India has become the third-largest unicorn ecosystem in the world with 51 startups that are valued at $1 billion or above, according to Hurun India Future Unicorn List 2021.
The USA is the world's largest unicorn ecosystem with 396 unicorns, followed by China with 277 unicorns.
Hurun Research Institute has released the Hurun India Future Unicorn List 2021.
The objective of the list is to highlight India’s fast growing start-up ecosystem to investors, governments, family offices, aspiring entrepreneurs and the international community.
Findings of the report
India is home to 51 Unicorns, up by 25 in 2021, and 32 Gazelles and 54 Cheetahs.
Record breaking Stats: India added circa 3 Unicorns every month over the last year.
India’s future Unicorns are worth US$36bn, equivalent to one third of Delhi’s GDP at current prices.
The top investors in the Gazelles and Cheetahs in the Hurun India Future Unicorn List 2021 are Sequoia, followed by Tiger Global with 37 and 18 investments respectively.
Online retail store Zilingo is the most valuable Gazelle and online furniture platform Pepperfry is the most valuable Cheetah.
With 18 start-ups on the list, FinTech contributed the most number of companies in the list, followed by E-commerce 17 and SaaS 7. E-commerce, FinTech, Shared Economy and SaaS contribute more than half of the companies featured in the list.
In 2020, despite the unprecedented challenges due to Covid-19, the FinTech, E-commerce and Shared Economy sectors raised investment to the tune of US$2.8bn, US$2.5bn and US$1bn respectively.
12 start-ups on the Hurun India Future Unicorn List 2021 are co-founded by women entrepreneurs. Likewise, six women entrepreneurs co-founded Unicorn start-ups in India.
What is a Unicorn?
In the venture capital industry, the term unicorn refers to any private startup that reaches the valuation of $1 billion.
The term was first coined by Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy ventures when she referred to the 39 startups that had a valuation of over $1 billion as unicorns.
The term initially was used to lay emphasis on the rarity of such startups. The definition of a unicorn startup has remained unchanged since then.
The startups that exceed the valuation of $10 billion are grouped under the term called decacorns (a super unicorn). Dropbox, SpaceX and WeWork are some of the examples of decacorn.