Currency Price.
Photo by D koi / Unsplash

1. Quikr

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Quikr is a Bengaluru-based online marketplace and classified advertising company. There are ads for Quikr's wide range of goods in over 1000 Indian cities, including cars, cell phones, furniture, household items, jobs, services, and more.

The top provider of online classified ads was valued at over $1.5 billion on October 8, 2015. However, the company lost its unicorn status in February 2020 due to scandalous, fraudulent transactions.

2. Shopclues

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Sandeep, Radhika, and Sanjay Aggarwal founded ShopClues in 2011, making it the first and biggest regulated marketplace in India. It once had more than 2.5 billion listed products and more than 6,000,000 merchants, making it a potential business.

The fourth unicorn startup in India, Shopclues, became a unicorn in 2016. ShopClues was sold to Singapore-based Qoo10 Pte Ltd at just $70-100 million in an all-stock transaction. However, the firm slowly and methodically allowed ShopClues to fall from being a promising unicorn to an all-stock agreement.

3. Hike Messenger

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Hike Messenger went beyond a fad when it originally debuted as a social networking instant messaging tool. At the time, Whatsapp had just recently debuted in India, and it was still a long way from becoming as well-known as it is today.

Hike was established in December 2012 by Kavin Bharti Mitta, who also served as its CEO. It became the youngest startup in India to accomplish the goal when it raised $175 million in a Series D fundraising round in August 2016, valuing the company at $1.4 billion in just under 3.7 years.

However, when Whatsapp quickly gained notoriety and took over the market, the corporation witnessed a dramatic decline in its income.

The business tried a few tactics to increase the value of its brand. In April 2019, it was rebranded as Hike Sticker Chat to offer a sticker-focused experience. On January 15, 2021, the corporation formally declared its demise.

4. Snapdeal

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Snapdeal, a Delhi-based e-commerce site founded in 2010 by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, was one of the first Indian online marketplaces. Initially a "daily deals platform," it expanded into a $6.5 billion online market.

By 2014, the BIG THREE (Snapdeal, Flipkart, and Amazon) had provided price-sensitive customers with substantial discounts and easy return options. Snapdeal was seen competing fiercely in the hypercompetitive Indian market in 2015, with 32% of the share.

It hoped to take over Flipkart within the following two years by acquiring a more significant market sector. However, the bursting of India's entrepreneurship boom in 2016 wiped off Snapdeal's fortune.

Snapdeal's controversial executive board included founders Bahl and Bansal, Akhil Gupta, Softbank, Nexus Venture Partners, and Kalaari Capital.  An internal dispute among board members inevitably hampered appropriate company valuation in the event of funding or sale.

Several bids aiming at rescuing Snapdeal were halted as a result. Snapdeal's cash reserves were reduced further after costly advertising campaigns failed to produce results. Discounts and free delivery further depleted their resources to gain consumer loyalty in the face of increasing competition.

Freecharge, a Snapdeal subsidiary, has also harmed the parent company's financial stability. Snapdeal's failure typifies the reckless spending that corporations engage in to achieve a larger market share.

Even though Flipkart has decreased the commodities covered by its exchange policy, it will need to alter its business model drastically. Instead of focusing on market share, it may need to prioritize long-term survival.

The bursting of the entrepreneurial bubble may be a blessing in disguise, leading to more carefully built shock-absorbent investment strategies.

5. PayTm Mall

Unicorns in India: An Updated List of All Unicorn Startups in India

Paytm Mall, the e-commerce component of the digital payment platform Paytm, is no longer a unicorn, with a valuation of less than $1 billion, according to Business Insider, citing the current Hurun List.

PayTm the online payment company's e-commerce subsidiary PayTm Mall was valued at $3 billion in 2020. A company is considered a unicorn if its valuation exceeds $1 billion.

Paytm Mall, created in 2016, became a unicorn in 2018 after receiving funding from SoftBank and others. It was considered worthy of competing with Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal.

Previously, Paytm's parent company One97 Communications, a digital startup that launched its initial public offering (IPO) for membership on November 8, saw a retail subscription of 78% on the first day.

However, subscriptions to its $2.5 billion initial share offering were comparably slow on the second day. Individuals or Non - resident Indians who apply for up to Rs 2,000,000 in an IPO are referred to as retail investors.

The new issuance was valued at Rs 8,300 crore, while the offer for sale was worth Rs 10,000 crore. If the IPO were successful in its proposal, it would be the largest.

However, on November 18, the shares of Paytm's parent company, One97 Communications Ltd, fell 27% in their marketplace debut, valuing the Ant Group-backed digital payments firm at about Rs 1.11 trillion.

Meanwhile, Paytm reported a more than two-fold increase in gross merchandise value to almost Rs 1,66,600 crore during the first two months of the third period of this fiscal, driven by a sharp rise in loan disbursals, on December 13.

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Siddhesh Surve

An Enthusiastic Learner! With his roots in Navi Mumbai and a Journalism Background, he aims to connect with readers and share facts about his hobby, "tech in India," and its advancing inventions.