Evolution of the startup unicorns
The double-digit addition of unicorns during in 2020 — the year of the COVID-19 pandemic — was not supposed to be surprising, given the rise in volume of internet users. The lockdowns during the first wave triggered the increased consumption of online services in India. In 2021 alone, this led to a 133 percent increase in the number of active startup-unicorns over the number in the previous 10 years. And, with the addition of 15 unicorns between January to May, the year 2022 could be a rerun of 2021.
The unicorns’ business-model analysis
Fintech—with 19 unicorns—and enterprise-tech, with 14, account for 19.0 percent and 14.0 percent respectively of the active unicorns' universe. Ecommerce, edtech, automtive, and foodtech, with 9 unicorns (9.0 percent), 6 (6.0 percent), 4 (4.0 percent) and 4 (4.0 percent), respectively are the other leading sectors with relatively higher number of unicorns.
The sectoral-mix of the unicorns
Tiger Global is the most active investor in Indian unicorns, with exposure to 44 of the 100 (44 percent in volume). Among the top five, Steadview Capital at fifth, has exposure to 16 unicorns. Ten investment firms have exposure to at least five unicorns each.
When it comes to conviction of top 44 investors in the unicorns, Nexus Venture Partners is an outlier — it has participated in 29 funding rounds across its 7 unicorns. As a ratio, that works out to 4.1 funding rounds per unicorn. Accel — 72 funding rounds across its 21 unicorns — is next with a ratio of 3.4 funding rounds per unicorn in its portfolio.
Investors in unicorns
Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, and Mumbai hold the top spots, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Malappuram are the other five cities which are home to 6, 5, 3, 1, and 1 unicorns each. Jaipur and Malappuram, the only non-metro cities where automotive startup CarDekho and neobanking fintech Open respectively hail from, are also an endorsement of the fact that investors have an eye for potential, which takes them beyond the hotbeds of India’s Startup Inc.
About Unicorns of India
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