Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a Unicorn Startup or even make it to the list of Unicorn Startups? The Unicorn, as it suggests, is one of the most loved and legendary creatures known to human civilization. It is the epitome of magical powers that heals sickness and portrays strength.
Your Startup Venture reflects your ideas, personality, how you perceive the world, and the way you want to change some aspects of the world around you through your venture. India, over the years, has done phenomenally well in showcasing a series of famous and successful Unicorn companies taking everyone by surprise. These Unicorns are torchbearers and are a matter of pride for the Indian Startup ecosystem. They have scaled not only domestically but internationally as well.
You might be surprised and keen to know how these companies, once just at their embryonic stage, became much talked about companies globally. On that note, let us understand the Indian Unicorn startups and the real story behind the scene.
Unicorn Startup Meaning
Firstly you need to understand what a Unicorn Startup is and why it is the most talked about and adored industry or point to reach. If you want your Startup venture to become a Unicorn, your venture must reach a valuation of $1 billion. It can be of any sector or industry, and your venture can be based in any part of the world.
As per a recent industry report, if your Startup exceeds a valuation of $10 billion is grouped and termed as ‘Decacorn,’ which means a super Unicorn. Companies like WeWork and Dropbox are examples of Decacorn.
You will wish to understand why Unicorn companies are important and often looked at. Some of the striking features and traits of a Unicorn company are:
- They bring about innovative disruption
- They are Tech-savvy ventures
- They are a pioneer and stalwarts in their respective sector and industry
- Unicorn companies are privately owned
- Unicorn companies are in their growth stage and upscale the economy to a large extend
It is interesting for you to note that Unicorn Startups are mostly privately owned and held Startups that venture capital funds back. These Unicorn ventures have scaled and reached a valuation of $ 1 billion. However, these Unicorn companies are valued mostly based on their growth trajectory and potential. Often it focuses the public that these Unicorn Startups are valued in terms of their financial performance. But to your surprise, the answer is ‘No’.
Venture capital funds and investors who earlier participated in several funding rounds of these Unicorn Startup value their growth story and promising business model that they capitulate to the world.
The term ‘Unicorn’ in finance was coined and put to use by American venture capitalist Aileen Lee in 2013. In that era, the world was astonished by the emergence and growth of these Startups that reached in zenith and became a Unicorn. In early 2013, several tech-based ventures in the US scaled and reached a billion-dollar valuation.
Ms. Lee, the American venture capitalist, worked on and designed the Unicorn Club, which were US-based technology and software companies that started its operation after 2033 and clocked a valuation of $ 1 billion either through private or public investors. The tech Startup represents less than 1% of the overall startups.
Number of Unicorn
In today’s world, Unicorn companies are the most common and highly discussed topic in the town. Although Unicorn startups look fancy far from a distance, building one is not easy. Your journey will require much hard work, patience, and commitment. You will have to operate out of a shoestring budget in the initial years of operations until you bag the title of a Unicorn.
India stands tall with 106 Unicorn Startups as of 2022. The Number of Unicorn companies spiked over the years, especially in the last decade. Industry research and experts rank India as 3rd country home to a growing population of Unicorn companies. India bagged the 3rd position from the UK in 2021 when nearly 33% of Startups turned Unicorn in the same year. Some other countries known for their Startup ecosystem are the US, with 254 Unicorn companies, and China, with an uptake of 74 Unicorns posted in 2021.
The Indian government expects that Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India will see the next wave of Startup companies with the potential to make it big in the Indian business world. Moreover, it is estimated that in the next 2 or 3 years, there can be a potential 10x growth of Unicorn companies in India.
In 2021, Indian Startup Ventures reported having raised over $42 billion in funding across 1584 deals. Here is the big opportunity for you to scale your operation and be the next Unicorn Startup.
First Unicorn Startup of India
Have you ever imagined the situation when your Startup Venture makes it big and eventually becomes one of the large conglomerates? Initially, it is a struggle, and never gives up mindset along with a shoestring budget, these Startup ventures operate. It is interesting to note that India is a home for Startups. Since 2015 there has been a consistent surge in Indian Unicorn Startups owing to the funding received from venture capital firms and angel investors. In 2021, India scored a century in the total count of Unicorn companies born and grown in India.
You will be intrigued to note that Inmobi was the first Unicorn Startup of India in 2011, and since then, there has been no looking back in the number of Unicorn companies in India. Many industry experts believe India can potentially scale to 250 Unicorn ventures by the end of 2025.
Inmobi is the torchbearer being the first Indian Unicorn company. It is an advertising and digital media company that offers mobile advertisement platforms that help to optimize advertisements in mobile phones. The Bengaluru-based company was founded by Abhay Singhal, Amit Gupta, Mohit Saxena, Naveen Tewari, and Piyush Shah. It stands at a valuation of $12 billion as on April 2021.
Unicorn Startup in India
Unicorn Startup in India has a story about spilling to the world. With the ease of doing business and the relaxation offered to start a new company, India has seen many startups emerging and making it big. The Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, have launched and recognized government schemes and benefits for Startups. The Startup India initiative started by the government helps you patent your application and IPR protection, income tax exemption, and easy winding up. Along with this, you can avail of the mentorship program and Startup India Seed Fund.
Many Indian Startup companies have now made it to the Unicorn List. India has witnessed a flurry of Startup funding and investment in 2022, and whereby Fintech startup ventures ranked highest among all the sectors, it raised close to $3.82 billion in funding, followed by e-commerce which raised $3.47 billion.
The Indian Unicorn Startup ecosystem witnessed a phenomenal year as 20 new startups made it to the Unicorn list, taking the count to 106. These Unicorn ventures raised $94 billion, and their total estimated value stood at $343 billion. The following are the Startup Ventures that scaled to become Unicorns in 2022.
- Fractal: The analytics company offers solutions in artificial intelligence and advanced analytics. The company was founded by Srikanth Velamakanni, Pranay Agarwal, Nirmal Palaparthi, Ramakrishna Reddy, and Pradeep Suryanarayan in 2002. It has received several rounds of funding totaling about $685 million, making it to the Unicorn Club.
- LEAD: It is the first EdTech company to make it to the Unicorn list in 2022. LEAD is the brainchild of Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah. The Mumbai-based company offers integrated teaching, curriculum design, and technology-enabled learning system for schools. It raised nearly $100 million in its funding round and achieved a valuation of $1.1 billion.
- Darwinbox: The Hyderabad-based company is the third company to make it to the Indian Unicorn list in 2022. It provides cloud-based services and solutions to enterprises. It automates the HR functions onto a single platform.
- DealShare: Sankar Bora, Rajat Shikhar, and Vineet Rao founded DealShare in 2018, and with a valuation of $1.62 billion, it made it to the Unicorn list in 2022. DealShare is a company working in the social e-commerce sector based in Bengaluru. After its latest funding round, the company tripled in its valuation. It has so far raised $330 million.
- Livspace: The Bengaluru-based company was started in 2014 by Anuj Srivastava, and Ramakant Sharma scaled its operation to enter the Unicorn list in 2022. Livspace is a home décor, interior designing, and renovation company and is a well-known Unicorn venture in India now. It raised approximately $450 million across its 10 rounds of funding.
The journey from an embryonic stage to eventually becoming a Unicorn company can be a very complex, challenging, and daunting task at hand. You are mostly alone in this journey at times, and you can be clueless about how to execute many tasks at hand. Tyke Invest comes to your rescue, handholding you in raising funds, and provides a platform to network among investors and other stakeholders in the startup community.